David and Raheel are taking a moment this week to talk about how some of Houston's best-loved big names are helping those in need.
DAVID NUÑO: --a formal introduction today, Raheel, because we've got ourselves a star-studded guest list, with Trae Tha Truth and Mattress Mack joining the show. We're focusing on sports at some point, but really, it's what our city is going through. I like the reversal there.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: I hit you with the reverse, yeah, 'cause you're normally on the left on my screen.
How you doing, man? I know sports really don't matter right now. I guess there was a Rockets game last night that not many people watched because so many of us were still without power last night. And it's just been scary. That's the only word I can describe what the last few days have been for so many of our brothers and sisters in the city of Houston.
And there's just more important things to talk about today, and we're gonna get different perspectives. As you mentioned, Mattress Mack is gonna be joining us, who's-- again, he steps up for the city of Houston, opens up both of his big locations right there off the Grand Parkway and, of course, his original location for people to come in and warm up because of the lack of power, what happened with the grid and ERCOT. And just so much to break down there.
And then we have Trae Tha Truth. He joined us a little bit earlier. I've already shared a clip regarding what's happening right now with Senator Ted Cruz, and Trae did not hold back at all. And man, he's out there with the community, giving back. He always is, and it was interesting to hear his perspective as well.
DAVID NUÑO: Yeah, man. And Raheel, I made the mistake again of not adding you on the "No Layups" tweet, so it's out there. I didn't even put ABC13 on it. I was trying to get the show going.
But look, I think we both have been blessed throughout this whole process. We haven't had it that bad. We've got the water boil going on in the Greatwood, Sugar Land area that we live in. I know you guys have had some power issues. We did not have power issues, but my older parents certainly did have some power issues.
And I know the entire city has been rocked. Greg Bailey had power issues. Joe Gleason in our sports department. And I'm just talking about here. Some people went 72 hours, or close to that, without power Sunday night, Monday morning, through all of yesterday.
Here's the part I struggle with. I know social media is a place to point fingers, and I think this time there's actually a lot of fingers you can point. 'Cause sometimes things happen that we just get mad to get mad on social media. This is actually a time where the fourth largest city in the world-- the ERCOT, the infrastructure-- I don't know who to blame, but everybody's to blame.
But also, time and time again, we see the resiliency of Houston, Texas, coming through and real leaders stepping up, some who aren't elected leaders-- some people who just want to do it. They wear the cape on the back of their backs to help, but they're not looking for it. We're gonna hear from a lot of people throughout the show, I'm sure, on social and whatnot. It's been tough, man. It's been very tough.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: Yeah. And the hardest part about this is-- with Hurricane Harvey, when that hit in 2017, it was devastating, right? There's no other way to put. Whole homes were destructed, disappeared in a matter of seconds, right? But you could still get around and go help people during the hardest times that they were suffering.
This one-- come Sunday night, you and I were in contact the whole day. We had the "No Layups" episode. Sunday night hits. Monday morning hits. Power goes out for people Sunday night through last night, and you couldn't go do anything until yesterday midday, roughly, because the roads were iced up. You had to follow the directions of government officials. Stay at home because the roads are bad.
So you couldn't even go help people, which was the hard thing. And even if you could go help people, there's really nothing you can do outside of bringing blankets and water. And it was tough, man. That was hard. So I'm glad Trae was able to get out there and do some stuff and give some food. It was devastating, man. It's scary how fast things turned.
And we had a heads-up on this. That's the part that's frustrating. We were talking about it on Thursday. We were talking about, like, hey, look, this could be dangerous. ABC13 has done a great job. The whole team-- they're at Channel 13 with meteorologists leading the way. We knew this was gonna happen, that this was gonna be dangerous.
I've been getting alerts from my power company. Like, hey, start conserving power now. Look, this is an event. This is gonna happen. And yet, here we are, and people are still without power in the toughest times that I can imagine. It's scary, man. It's scary.
DAVID NUÑO: I gotta give you props. You do inspire me a little bit. And I don't like giving you a lot of props, Raheel, because I think you give yourself enough.
But you are always tweeting out information, whether it's help out there or restaurants that are open, what you need to do if your pipes burst. You are always thinking of others. And I think if there is a beauty in what is happening right now-- if there is one, that's the beauty. And we've seen it time and time again in this community of how people love to give.
Look, I'm gonna get some hate mail for this. There was a flood. I don't remember which flood. It was before the Channel 13, so it was a while back. I was living in the Bear Creek area, and I remember, all Bear Creek was flooded. And I was taking a nap on my couch, and Elizabeth, my wife, comes and says, hey, all the neighbors are helping move stuff.
And I'm like, eh, for real? I was thinking lazy. I was thinking, now? So it did empower me to-- like, hey, I gotta go do something. I can't have this 86-year-old neighbor of mine moving trees out of the way and shoveling water and whatnot. And I remember being, at first, like--
--here we go, 'cause I don't think I had absorbed the moment. And then you see the totality of the water.
And that was not one of our worst floods. Bear Creek floods all the time, for the record. That's when I used to live out there. There are so many great people in this community that I do think inspire people to do more than they might normally do, and then there are others that are looking for shortcuts.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: Yeah. To me-- look, I've always been in that mindset that, if you're fortunate enough, give back, right? And again, you and I have been very fortunate through this.
And all I could do was-- I couldn't get out. I couldn't drive. So I just walked around my neighborhood starting Monday, 'cause that's how I am. And my wife gets so frustrated. I'll just walk around and I'm like knocking on people hey, do you need anything? Are you good?
So, in our neighborhood, a couple of people had issues with their pipes in the garage bursting. So I went around and knocked on everyone's door on my street that I could. And, "Hey, I know your pipes are frozen. Did you turn off your main valve? Because I don't want you to go through this, because people in our neighborhood are going through this right now."
So you give back as much as you can. And we've been fortunate that we have a following on social media. So why not use it? Why not use it for something, even if one person sees it and benefits, and that's great. People were without service.
And I saw your story yesterday on Channel 13. That's the other part of this. Service goes out. There's no power. There's no water. And then, on top of that, because of the conditions-- towers freezing, whatever it may be-- there's no service. There's no communication with the outside world outside of, maybe, a text message that comes through, and even those weren't coming through.
DAVID NUÑO: And look, we forget how important-- my story looked at it in a three-pronged effect. A, how it was affecting people. B, what you could do in that moment. And also, we heard from the mobile company, the cell phone companies, Verizon and AT&T, in that particular story.
And also from the youngsters, right? And how teenagers who are so used to using their cell phones for everything-- how they were affected by it.
You're making a look in your eye that Mack might be ready.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: All right. Let me see. No, he's still not there yet.
DAVID NUÑO: Oh. I saw your eyes fixating on the screen. I'm like, ah! When I do the show from this studio, for those who care, I don't have the same view as I do from my laptop, where I can see all the behind-the-scenes things.
Did you find yourself-- 'cause I found myself doing this often. I kept on thinking to myself, there is no way my pipes-- mine have not bursted as of yet. And I think, if I made it this far, maybe I'll make. Who knows, right?
But I kept on thinking, man that could have been a pipe. Every little bit of water out here. And I did checks throughout the house several times. I went into the attic.
And I almost role-played with myself. I know to turn off the water valve, but do I actually know how to turn off the water valve?
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: Nope.
DAVID NUÑO: Sounds like an easy thing, but you should really role-play during these situations, because in a moment of panic, you might find yourself struggling with that.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: Yeah, and that's the thing. Going into this-- the hard freeze, right? Nobody anticipated we'd be without power for this long, especially so many people. I think most of us were like, OK, it's gonna be cold. Hunker down. It will be a couple of days. We'll be back to normal. Once the ice starts melting, we'll be fine.
But nobody anticipated the houses will be without heat, thus not getting heat up into the attic, pipes freezing. And then, when they do start returning back to normal and melting, the water pressure just taking off. I didn't know that. I didn't know, if you lose power, you gotta go turn off your main valve because, if your pipes freeze and the water's still running, guess what happens? You're gonna have that pressure build up, and boom, thermal expansion, and you're done.
So nobody knew that, and that's the scary part. I'm with you. I haven't slept. I'm waking up every couple of hours.
I think we're in the clear. I saw a tweet last night that there was no pipe-freezing events last night. I think we're gonna be in the 20s tonight for four to five hours, so we might have to find the tweets and get with our meteorologists to figure out, hey, what's the plan for tonight?
But I'm with you, man. I'm checking. I'm walking around before I go to bed. I'm waking up every couple hours with a flashlight, just walking around, making sure there's no leaks, going up in the attic. Again, I told you, my neighbor Chris helped me out big-time with the pool noodle trick. That might have saved us.
I had a scare yesterday. So, in our sprinkler system-- I've turned the backflow off a month and a half ago. I do it as soon as winter starts, 'cause I hate that backflow blowing. So I walk around, do my daily checks, making sure everything's good, and there's just a pool of water. So I'm panicking, and I'm calling my guy Travis, who hooked me up and put the sprinkler system in.
And I'm like, what am I supposed to do? There's a bunch of water pooling, and I don't know. He's like, is your water meter going crazy? I was like, no, it's fine. And he goes, "It's probably just the snow and ice melting, and it has nowhere to go because the ground is so saturated. Just relax."
And I'm like, are you sure, man, because there's a lot of water? He goes, "Yes. Is there a lot of ice still?" Yes. And eh goes, "It's just melting. Just take a deep breath. I think it's OK. If not, give us a call. We'll figure it out."
But that's the thing. A lot of people were not prepared for this day. We didn't know. We didn't know any better. If the power goes out, go ahead and turn off that main valve.
DAVID NUÑO: Guys, we're waiting for Mattress Mack to join us here.
A couple of big stories that are out there. I don't know if you saw Josh Reddick's wife posting that they had some pipes burst at their house, one of the houses they're trying to move from. I'm gonna pick up her tweet if I can. But it has affected so many people.
Let me see if I can read it. "When it rains, it pours, literally. 2021 sucks." And she's got a video out of how the pipes all bursted in their house, water draining everywhere. You know how to share these things better than I can. If you get a second, try to share that so we can see that tweet. I gotta login. It's just hard to log in from the work account.
But it has affected so many different people. And it is a national story, too. I've been hearing from people all around the country. We have a lot of family in South Florida asking us, are you guys making it? It's not just the temperatures. It's what happens, the aftermath of the temperatures.
And we joke. I did a lot of joking, and this was a serious matter. But when I was doing my hits on Sunday night-- I was doing some live hits-- [INAUDIBLE] and I were talking about it earlier-- his hit before mine, they were doing a snowball fight, right? And I had sleet in my house. I was trying to make a sleet man with two little pebbles of sleet. That's all I had.
At that point, it hadn't hit me. This is such a personal story. Everybody's hit differently.
But everyone has been hit in this community in some way, shape, or form. If it's the way you commute to work, if you can't get to work, you can't get to school, you have no power. Everybody knows somebody who didn't have power for an extended period of time. Not a couple of hours. An extended period of time.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: Yeah. That's the scary part, man. Some people got lucky. Some people did not. And over 4 million people in the state of Texas were without power, again, during the coldest weather we've seen in such a long time. And that's heartbreaking, man. Nobody should have to go through that.
And then we saw the aftermath, as you mentioned, from that lack of energy, lack of power in the homes. Families have to go sleep in cars. We've had tragic deaths already. Just so many tragic deaths because people were sleeping in their car with carbon monoxide poisoning.
It's been a collapse, man. It's been a disaster so far. And hopefully, we can learn from it. I guess that's the little thing we can take away from this, is that there's things put into place to prevent this and there's a big investigation into this, figuring out how we can avoid this.
But it's been heartbreaking, man. There's nothing else to say regarding that.
DAVID NUÑO: Were you able to get Jet's tweet?
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: No. I couldn't pull it up because I have the Trae Tha Truth interview pulled up. So I can't double-share, unfortunately. But I saw it, man. That's scary.
Julia Morales, by the way, who joined us just last week on "No Layups"-- she's been going through it, man. They've been bouncing house to house, and they have a newborn, a four-month-old that you can't do anything. You go to somebody's house, power goes out. You come back home, power goes out. So there's nothing you can do. That's the scary part.
DAVID NUÑO: I just sent a text out to Mack's group, so I'll let you know once we hear back from them. He should be joining us momentarily. We will run the Trae Tha Truth interview, I guess, right after we run the Mack interview, as we're waiting for him. We did interview Trae early, so if we run into any problems, we'll run that first, Raheel.
But also, as I'm getting my notes ready, we have what? NFL players donating to the city of Houston with meals. Again, we're talking about how the community is stepping up. It's also nice to see some of the bigger names and even names you've never heard of in the NFL stepping up to help out.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: Yeah. That's one of the great things that is highlighted from this, as you mentioned, especially with the city of Houston. Whether you've been hurt by this, you haven't, people are giving back. You mentioned the NFL side of things. The Houston Dynamo and the Houston Dash-- they've done a great thing where they are raising funds right now to help out and donate to agencies and charities and foundations that will help provide meals to people that can't access it.
Here's the other part of this. The grocery stores are out of food now. They're trying to stock up. They're trying to get back up.
But yesterday, you saw so many stories. Roxy was out there at the Kroger on Buffalo Speedway, and the shelves were wiped clean. There's nothing else left until the restock happens. And the roads are open now, hopefully, so that can happen.
But so many community members, whether they be athletes, musicians, artists-- they're doing great things, man, and there's a lot of work left to be done right now.
DAVID NUÑO: Here's a couple of different ones. @KidMealsInc-- they tweeted out, "Thank you to our heroes, the Texans, for their generous donation that will deliver more than 12,500 free, healthy meals directly to the homes of hungry children who have been without power, water and haven't received our meals in a week due to the winter storm crisis." So the Texans stepping up.
The story I was talking about earlier is from Pierre Desir, from the Ravens, giving back and donating 10,000 meals to the Houston Food Bank. So people stepping up all over the place. Yeah,
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: That's great. And Austin and Dallas right now-- they still haven't recovered, by the way. There are a lot of people still without power. And they just got hit with a snowstorm again. It's not over yet. We still have two more days of this.
And luckily, there is power restored for a lot of people. And I know some people are still without it. So maybe the next few days are a little bit better, but man, it's scary.
I do want to highlight one thing. Did you see this? I was telling you a little bit earlier about it, but Beto O'Rourke, the former Senator candidate who ran against Ted Cruz-- and we'll talk about him in a second. But he's doing a really cool thing, "power to the people," I believe, or "power of the polls." What they're doing is they're calling a lot of senior citizens and making sure they're OK.
And they're getting a bunch of volunteers to jump on. And you can just do it from your home. You can just volunteer and call people and just make sure they're fine. They've had various cases where people have been without water and food, and they've been able to get people to go help them and save them, so that's good, man. Stuff like that is being done, which is great to see.
DAVID NUÑO: So, in times like this--
--by the way-- they're just text me, saying he hasn't logged in yet.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: He's not logged in yet.
DAVID NUÑO: She's following up. We should get him here momentarily.
But this is all happening with the Astros in spring training, reporting today, and you got Dusty talking about he couldn't be out there because of, I guess, the antibody test that he took, the vaccine. You have some players that didn't know that they had the antibodies out there. Pitchers and catchers, obviously, out there, getting started.
So, spring training is here. Again, a weird spring training for the Astros. Last year, they started spring training with all the uproar over the cheating scandal, and then that got cut short because of the pandemic, and they had to come home. And now we are in the exact same situation.
Different, though. They're back out there in South Florida, getting ready at West Palm Beach to start their season, while we are here in Houston. A lot of people going through the pandemic all over again for a few short-- four, five, six-- days.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: And the Rockets also-- they were in Philadelphia last night. So I believe they ended up coming home. I didn't see an official report. But again, athletes are gonna go through this. We saw elected officials go through this.
You saw KP George out of Fort Bend. He shared a video-- did you see?-- where his whole home was destroyed. It doesn't matter who you are.
Yesterday, Mayor Turner, with ABC13, was doing an interview. Justin was on the other end, actually. And his power goes off. It doesn't matter who you are. Everyone's going through this.
And we'll see how the Astros respond to this. Are players even leaving right now? I wouldn't want to leave. I want to make sure everything's good at home before I can get out there.
DAVID NUÑO: I am not as smart as some of the people who work here at Channel 13, like Ted Oberg. Let's say Tom Abrahams. Those guys, to me, are just on a different level of brilliant. I think you and I are smart, but we're on-our-feet smart. We're street-smart.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: We can fake it. "We can fake it" smart.
DAVID NUÑO: We got a little George Costanza in us. We don't think that we're the joke. George realizes he's the joke. We don't think we're the joke. We think we're blending in. But there are people like Tom Abrahams, Ted Oberg that are smart.
I got this question yesterday. I'm trying to find it right now. And I can sum it up if I don't find it real quick. It says, basically, has the city done anything to get critical information from local news, public officials during this low cell service? Is there a dedicated AM/FM station that will broadcast your station during an emergency?
I apologize for the hurricanes all blending in. When we worked at 1560, the big hurricane-- which one was that?
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: Hurricane Ike.
DAVID NUÑO: Hurricane Ike. 1560 was simulcasting ABC13 at that time. I do remember that. But I think that is an excellent point, because when power does go out and you have no cell service, how do you get information? Now, if you're lucky enough to have thought ahead and charged your phones long enough, well, what happens when that runs out?
Those are real questions that I think-- we have the technology and the smarts and the wherewithal to be able to fix those situations.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: I was in that situation yesterday. I didn't have any cell phone service, no Wi-Fi. Power was going in and out. I didn't know what was happening outside of text messages.
Mattress Mack is here. Let me see if he's ready to jump on with us, and we'll finish that.
- Hey. Hey, guys. Sorry. This is James, his son.
--right now. He should be right there with you.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: OK, perfect.
- --handsome or knowledgeable as him, and so let me get him for you. We'll get things going. OK, guys?
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: All right. Thanks, James.
DAVID NUÑO: No worries at all, James.
- Thank you so much.
DAVID NUÑO: I appreciate you jumping on. We've been wanting to chat with you, too.
- Oh, well I'm happy--
DAVID NUÑO: Just jump on.
- --[INAUDIBLE] any time. I'm not nearly as knowledgeable or fun, but yeah, it sounds good, guys. Whatever I can do for you, just let me know.
And so we're gonna grab Mack right now. I'm gonna go ahead and set up and turn on the lights, and I'll be right with y'all, OK?
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: All right. Perfect.
DAVID NUÑO: We'll put you in the lobby for a second while you set up, and we'll bring him on once we see him up there.
- Wonderful. Perfect.
DAVID NUÑO: Thank you very much. Good stuff there from James.
One of the things I love about digital shows-- it's not clean. We just go.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: We just go. What else can you do?
DAVID NUÑO: I feel like Adam Schefter sometimes. Adam Schefter on ESPN-- breaking news, Deshaun Wat-- he's like, "Hold on. I'm texting a GM." I think he's probably texting his wife.
I'm texting Mack's people right now. Hold on. Yep, we'll get him on-- I love that.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: That happens on live television, too. Sometimes you just have to do it. Not everything's gonna be perfect. We're humans too, guys. That happens.
But, going back to your point about technology, I buy the most random stuff. I couldn't find a radio yesterday. I don't have a radio in my house. There's no way to get information.
And I think one of the lessons I've learned from this is, hey, stop depending so much on your phone. Stop depending so much on your television. You've gotta be able to get information somehow, some way, especially when text messages weren't going through as well. You gotta be able to adapt to that. And I'm gonna go buy a radio, and I'm gonna keep it powered up, ready to go, with batteries, just in case.
DAVID NUÑO: Were you driving-- because I know I was-- before there was a MapQuest. Did you use a key map. Were you driving at that point?
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: Yeah. I didn't use a key map, truthfully.
DAVID NUÑO: Those are hard. [INAUDIBLE]
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: I would always get directions. I started driving when I was 16 years old, like most people. So that was in-- man, what year was that? 2000-- I'm trying to remember how old I was. 21, roughly, was when I started driving. So I would always get my directions from my dad, or wherever I was going, write 'em down.
And then, as MapQuest came online, I remember coming to job interviews. I would print out MapQuest directions and have the paper with me, and that's how I would do it. And then, of course, Google Maps and everything came online around 2008.
So yeah, I remember those days, man, for sure.
DAVID NUÑO: But it goes back to your point. We become so reliant on technology, right?
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: Mm-hmm.
DAVID NUÑO: And everything-- how you communicate with people.
In years past, my parents-- my dad is 90, and my mom's 80. If their power were to go out, I would have to physically drive on the ice to go check on them if the phones went out. Well, I think landlines are needed again, guys, 'cause if you have a digital line at home, you couldn't call out, either. So that's another thing.
So some of the ways of old school can trump what's going on right now.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: Yeah, that's a great point. You better get a landline.
DAVID NUÑO: [INAUDIBLE] a lot of points. Give me some credit today.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: You on fire today with the points.
DAVID NUÑO: [INAUDIBLE]
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: But I don't know if I'm gonna get a landline. I don't know. It'll just sit there.
DAVID NUÑO: We have a landline, but it is a digital landline through our cable company. And I don't believe it worked during the-- well, we didn't have a power outage, but when Comcast or Xfinity went out for a little bit.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: How have the kids been, by the way? Because there's nothing you can do right now other than just sit.
DAVID NUÑO: Actually, this has been the best thing for them. They've been going outside. We have a bayou not far from our house, which is terrible parenting by our part. They're sliding down the bayou by all the possums and raccoons, whatever's out there, nutria. And they've had so much fun outside in the snow.
We didn't have that much snow in our area. The entire neighborhood-- I went to go pick up my parents one day, and it was hard to drive. You had to go super slow. The golf course was all frozen, and all the kids in the neighborhood were sliding down the hill.
So I think, if anything, it did force kids to go outside. It was uncomfortable.
Did you work out?
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: I worked out yesterday. Yesterday, when I didn't have power, I was just sitting there, and I'm like, OK, I can't do anything. So I texted my neighbor Chris, and I was like, hey, are you bored as well? You want to come lift? And he came to my house, and we just lifted in the garage.
And then, after the lift, it was when we were walking around, and I'm like, man, there's a lot of water pooling here. I'm scared. We were all friends on our street, which has been awesome. That's one of the things. During this pandemic, we became friends with our neighbors. That forces you to go meet your neighbors, actually.
So I called up the whole group. I'm like, yo, can everyone come over and help me with this? So everybody ran over, and we're trying to figure out, is it a leak? Is it not a leak? We couldn't call anybody until we finally got through.
So yeah, I did lift yesterday. I did. I'm probably gonna go run today if it's safe.
DAVID NUÑO: I went for a run yesterday. I ran yesterday, and I believe I ran Monday. And it's cool. This is nerdy sports talk or nerdy fitness talk, but they say it's better to run in the cold, but the sweet spot is 45 degrees. Anything below that, your run does suffer.
And yesterday, and the other day, when I ran, I noticed that the first mile was great. I love the cold. But then your body starts having issues with it being so cold, and you aren't able to keep that same pace.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: Yeah, absolutely. If it's in the 40s, I'm fine, 'cause I'll put a sweatshirt on, but the 30s I can't do, man. I can't do. It's tough 'cause your lungs start freezing. You can just feel that cold, man. It's been wild, man.
And by the way, I do want to give props to all the reporters out there for Channel 13, bringing us all the information.
Looks like Mack is ready here. Want to see if he's ready to go? I see him on the screen. Mack, what's up, man?
MATTRESS MACK: What's up? Are we in Canada?
DAVID NUÑO: It feels like it.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: You doing all right?
MATTRESS MACK: I'm doing great. How y'all doing?
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: I'm doing OK, man.
DAVID NUÑO: We're doing wonderful, my friend.
Man, I tell you what. It's so nice to talk to-- hey, I've chatted with you before, but never in this kind of setting. I know you do this 'cause it comes from the bottom of your heart, but the way you help the city of Houston-- the way you help everybody-- but just the way you help the city of Houston, man, it brings such a joy to our heart. Where did that come from? Where did this giving heart come from?
MATTRESS MACK: My parents taught me when I was a little bitty child that the essence of living is giving. My father always gave, and he supported the church and the community and the Little League Baseball team. So I learned it from him and my mother. And it was just a natural extension of the way I was brought up.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: You start seeing the impacts of this, by the way, which is great. You see all the kids that come in, and they're warming up. We saw John Granato, by the way, out there, interviewing one of the kids. He's the best.
MATTRESS MACK: John was out here cooking food. He's a great chef. I was upset when he left.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: [LAUGHING]
We saw him interviewing kids.
And do you ever think about the impact from this? When you see somebody helping you out, you want to give back, and it instills a seed of giving back through the rest of the life of these kids. Do you ever think about that kind of impact on what it means for the community?
MATTRESS MACK: Yeah, I think about that all the time when I get these customers that come in and say, you talked to my fourth-grade class about saying no to drugs, and that was 30 years ago. And he or she said, "That had a profound impact on my life. I never did drugs. Now I'm very successful, and I remember what you said about the monkey turning into the gorilla."
So I know that if you handle yourself right and you set a good example, some people will follow it. I know my wonderful grandchild Sydney was talking about the values she learned from her parents. Her dad learned it from me. I learned it from my father. So I think we can make a difference by living a life that others would emulate if it's a life worth living.
DAVID NUÑO: How have the last few days been for you, personally, Mack, in opening up your facility and helping others out, and some of the connections you've made?
MATTRESS MACK: It's been great. We've met a lot of great people from all walks of life. And what I try to do is find each person and have some type of relationship with them and find God's grace in each and every person I meet out here, and I meet lots of 'em.
So it's been a lot of fun. It's been hectic. It's been very difficult to get food, very difficult to get other supplies, but we find a way. The toilet quit working. We have no water, as you know, in Houston, so the toilets quit working on Monday. But we found a way to keep the toilets flushing. So you gotta innovate or evaporate, and that's what we've been doing, flying by the seat of our pants the last three days, trying to take care of these folks who have no water, no electricity, and no power.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: How that been, in terms of-- when we had Hurricane Harvey, we all anticipated that the damage was gonna be significant. It was gonna be a long-lasting event, so we all prepared for it. This one-- nobody could anticipate this, that ERCOT would fail us in the most tiring times. Nobody, right?
And now, as you mentioned, you just have to adapt it and get going with it. What was that like, getting everything ready because nobody anticipated this?
MATTRESS MACK: Well, I have a friend of mine named Alan Lamey, who's a oil and gas trader. He follows the weather very, very seriously. He told me last Thursday that it's gonna be really bad.
So, I'm driving to church down Westheimer on Sunday morning. I was late, driving too fast, and I saw three police cars up front, so I slowed down. And they're putting a sheet over some homeless guy who I think died of-- he froze to death. And I knew then it was gonna be serious.
Went to work Sunday. Then, Monday, it got really bad. I asked the mayor, could we open up, and he said, "No. Monday night, the road's too hazardous. Open Tuesday morning." So we had already been very well prepared. We bought 15,000 gallons of diesel to run our generator here. We brought extra food in.
And we were prepared for the worst, and worst happened. We just executed the plan of bringing these people in and trying to calm them down. They're stressed out. They're out of their element. They're out of their home, and what can we do to make their life better?
DAVID NUÑO: Mack, can you help me visualize what goes into an event like this when you hear the reports, what's happening, and then actually executing everything that you guys did?
MATTRESS MACK: We just get some of the key team members together and ask 'em what we think we're gonna need. And the number one thing we knew we were gonna need was to get that generator running that could power the store. And the generator doesn't power the warehouse, so we had to get some electricians to come in last week and pay a lot of money to power the warehouse in case we were gonna keep selling furniture, which we did.
And then we gotta figure out who's gonna do security. We got that lined up. Very important to have lots of security when you got 300 strangers sleeping together. And then we had to figure out which guys were gonna-- which shift, or which ladies, and who's gonna work the restaurant, 'cause it's overloaded.
So there's lots of logistics that go into it, but we've been down this road before with Hurricane Katrina, when we housed a bunch of New Orleanians who fled to Houston. We've been down this road before with Harvey. So this time, it was time to execute the plan.
And things got worse and worse, and more and more people came in, and we were ready to go. And I'm proud to say our team members couldn't have executed it better. Now, we had our store in Fort Bend opened as a shelter, also, until the water pipes busted and we got about 25,000 gallons of water in the store. So that ended that deal.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: Oh, no. I'm so sorry to hear, Mack.
MATTRESS MACK: You gotta be prepared for setbacks. You gotta roll with the punches.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: Absolutely. The main location is still open right now for people that need to come in?
MATTRESS MACK: Both locations are now open. The Fort Bend location had water everywhere, and it lost power. It doesn't have a generator. But both locations are now open for customers. We got a lot of customers coming in, and both locations are still open people who want a warming spot to get out of the cold and want a hot meal, and we're gonna let people sleep here again tonight.
DAVID NUÑO: Mack, I'm gonna ask you something that I asked Trae Tha Truth. We're gonna run that interview after we talk to you about how Houston-- when we get hit, we get hit hard, my friend, just the last two years. But also, the resiliency of our people.
MATTRESS MACK: The best part about Houston is, when a crisis happens, we forget about our differences and, as a 5 million-person city, we come together, and we focus on our commonalities and our similarities, and we focus on helping other people.
And that's the best part about Houston. The worst of times turn out to be the best of times, whether it's Hurricane Harvey or this particular crisis of the power outage. It's not a matter of a blame game. It's a matter of "what can I do to make it better" game, and all of our team members certainly jumped in.
We had people that were in here to get out of the cold that wanted to volunteer as soon as they walked in the door, and they're still volunteering. So, seeing the resiliency of people from Texas and how-- "Tough times never last. Tough Texans do." That's my motto, and it comes through every crisis.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: Mack, I know you're busy. You gotta get going. This is a sports show, so let me ask you one sports question. How happy were you when Tom Brady and the Bucs ended up winning that game and not giving up a single touchdown to Mahomes?
MATTRESS MACK: Extremely happy for my customers. We had a mattress promotion. You bought a Tempur-Pedic, 3,000-plus, you got the mattress for free. A lot of happy customers got a free mattress because of Mr. Tom Brady, and I was happy to bet that 3.6 million, win 3.2, and I can pay off all of these mattresses.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: My man.
DAVID NUÑO: Mack, let me follow that up with Houston, though. We talked about sports, but it's been a rough 14 months for Houston Sports. JJ's no longer a Texan. You've got Deshaun wanting out. Harden's out. Springer leaves for Toronto.
What a rough year, man. Just your reaction.
MATTRESS MACK: It's a tough year, but sports changes, and the Astros start up in the month. I'm very close to Alex Bregman. He's very excited about the prospects of the team. And things could change quickly, so all is not lost. We'll certainly miss JJ and Deshaun if he goes and James Harden and the other guys. But life goes on, and you pick up the pieces and look forward with vision to the future.
So good things are always gonna happen to Houston sports teams. One thing about it-- it's always exciting.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: Absolutely. Mack, people are calling for you to run for office. Governor, maybe Senator now. What are you gonna do? You gonna run?
MATTRESS MACK: I'm running for Furniture Man seven days a week.
DAVID NUÑO: There we go.
MATTRESS MACK: All I want to do is sell you a couch.
And by the way, we're having a giant Power Outage Floor Model Super Sale. So all this furniture people sat on and slept on-- we're selling it at big discounts. Come out and get it today.
DAVID NUÑO: There he is. Mattress Mack. Thank you so much for making time for us, sir, and we appreciate your time.
MATTRESS MACK: David, Raheem, thanks for having me on the show. Y'all are great. Any time, call me.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: Thanks, man.
DAVID NUÑO: Thank you so much.
MATTRESS MACK: And tell Granato he's a great cook.
DAVID NUÑO: Yes, he is.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: I'll tell him.
DAVID NUÑO: There he is. Mattress Mack.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: He's the best.
DAVID NUÑO: I've always wanted to talk to Mack in this kind of setting. I know you've had him on the video show. I've only talked to him in passing and at events. I've never actually done an interview. It's great to talk to Mack.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: True story. Mack has called me Raheem for the last 12 years.
DAVID NUÑO: I know that. I know that.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: I love him.
DAVID NUÑO: [INAUDIBLE].
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: I love him so much.
I was supposed to go-- we used to do a broadcast with Mack at one of the local-- I forgot which one. It was the original one, 'cause the new one hadn't been built yet. But every year, we did the Christmas broadcast with him where he'd be giving away tons of bikes to kids in the community.
And one year, I was supposed to get up on a fire ladder and advertise, like, hey, we're out here doing a broadcast. But luckily, the winds were so strong that I couldn't get up into the cherry bucket or cherry basket. So, shout-out to the wind.
DAVID NUÑO: Shout-out to the wind.
Hey, I've got shows to get ready for and whatnot. We had a really good interview. So, those who are watching right now who stayed for Mack and are about to hear Trae Tha Truth, a couple of quick hits. He comes hard at Ted Cruz, and he also drops a James Harden nugget that I think some fans of James are gonna be happy to hear. And I think even fans that were happy that he left are gonna be happy to hear what he had to say about James Harden.
So let's go to our interview there with Trae Tha Truth from earlier today.
All right, Trae, man. I know you're super busy, always working around the city, trying to make lives better. Just what are you currently working on, 'cause I know yesterday you were helping feed people, checking on people. That's what you do.
TRAE THE TRUTH: For the most part this week, we've been doing-- whether it may be any minor assistance, food. Generators have been scarce, so we haven't really been able to find them. The few that we did have, we ended getting out ASAP.
It's so crazy. We had to get them out ASAP, and I was without power. So I froze for the last few days. My power finally came on last night.
Right now, I'm headed to meet up with some of the other Relief Gang members. We're gonna give out firewood. Also, we got charcoal. I'm going to buy at least about 500 to 600 meals for families. And we just running around.
We've been struggling trying to get water. That's the most scarce thing right now. People need water.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: I was gonna ask you, what is it that the communities need right now, and how can we give back and help out with this?
TRAE THE TRUTH: Right now, I just made a post, actually, telling companies. Even if they have access to a truck that's parked, or anything that got water-- I don't need nothing for free. I'll pay for it. But I need to get it to try and get it to some of these people that can't help their self right now.
DAVID NUÑO: Trae, I feel like we talk to you often as a station, as a community, 'cause there's always something going on. Can you believe here we are, 2021, the start of it, in Houston again in this terrible spot?
TRAE THE TRUTH: Not even just that, man. I really just sat back and thought about-- every disaster we have is tremendous. Other people have storms and stuff, but in Texas, if you go back to Harvey, to anything through it, ours is to the extreme, and I just don't understand it.
This right here-- this don't even make sense, as far as with ERCOT. This crazy, man, you know what? It's hard to pinpoint exactly who responsible, but I feel everybody who's part of it is responsible for some of these people dying. There's people dying, not knowing better, sleeping in their cars, and carbon monox-- I think they say it might have been over three to five people that been in the hospital by carbon monoxide. These people not thinking about that.
I'm just curious to know, do the ERCOT workers have power? You know what I'm saying?
DAVID NUÑO: Trae, when you're out there, and you're talking to the community and giving back-- and you've given back so much. Even during times where we don't need the help, you're out there in the community. What do you think when you see elected officials like Senator Ted Cruz leaving his state when they need him the most?
TRAE THE TRUTH: No respect for him, man, because it's different. You can't make everybody stay. I get it. But certain people, especially officials that have something to do with Texas-- that should be your responsibility, because that's what you signed up for.
See, I can't get mad at a athlete or another entertainer. If they want to get up and leave, that's their choice. Their job isn't to get out here and help the people. But Cruz, you have people vote for you and numerous other things to act like you for Texas, but you go on a trip to Cancun, and people out here dying.
So I don't care for him. He ain't never got my vote and never will.
Actually, man, if Abbott don't get it together, man, I'm gonna do a campaign through Texas. I'm gonna find the right person I think need to be in place, and I'm gonna endorse 'em. I'm gonna get the people to vote for 'em. I'm just about doing something--
DAVID NUÑO: Do you have anybody in mind?
TRAE THE TRUTH: --for the people.
I honestly don't. I honestly don't. Of course, I will have to analyze and sit and think, because sometimes you vote for people and not really know if their motive is right. So that take time.
DAVID NUÑO: Trae, where did this philanthropic heart of yours come from? We've known you. You've always given back. Where did it come from?
TRAE THE TRUTH: I think this is my heart, to serve people. I don't really care for the title. It's just what I do. I've always done it like this. It's just always there, in the heart. And at the end of the day, man, people need you. That's what give me my energy-- knowing that I did help somebody to make it a little longer, as opposed to giving up.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: Trae, would you ever consider running for any kind of office?
TRAE THE TRUTH: Nope.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: You serve, man.
TRAE THE TRUTH: I don't follow rules. I don't care for politics, none of that. There are people call me the mayor. They call me the governor. I don't like that. I'm just Trae.
I like it this way, you know what I'm saying? I like it better this way.
DAVID NUÑO: What kind of response do you get from the people-- and let's take it from somebody who may not know who you are. Let's say somebody-- they aren't into the hip-hop scene. They haven't heard of you. Then you come and show up and do what you do. What kind of response are you getting?
TRAE THE TRUTH: I don't know. A lot of people said-- the key word that people use the most of me is they inspired and motivated. But shit, I don't try and sell myself to the people. That's what I say.
I just do me, man. You can fall in line with it and support it, or you can choose not to and instead [INAUDIBLE]. I don't know what else to say. But definitely, a lot of people go to my Instagram just to learn about what's going on. They know I'm in the streets all the time.
DAVID NUÑO: Trae, we're a sports show, so we talk a lot about sports. Right now, we're going through a very tough time in the city. But if you look at the last 12, 14 months, this city, sportswise, we've lost some players, man.
Just your thoughts on what has happened here. Now Deshaun wanted to leave. JJ got cut. Everything-- Harden gone.
TRAE THE TRUTH: A matter of fact, now that you brought up Harden, shout-out to him. He actually called me this morning, actually, to try and even help with everything that's going on. So I'm pretty sure [INAUDIBLE] stay tuned on behalf of Harden and myself and my partner, [INAUDIBLE], at Relief Gang. He's doing a lot of stuff for a lot of families, too, so shout-out to him.
I can't really say if I have a certain opinion of him leaving or not. Of course, I'm Houston everything, so I'm always gonna be Team Houston. But sometimes it may not be a fit. Sometimes coaches and players don't get along. Sometimes players and players don't get along. Sometimes people may feel they may want to be elsewhere. the trap of in the quarter you know
So I respect everybody decision, 'cause everybody grown. So they have to do what they feel the best for them. And hopefully, even as well as they do what's best for them, we'll find somebody that may want to come here that feel this is best for them, and we can rebuild and do what we need to do.
DAVID NUÑO: Well, Trae, we appreciate you making some time for us, man. We're a big fan of what you're doing for the community, big fan of what you mean for Houston. And you'll always have a spot here on "No Layups," and we'll help support you any way we can, my friend.
TRAE THE TRUTH: All right, man. I appreciate you. We need it any time. Just holler at Relief Gang. We got you.
DAVID NUÑO: That was awkward again. Raheel? Very, very awkward. Very awkward ending to that [INAUDIBLE].
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: I forget to add you back in. That's my fault. That's on me.
DAVID NUÑO: And you're on the left again. I can't visually get down with that.
By the way, think I'm gonna get in trouble for not shaving? I don't want to use the water.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: No. I was gonna ask you about this. This is the second time, I think, we've been under a-- is it a boil notice or boil-- yeah, is it a boil notice? Is that what it's called?
DAVID NUÑO: Yeah. A [INAUDIBLE] notice [INAUDIBLE].
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: So am I not allowed to use it to wash my hands, either? I'm not familiar with the boil-notice stuff.
DAVID NUÑO: I don't think you're supposed to. If you recognize what the water is mixed with, I don't think you'd want to. You're supposed to use water that's been boiled. Let it go to room temperature-- don't boil your hands off-- and then clean with that. Or you can use your sanitizer. That's Dr. Nuño's recommendation.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: What about a shower?
DAVID NUÑO: I mean, bro, rinse and get out, and baby towel. Sanitizer in areas you can sanitize. Yeah, no.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: No.
DAVID NUÑO: I'm not recommending it.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: OK, OK. I'll research it a little bit more and figure out what you can you.
DAVID NUÑO: Don't drink the water.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: No, no, no. We're not drinking the water.
DAVID NUÑO: And I think it depends if there's an odor to the water. Not the best time to take a shower. I would say, use some rubbing alcohol.
[MAKING SPRAYING NOISES]
You know? Old-school? And that's how you'd shower.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: OK. We'll make it work. We'll make it work. There's worse things happening right now than me worrying about a shower, so I'll just ask that off-air next time.
DAVID NUÑO: Look, you want to smell good, all right? That's the truth. But why not go in the pool?
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: I don't have a pool.
Interesting stuff, by the way, from Mattress Mack. As he mentioned, his Fort Bend store-- the pipes bursted, and he had damage there. But he's open again. he already fixed it. He's ready to go.
And then, from Trey Tha Truth-- James Harden got in touch with him. I think you were about to tweet that out as well, and you'll have it on the news tonight. So, interesting stuff from there. He did not hold back on Senator Ted Cruz, who was just trying to be a good dad and help out his daughters get to Mexico.
DAVID NUÑO: Yep, yep. There are always two sides to a story. Some people were not happy with the way that whole thing played out.
Let me do this, Raheel. Before we call it a day, we are a sports show. And the sports director, Greg Bailey, walked into the building. He has never been on "No Layups."
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: Never.
DAVID NUÑO: I haven't gone through his agents. I haven't gone through his representatives. But if I can get him to maybe give us 30 seconds of what Lance McCullers said on the spring training Zoom that happened just a few minutes ago-- look at this. Look at this, from Houston.
GREG BAILEY: [INAUDIBLE] Raheel.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: Greg, what's up, man? How you doing?
GREG BAILEY: I'm good, buddy.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: You doing all right?
GREG BAILEY: You want a little rundown of McCullers right here?
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: Yeah. Tell us what happened.
GREG BAILEY: First of all, he fully expects that they're gonna contend to win the World Series. That's the only expectation they have, coming into camp. Huge offseason for him, 'cause he was actually healthy for the first time. He'll be ready. He said he thinks to take on 180 innings if that's what it's gonna take from him, which is huge news for the 'Stros.
And then, with regards to Houston, he's really been hit hard by watching what's happening in the city. They've been in Florida. His family's fine, but they've always been watching everything. And he actually went so far as to-- when someone texted him and told them they got power back at his house, he immediately texted friends just so they could go to his house and have a warm place to be.
So the Astros players see it. They're talking about it and just watching from Florida, 'cause they've all been in quarantine in Florida so they can get started in spring training. It's been hard for him.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: Thanks, Greg.
DAVID NUÑO: [INAUDIBLE] on your debut on "No Layups."
GREG BAILEY: There you go!
DAVID NUÑO: There he is, the great Greg Bailey.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: He's a professional. Look at that. Love it.
DAVID NUÑO: I didn't even warn him. He just gave us a full report. Look at that. He's just great.
All right, guys. So, Mattress Mack-- what's the rule? I can take it down now?
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: I think you can take it down.
DAVID NUÑO: 8 feet?
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: 8 feet. Yeah, I think you're OK.
DAVID NUÑO: I don't know. [INAUDIBLE]. I'll just whisper.
So, we're done. Good show. Mattress Mack was great. Trae Tha Truth was awesome.
And oh, for those who have stayed the entire time, the interview that we've been teasing for three weeks-- we actually ended up doing it. We're gonna run it, I think, on Sunday. Nicky Jam. Any things you want to say about what came through in that interview?
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: NIcky Jam was one of the coolest interviews we've done. And again, you know a lot more about Nicky Jam than I do. I watched a few episodes of the show that he has. I know some of his songs. But to me, he was one of the coolest people that we've interviewed.
You wouldn't have guessed that he's a worldwide superstar.
DAVID NUÑO: Yeah. He was awesome. Very conversational interview. One thing you won't see that I know you were not surprised by-- because of the winter storm, the kids were able to say "hello" to him before the interview started. And he was very cool, asking them about what they do, sportswise.
So that was cool to chat with him for a few minutes. And we'll probably run that on Sunday. Hopefully, everybody will have somewhat back-to-normal life by that point.
But ABC13 will be all over it. Our weather team has been great. Traffic, investigative reporters, anchors, producers, behind-the-scenes people all reporting and chipping in. It is always inspiring to work with people who make you step up your game. And when I see the Ted Obergs of the world and some Minkas, Tom Cook, who we've had on the show, Kevin Roth, Travis, all the gang, it is always inspiring to see what they do and make us better at what we do.
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: Everyone, stay safe, and we'll all get through it, man. Just hang tight, and every day you'll get better.
DAVID NUÑO: Good ending, man. That was almost like Tom Abraham's ending on newscast. "Be kind to"--
RAHEEL RAMZANALI: "Be kind to"-- yep.
DAVID NUÑO: --"one another." All right. All right, Raheel.