Russ Thomas

Episode 174: Doug English: a True LION on the Field

Doug English

One of the league’s true warriors.

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

  • He didn’t win a Super Bowl. No Detroit Lion ever has (or will?), but guest DOUG ENGLISH remains one of the most popular players in team history.
  • It’s opening week in the NFL. Coaches upset over no fans at their home games, the threat of BLM and National Anthem protests. What a kerfuffle already!
  • Oh, and Bob wonders what the league will do if/WHEN a player tests positive for COVID-19. Would they panic and cancel a game on a Sunday morning?!
  • Few teams have the long tradition of the Detroit Tigers. So when they set a new low for futility at Milwaukee THAT was really saying something!
  • Now what to do with struggling Matthew Boyd? Denny: TRADE HIM. But why wouldn’t the Tigers call Denny —  or Lolich or Tanana — to at least pick their brains?
  • Eli says the quality of the NBA Playoffs has been stellar, but Bob is among the pissed-off millions who haven’t watched a single game yet.
  • As if the NBA needed MORE controversy, the Stephen A. Smiths of the world cry (surprise!) “WHITE PRIVILEGE” over Steve Nash’s hiring.
  • The NHL Playoffs have been excellent too — for those few outside Dallas and Las Vegas who find the Stars vs the Knights in summertime compelling.
  • Eli has “This Day in Sports History,” Bob’s got YOUR mailbag segment — and much more right here!

Episode 167: SO Many Good Questions for RICH STRENGER!

Rich Strenger

You’re not going to get me to say anything negative about Bo.

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

  • U-M star, NFL vet AND an attorney? What better person to ask about EVERYTHING going on than RICH STRENGER!
  • How TERRIBLE are the Tigers? NOT so terrible that they can’t easily make the playoffs, especially WITH Casey Mize.
  • Covid-19 in MLB? The Cardinals are FINALLY playing again — WITH a convoy of 41 rental cars on the roads!  
  • The NBA Playoffs start(ed) Monday night. NO COVID issues there so far. Eli gives kudos to Adam Silver for that.
  • College football already slammed by COVID. The Big (14) won’t play — unless players and parents have THEIR way. 
  • Tuukka Rask of the Bruins has called it quits DURING the 2020 NHL playoffs! Bob says he quit on his TEAMMATES.
  • Kelly Stafford walks back her criticism of Colin Kaepernick. Eli and Denny laud her. Bob: Who cares what SHE thinks?
  • A BIG 80% of Packers ticket holders say they will NOT go to Lambeau this year! Eli and Denny: Would YOU go to a game?
  • Another week, ANOTHER Denny McLain scheme. Wait til you hear what he’s going to do now — AND with WHOM!
  • Eli has “This Day in Sports History,” Bob has YOUR mailbag — and MUCH more right here!

Episode 164: The Amazing Baseball Odyssey of Jim Essian

Jim Essian wearing A's hat

Crisscrossing America for 17 years!

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

  • Just say “no” — to BO?! To ARA? To DUFFY?! How one of Detroit’s greatest all-around athletes, JIM ESSIAN, did it! 
  • The PGA Championship is underway! With NO fans —  AND with Eli asking a good question about two top stars.
  • While MLB is a mess, the NHL and NBA “bubbles” seem to be working. But hockey and basketball in AUGUST?  
  • And Bob sez, “C’mon, how much does ‘Black Lives Matter’ REALLY mean in the NHL?”
  • Imagine! College football players to coaches: “Here’s a list of demands or we’re not playin’!” THIS is happening NOW.
  • Why this CRAZY Big Ten schedule!? M v OSU in OCTOBER? Producers Brandon McAfee and Marc Fellhauer think THEY know. 
  • Kelly Stafford is furious at the NFL for Matt’s false-positive COVID test. Have OTHER testing mistakes been made?
  • Is our P.C. society SO nuts that a coach can’t even QUOTE someone dropping an “N-Bomb?” Black players USE it!
  • We MUST support local journalism in our free country. But Bob wonders how much we’re willing to PAY to do so.
  • Those stories, “This Day in Sports,” a tribute to Denny in YOUR Mailbag — and much more right here!

Episode 153: NFL MUST Go On — but with Eric Hipple’s Solution?

Eric Hipple in Lions uniform holding a football

I’m going to be controversial. Quarantine and isolate. You don’t have to see your family during the season.

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

  • QB ERIC HIPPLE had it bad enough just PLAYING for the Lions, but what he suffered after was MUCH worse. Eric guests!
  • Eli and Denny spent their weekends watching – what else? – GOLF. They seem okay with its current state. Bob’s NOT.
  • The NBA playing in empty arenas and now with P.C. social messages on the backs of unis?! Had enough of pro basketball yet?
  • The FANS, the FANS! Bob says there are no sports and no sports media without YOU — so why play ANY games this year?
  • Even as Bill Belichick pays up for cheating — AGAIN — he brilliantly delivers what COULD be a big blow to other teams.
  • What does M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E spell? “THE NHL!” The league’s idiotic draft set-up screws the Red Wings.
  • Johnny Manziel has put football behind him: “I just want to be happy for the rest of my life.” WE have a suggestion!
  • More CRAZINESS everywhere. Kansas State’s football team boycotts; says THEY will control who’s enrolled at the university.
  • Statues being illegally torn down or replaced. How far will it go? Two American ICONS may be next — for very different reasons.
  • Eli provides “This Day in Sports History,” Bob rolls out YOUR Mailbag and much more — right here!

Episode 144: From the Ol’ Farm — to Scoring a Super Bowl TD!

Tom Nowatzke on trading card

The only Lion of that era to win a Super Bowl!

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

  • Our guest is the bruising fullback, TOM NOWATZKE, on his 1960’s Lions, Colts teammate Johnny U and MUCH MORE!
  • While pro sports leagues FIGHT during negotiations on when and how to start playing again, Eli and Bob repeat: go away til 2021.
  • No sports? No games to gamble on, no casinos to gamble IN! One way or another the city of Detroit may pay an awful price.
  • No football? Not only does Dolphins owner Stephen Ross say we WILL have an NFL season but he has unusual plans for his stadium.
  • Bob asks why Jim Harbaugh seemed so thrilled to recruit only a good, not great, player this week. Is it THAT bad in Ann Arbor now?
  • VERY different opinions among  the boys over golf and last Sunday’s “The Match.” If you watched it, you were NOT alone.
  • The Michigan House has passed a bill allowing college athletes to make extra money on the side — and Eli’s apoplectic!
  • From Denny: the legendary overseas boxing match he actually went to! And does his ex-catcher Jim Price really HATE him?!
  • The latter question comes from YOUR mailbag segment. We’ll have that and many other top stories right here!

Episode 139: The “Spaceman” — on EVERYTHING!

Bill Lee in Astronaut uniform

One of the great characters in sports.

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

  • You wanted to WHAT? BULLDOZE the Rocky Mountains?! It’s the one and only “SPACEMAN,” BILL LEE, on with us today!
  • What’s going on in sports? Almost NOTHING! But Eli, Denny and Bob still make the proverbial chicken SOUP outta chicken BLEEP.
  • Sports leagues planning to start again? Rumors abound every day. But HOW — and WHEN?
  • Human cockfighting had a big weekend anyway, though Eli calls it (and maybe YOU do too) “Ultimate Fighting Championship.”
  • At 53 (and apparently in need of money), Mike Tyson says he’s thinking about a comeback! How would HE do in UFC?
  • Whenever baseball announces it’s ready, is it possible ANOTHER issue could keep its doors closed? 
  • MLB has now cut its draft rounds back due to COVID-19, but will that only help the rich (THE YANKEES!) get richer?
  • Baseball has changed SO much — and maybe not for the better. Denny rants on NOW versus THEN.
  • Cheating in college basketball? Biz as usual. Coach K even cheating?! Bob: “NEVER!” Eli: “Shut up, you Dukie!”
  • Those stories, we check in on Denny’s busy, uh, “social life,” YOUR Mailbag and much more right here! 

Episode 129: Had Enough of the FL’s? Marc Spindler Has!

Marc Spindler in Detroit Lions uniform

They lack a lot of things.

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

  • What a comedian! What an entertainer! And ya say this guy MARC SPINDLER played a lotta FOOTBALL too?
  • Eli and Bob vow to stop discussing their differing positions on COVID-19. ELI quickly breaks it! Bob won’t.
  • When will sports start again? Bob THINKS he has an idea based upon a feature in the Detroit News.
  • He claims you’ll likely never see Tom Brady play for Tampa — or anybody else — ever again!
  • Tom Dempsey has died of COVID. What older Lions fan will EVER forget where he/she was for “The Field Goal?!” 
  • E-sports continue to thrive in the sports-less world and tempers are hot! NASCAR drivers “rage-quitting” over video games?
  • Seen the new HBO doc on cheating in college basketball? ELI’s all over it. Bob: BFD.
  • Here comes the P.C. Posse ridin’ in over them yonder hills! Mike Leach now in trouble for sharing an UN-P.C. meme.
  • Earth to Denny! Come in! Earth to Denny! We somehow LOSE MLB’s last 30-game winner in the middle of the show!
  • What could be worse than THAT? Well, how about a show where YOUR mailbag is unceremoniously DUMPED?!
  • We’ll explain what happened (no tears from Eli!) and have MUCH more for you right here.


Episode 126: Will the REAL Scotty Please Stand Up?!

Ken Dryden and Scotty Bowman

We have so many questions.

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

  • One of the GREAT goalies ever, Ken Dryden, joins us to discuss his new book on Scotty Bowman and more!
  • It’s Opening Day in MLB — NOT! No baseball, no toilet paper and Bob says no cereal either!
  • IF we have baseball again, could it go into late DECEMBER? Would they REALLY play 7-inning doubleheaders?
  • As usual, it’s Bob vs Eli & Denny on Coronavirus as millions of Americans now face economic DISASTER!
  • Mets star pitcher Noah Syndergaard needs Tommy John surgery. But NOW? Is this “essential” surgery?
  • Quick, what do Dick Egan and Rod Allen have in common? Denny: Dick WHO?
  • Thank goodness for all the Brady/Belichick news to keep us entertained! Tom joins an ex-FLs star.
  • And now another legendary Patriot is ALSO out, proving again that Bill Belichick doesn’t care WHO you are!
  • A listener is claiming WHAT about Eli? That story’s among those in YOUR weekly mailbag.
  • And it’s all coming up right here!

Episode 111: Winners and Losers From the SB? WE Start With Denny!

Fist holding dollar bills with 50 yard line on football field in background

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

  • WHAT?! Denny didn’t watch the Super Bowl?! Well, at least he LISTENED to it — so he joins our big wrap-up anyway.
  • And what SB wrap-up would be complete without discussing the commercials AND the PG-13 halftime show? 
  • The Pro Football HOF announced its five new members over the weekend. What about the guys who did NOT make it?
  • And here Bob was relieved because football was FINALLY over? Denny and Eli say, “guess again!”
  • Michigan State basketball goes down to an average team it should have beaten. Was ONE player responsible?
  • Michigan gets an important win WITH Zavier back. Why was he suspended? Don’t ask the feckless Detroit sports media.
  • So you’re unhappy playing for Juwan? Why not jump to Izzo instead — and be in the lineup the very next season?!
  • The Pathetic Pistons pissing off their own coach now — and let’s be real about Sunday’s win over Denver.
  • Ex-Tiger fan-favorite/great-guy Curtis Granderson calls it a career — probably two years too late.
  • And how would another ex-Tiger fan favorite have fared in the current era of baseball? Don’t make Denny laugh!
  • THAT story’s in YOUR Mailbag segment, PLUS criticism of our Kobe coverage and much more right here.

EPISODE 90: “Stand by Your Man?” MSU’s Keith Nichol DOES!

Keith Nichol in Michigan State Football Uniform

He’s done more for Michigan State football than anyone.

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

  • He produced arguably the greatest play in MSU history! That’s one reason why guest Keith Nichol is SO unhappy about The Game.
  • What a drubbing Michigan laid on Michigan State! Bob questions MSU’s second-half effort as the fallout rages on.
  • The FL’s choke another one away. Does Eli give too much credit to a local writer who FINALLY gets tough with them?
  • To make things even worse, Denny questions whether the oft-injured Matt Stafford will ever play again.
  • The “Colin Kaepernick Show” continued with a workout cum CIRCUS this weekend. The FL’S are down a QB … hmmm.
  • Former Tiger John Wockenfuss is battling dementia. He had a big role in the ’84 World Series — but wasn’t even on the team!
  • Ever hear of the 1983 movie “Tiger Town?” It’s back in the news and we’ll tell you why.
  • In YOUR mailbag segment: outrageous prices for sports events, FL’s fans vs Bob — and much more right here!