WASHINGTON, February 13 -
Mr. Speaker, today I'm honored to recognize a Houston legend, Bob Allen who recently signed off from the sports desk at KTRK Channel 13 after nearly forty years. Bob's last broadcast was Thursday, January 17th after the Houston Texans' closed their electric 2012 season. The timing of his exit was no coincidence; he had high hopes of a Super bowl for the Texans just like the rest of us. Bob has brought sports into our homes for decades. His outstanding career at KTRK may have come to an end but for many of us Houston sports will always be synonymous with Bob Allen.
KTRK hired Bob as a weekend sportscaster all the way back in 1974, but his passion for sports and the news began long before that. Legend has it that when he was just ten years old, Bob took off on his bike from his West University house to the KTRK studios just to get a peek at the newsroom. In those days Guy Savage was the sportscaster. Young Bob was shown the exit that day, but little did they know that this bright eyed young boy would be the future face of sports in Houston.
After Bob joined KTRK it took just six months for him to be named sports director. And the rest is history. Bob has been in our living rooms through some of the greatest sports moments of the last half century; the Rockets championships in the '90s and the Love Ya blue oilers in the 70s just to name a few. I spent many nights after supper watching his sports casts after the Oilers and Astros games with my son Kurt. Bob has told the story of sports to generations of Houstonians. He has interviewed some of the greatest sports legends, including Nolan Ryan, Stan ``the Man'' Musial and George Foreman. Bob even tested out his acting skills with roles in the ABC TV movie Murder at the World Series in 1977, and another sports mystery thriller, Night Game, in '89. He played a sportscaster and an announcer for the Houston Astros, of course.
Bob has also given back to the Houston community in other ways through his charitable work with the Special Olympics and the Sunshine Kids, which helps children struggling with cancer. His commitment to service earned him recognition from the Special Olympics, who awarded him the Spirit of Special Olympics award. Bob's departure from KTRK marks the end of an era for Houston but it also marks a new beginning for Bob. He dedicated forty years to a fantastic career in sports broadcasting. Now that this chapter is over, he's looking forward to pursuing new projects. He insists that he is resigning, not retiring. He won't stop, that's just the kind of guy he is. When asked about his future he said ``I'll probably end up being busier than I was at 13.'' I don't doubt that one bit. He plans to start a media company that includes public speaking engagements and radio, and he will write a book about working on TV with some of the world's greatest athletes. Bob is a credit to the broadcasting profession and a credit to Texas. We will miss him in our homes but wish him well on his next adventure. Congratulations, Bob, on a fantastic career. And that's just the way it is.