Al Avila

Episode 121: Waiting for Godot? Waiting for Ronnie!

Ron LeFlore with an X symbol over his face

He’s SO unreliable!

It’s the latest No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain and Bob Page!

  • He PROMISED he was going to come on with us, but Ron LeFlore wouldn’t pick up his phone — even for three old pals!
  • That doesn’t stop the boys from telling some good Ronnie tales anyway, such as the time Jim Campbell …
  • Each week the sex scandal at Michigan seems to grow. But what can be done now with the principals all dead?
  • Now the Wolverines and Spartans ready for the annual bogus, made-only-for-TV/publicity Big 13+Rutgers tournament.
  • The NFL votes on its new contract Thursday. Eli wages a passionate argument on behalf of its young players.
  • Tony Romo last week, Al Michaels and Peyton Manning getting MILLIONS this week?! CRAZY — or NOT?
  • •Bob gives us a Tigers spring training update from just around the corner in West Palm Beach.
  • (Gulp!) Will the Coronavirus shut down all of sports?! How about some FACTS to quell the mindless panic going on.  
  • A REAL shocker here, gang: Denny McLain wants to talk about the Wings and HOCKEY?! Bob does too. As usual, Eli does NOT.
  • But wait! He doesn’t want to talk about his beloved Pistons either. Or Tom Izzo either. What’s up with THIS?! 
  • Uh, he’s in Florida this week and had a tee time to get to! Those stories, YOUR mailbag and more right here.

Episode 113: Is There No END to Embarrassment at MSU?!

Luke Fickell wearing headset

It’s just too messy a situation.

It’s the latest No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain and Bob Page!

  • Pro Football HOFer HARRY CARSON joins the boys to discuss his career, Parcells, Belichick, his advocacy for player safety and more!
  • ANOTHER unmitigated DISASTER for Michigan State: “The Perfect Coach” for them sez, “thanks — but NO thanks.”
  • And that’s just part of a HOST of humiliating problems at Bob’s alma mater. Boy, does HE take it personally!
  • But wait, there’s more! On-court nightmares continue for MSU basketball with a loss at Michigan.
  • Is it the greatest rivalry in all of sports? Duke and North Carolina stage a show for the ages.
  • Andre Drummond out of the proverbial frying pan and INTO the fire of the Cadaverliers. What are the Pistons DOING?
  • The scandal that won’t go away: Denny with HIS thoughts on Hank Aaron’s thoughts on the Astros’ sign-stealing.
  • If we didn’t know better, we’d say that Eli actually sounds EXCITED about the XFL!
  • Are we BEGINNING to see some excitement about the Wings’ future? And how about that Bernier?!
  • If you can STAND it, Eli has another installment of “My Trip to the Bob Page Shrine.”
  • Denny was mentioned where last week? On WHAT show? Those stories, YOUR mailbag and much more right here.

Episode 104: A GREAT Spartan Remembered by One of His Top Stars

One of the great athletes that played for George Perles

Welcome to No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain and Bob Page!

  • MSU coach, A.D. and Trustee George Perles has passed away. One of his finest players, Todd Krumm, joins us to reminisce.
  • MORE trouble for John Beilein, now from a Cavs team meeting! Bob: WHY did John leave U-M?! Cut bait on a BAD hire!
  • Eli, meanwhile, is not too thrilled with Carolina coach Roy Williams — who is NOT too thrilled with his roster.
  • Is he gonna stay or go?! Time for the Pathetic Pistons to DO something about Andre Drummond. 
  • And that’s only one of their many problems: Blake Griffin’s latest injury may end his career. Eli to Tom Gores: Sell the team!
  • A respected baseball site says starting pitchers Casey Mize and Matt Manning are the Tigers’ top prospects. So PITCH ’em!
  • We lay out the NFL playoff match-ups with times and weather forecasts AND lay out the latest coaching hires.
  • Is this what it’s come to for one of the great franchises in sports: few in Michigan even CARE about the Wings anymore?!
  • That story on YOUR mailbag, PLUS Denny meets Dizzy, a shout-out to the Toledo police force and more right here!

Episode 98: The Boys Put Lou Whitaker in a TALKATIVE Mood!

Lou Whitaker in Detroit Tigers uniform holding a bat on his shoulder

He hasn’t done any radio or TV interviews in a long time.

It’s the latest No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain, and Bob Page.

  • Sweet Lou Whitaker joins us! On not being in the HOF: “THEY didn’t see me play every day, THEY don’t know!” 
  • The Ford family meets with Jeff Bezos on selling the FL’s and Eli’s scoop makes lotsa news! Ah, if only …
  • Surprisingly, Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia will be back next year! Who’s running this FL circus anyway? Bob clues us in.
  • We’ve ALL waited so long — and now the bowl season is here! YOU won’t wanna miss a thrilling moment (wink, wink).
  • The Dead Wings just keep on losin’ — on AND off the ice as the Pistons simply LOSE.
  • Cassius Winston bounces back to lead the Spartans while Michigan gets ready for — uh, WHOM?!
  • A happy 85th to the great Al Kaline! Quick: what’s the first name that comes to mind when you hear “Detroit Tigers?”
  • Excited about new Tigers catcher Austin Romine? Bob explains why you shouldn’t be.
  • Drew Brees broke a big record in spectacular fashion. Eli sez Brady’s still the “GOAT.” Denny sez he ain’t!
  • Those stories, the weekly mailbag and much more — right here

Episode 96: Now, Now, Boys! Stop Fighting! Behave Yourselves!

Baseball covered in dollar bills with red stitching

Are you guys coming over to my side in this debate?!

It’s the latest No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain, and Bob Page.

  • Strasburg, Cole and Rendon sign deals worth $824,000,000!!! Eli and Denny: SO? Bob: What about the FANS?!
  • Great news! The Toothless Tigers are FINALLY ready to rebuild! So claims Al Avila. Do you trust him? Denny doesn’t.
  • Al also sez the Tigers’ venerable UNIFORMS will look different in 2020? HUH?! HOW?
  • What was that “award” Keith Olbermann used to give? The Worst Person in the World? Do Eli and Denny have a nominee for YOU!
  • Two of MSU’s biggest names clash! Resident BOWLING expert Denny says HE knows which side HE’S on.
  • Whatever happened to ex-Michigan coach Brady Hoke? Bob explains why they WON’T be holding any benefits for him.
  • Michigan basketball? Don’t say Bob didn’t warn you about that Illinois game on the ROAD, while he RIPS the U-D!
  • Meanwhile, John Beilein’s got major problems in Cleveland. Why on EARTH did he leave the U-M?
  • Megan Rapinoe awarded SI’s SportsPERSON of the year, then really pops off at the ceremony! Was she right?
  • Those stories, our weekly mailbag featuring YOUR thoughts and much more right here!

EPISODE 89: Has John Wangler got Great Stories? You Betcha!!!

I have no regrets…and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Welcome to No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain and Bob Page!

  • Former U-M star QB John Wangler was an MSU FAN?! Bo told him WHAT?! You HAVE to hear this interview!
  • Bob also grills Wangs on Ohio State’s domination AND MSU’s domination of Michigan.
  • Meanwhile, Denny thinks the Spartans have a puncher’s chance Saturday in Ann Arbor. Bob does NOT!
  • With 11 wins (!) de Grom cops his second straight Cy Young. You-know-who has some words to say about THAT too!
  • The Astros caught in another sign-stealing scandal and Eli is furious! But isn’t this just part of baseball? 
  • Colin Kaepernick is working out for NFL teams this weekend. Will the FL’s grab him? Will anyone?
  • Eli had some inside gambler’s info on Tuesday’s Pistons/Heat game and tipped off Denny! How’d it work out?
  • Will Myles Powell play against MSU Thursday or not? Did Seton Hall LIE about his status?
  • The Don Cherry fallout is stronger than ever! What does HNIC do now?
  • Those stories, a big development in Eli’s chicken sandwich report, YOU on our mailbag and much more right here!

Episode 88: Jay Vincent’s “Long Strange Trip!”

Jay Vincent in MSU Spartan uniform

I wanted everyone to see what I went through.

It’s the latest No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain, and Bob Page.

  • From national champion to the NBA — to PRISON — and back:  ex-Michigan State star Jay Vincent joins the boys.
  • A special thanks to our servicemen and women on Veterans Day. How did Eli, Denny & Bob never serve, btw?
  • Former MSU and Lions wideout Charles Rogers is dead at 38! Shocked — but not really surprised? Us too. 
  • Ya know, the FL’s coulda won that game at Chicago. In fact, they SHOULDA won it and they WOULDA won it … (yawn)
  • Ohio State All-American Chase Young suspended by the NCAA — excuse us, for WHAT?!
  • Grapes’ Wrath (ouch) has him in hot water on Hockey Night in Canada. Is the end approaching now? 
  • Looks like the end of the Wings’ sad season may have been given a reprieve thanks to the latest Stevie Y deal.
  • Quick now! What major sports event was played Sunday? All three of the boys whiffed on this one!
  • More controversy in the Terrible Tigers’ front office. Is Al Avila at fault for THIS as well?
  • And were we too hard in our criticism of Clemson? THAT is in our mailbag segment plus much more right here!

Episode 85: Mr. McLain, Do You GAMBLE on Baseball?!

I had a great night with that home run!

It’s the latest No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain, and Bob Page.

  • So, does Denny still have such little respect for “Mercenary Max” Scherzer NOW? 
  • The boys wrap up the World Series and pull no punches about the umpiring and managing we saw.
  • And to think that Denny picked the Nats to win it all! Rest assured, he’s NOT too shy to mention that — or his BETS!
  • The FL’s go to Oakland to face the Raiders with a ONE-GAME win streak! Exciting! But Bob sez fans know what usually comes next.
  • Michigan and Michigan State have byes this Saturday. Well, the Wolverines, ya know, TECHNICALLY …
  • Meanwhile, the broken record keeps skipping: still MORE trouble for MSU off the field.
  • Ypsilanti, Michigan high school hoops superstar Emoni Bates has landed on the COVER of S.I. — at age 15! Too much, too soon?
  • Eli strikes out on the meaning of “load management” in sports. Oh, you too? You likely won’t be happy to learn what it is.
  • Boo-Hoo! The Pistons are under .500 cuz they have injuries. So how have the Raptors flown out of the gate without Kawhi?
  • Plus Gary McCord surprised, unhappy by his firing at CBS, we hear from YOU in our weekly mailbag and much more right here!

Episode 76: TWO Questions You KNOW You’ve Wanted to Ask Eli and Denny

Did it take Denny more or less than 100 days to gain 100 pounds, and What happened to Eli in New York?

It’s the latest No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain and Bob Page.

  • Now that nearly EVERYONE in Detroit is excited the FL’s are OBVIOUSLY going to the playoffs, Denny says WHAT?! 
  • Even more hostility than usual in the NFL: Rex vs Baker, Vontaze vs Goodell, AB vs EVERYBODY — but who WOULDN’T wanna choke OBJ?!
  • Denny claims he doesn’t see all the raw talent Michigan has? Ask Chris Ash, FIRED Sunday as Rutgers coach after that 52-0 route.
  • Was MSU exposed in a too-narrow win over Indiana? Bob says so — and that this Saturday night in Columbus might be UGLY.
  • Great! The Toothless Tigers have quickly righted their sunken ship! They’ve hired a LOT more analytics people!
  • Among other issues, what on earth are they going to do about woeful Jordan Zimmermann? That’s among LOTSA stuff in our mailbag.
  • The boys look towards the MLB playoffs now and aren’t happy about the set-up.
  • And two questions YOU want answered: Why does Lolich hate Denny so much? And what happened in Eli’s brief TV foray into NYC? 
  • All these stories — and much more for you — right here!

Episode 74: Wayne Fontes REALLY Opens Up About his Lions Years!

I’ve never burned a bridge.

It’s the latest No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain and Bob Page.

  • He’s rarely been back to Detroit and doesn’t do interviews — but he did with us!  Ex-Lions coach Wayne Fontes has a LOT to say.
  • The smackdown of Jim Harbaugh rages on — and won’t get any easier for him on THIS program!
  • If ONLY Michigan had players like Michigan State’s Joe Bachie — whom they didn’t even recruit.
  • But Bob wonders: what’s a good MSU story like Saturday’s win at Northwestern without still more controversy?
  • The FL’s author a stunning victory at Philly! And now it’s on to the Super Bowl — right, you FL’s diehards?
  • Denny goes to a Tigers’ game — and his wallet won’t be the same for weeks! A full accounting coming up.
  • He RIPS Joe Madden, the manager of his own beloved Cubbies, yet somehow defends Derek Jeter’s woeful Marlins?!
  • Now on a ROLL (or maybe just in a BAD mood?) Denny claims MIGGY is dogging it.
  • The boys decry the continued abuse of Detroit, Eli now helping NFL fantasy players and the Cincinnati, uh, GREENS? 
  • Those stories and more right here.