Rice Football’s David Bailiff; ROOT SPORTS’ Kevin Eschenfelder; Chron’s Adam Coleman

Welcome to episode 58 of The Weekly Brew podcast – the Voice of Houston, as we’re now saying, because it turns out that if you want to call yourself that, NO ONE CAN STOP YOU. There’s no rigorous vetting process; no application and screening. We’re just the Voice of Houston now. It’s that easy!

It’s another jam-packed, terrific show, highlighting some of the best of what’s going on in the world of Houston sports, but also with a shoutout to fellow Houston podcasters Heaven, Hell or Houston and The Stacks. If you’re into Houston like we are, check those shows out, because they’re great examples of what creative, interesting people are independently producing in HTown.

First up, the guys make some college football predictions, during which Jeremy flip-flops and steals one of Austin’s pre-show College Football Playoff picks. Safe to say, the BrewCast will be keeping future picks a little closer to the vest from now on.

Next, head coach of Rice Football, David Bailiff, joins the podcast to talk Owls football – as he says, you can’t spell “bowl” without “owl,” which is lexicographically sound. We checked. Bailiff talks about how last season’s struggles drive this year’s team (“there’s power in failure”), and he talks about the unique joys of working with academically gifted athletes – a far cry from what Brittany Wager of Last Chance U (episode 57) deals with on a day-to-day basis.

After, second-time guest Kevin Eschenfelder, the Voice of Houston Cougar Football (on the radio) joins the show to talk a little Astros, but mostly preview the University of Houston football season, starting with week one’s matchup against Oklahoma. Esch provides some insight into how Tom Herman has changed the culture at UH and talks about what makes his quarterback, Greg Ward, Jr., so special. Eschenfelder also previews a new partnership between ROOT SPORTS and the Valenti School of Communication at UH, in which students will be assisting in the production of the weekly coaches shows Eschenfelder will host. He hopes to impart some wisdom, and we hope those students listen, because this guy knows the deal.

Finally, old friend of the show, Adam Coleman (whom longtime listeners might remember had Kevin’s current job before he got hired on at the Chronicle) calls in to talk a little about Rice Football and speak to the brand-new Chronicle app High School Sports Live, which he says will put Houston high school football fans in touch with their favorite teams in a radical, game-changing new way.

Finally, the guys don’t belabor the point but… There’s no new iTunes reviews! Not one! It’s been, like, several weeks now and it’s starting to get hurtful. Do it for Harambe – just go to iTunes and leave a nice, little 5-star review with a blurb telling us how you found us, what you enjoy and what you’d like to hear in the future.

And guys, please remember this week: no matter who you are, where you go or what you do, always, ALWAYS brew responsibly.

Last Chance U’s Brittany Wagner; Texan Live’s Jeremy Branham; Rio 2016 and Ryan Lochte

Welcome to the 57th episode of The Weekly Brew, the undisputed “Voice of Houston” (according to us). This week, Brittany Wagner, the athletic academic counselor profiled in the Netflix documentary Last Chance U, and Dynamo play-by-play commentator and Texan Live broadcaster Jeremy Branham join us to talk sports and life.

First, the guys delve back into the rapidly concluding Rio 2016 Olympic Games where – since we last recorded – much more has come to light on the Ryan Lochte front. Kevin intended to make a Brian Williams joke on-air, but a quick Google searched revealed that he was approximately the eight millionth person to think of that joke, so he wisely stayed away from that well-worn territory.

Next, Brittany Wagner, the beleaguered athletic academic advisor at East Mississippi Community College – the breakout star of Last Chance U – joins us to share some insight into the process of making the documentary and talk a bit about how colleges are failing athletes, including a brief look at her proposal to allow top-tier players to ‘major in sports.’ Wagner also speaks to whas has happened to Ronald Ollie, John Franklin III and D.J. Law since filming wrapped, and what we can expect from season two of Last Chance U.

Finally, Jeremy Branham – the voice of the Houston Dynamo – joins us to promote the new Texan Live high school football magazine. Houston is one of the deepest talent pools in all of high school sports, sending impact players to blue chip programs in the Big 12, SEC and more, but it all starts right here in HTown. Branham shares some information about programs to watch this year (like Katy, Pearland, North Shore, George Ranch and Manvel) and players you simply have to see (like Friendswood quarterback Tyler Page) and what fans can expect from this year’s crop of high school football teams. He also tries to convince Kevin and Austin that they should start watching more Dynamo soccer, but only time will tell if he won them over.

Finally, Austin and Kevin make a ‘very special announcement’ about how they’ll be spending their Friday nights this fall. SPOILER ALERT: They’ll be broadcasting high school football games every week with Texan Live, so you can hear The Weekly Brew on your radio dial, bringing you some of the best high school football action in the city.

And guys, come on: let’s talk about iTunes reviews. There hasn’t been a new one in nearly two weeks! Kevin doesn’t want to beg, but he is in no way above that. Do the right thing. Go to iTunes and leave us a nice, little 5-star review with a blurb about how you found the show, what you enjoy and what you’d like to hear in the future. You’ll get a shoutout on the air if you do.

And guys, this week, remember: no matter who you are, where you go or what you do, always, ALWAYS, brew responsibly.

Baylor head coach Jim Grobe; Robert Boudwin/ Clutch the Rockets Bear; Rio 2016 update

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Welcome to the 56th episode of The Weekly Brew podcast, which happens to be our 1-year anniversary. No big deal (IT’S A HUGE DEAL – most podcasts die before their first birthday, so thanks for keeping us not alive, but thriving).

This week, Baylor Football head coach Jim Grobe joins to talk about the challenges of taking over for Art Briles, beset by an aggressive media in a volatile situation and having to overcome the skepticism of the players and alumni. Grobe, the 2006 AP Coach of the Year, speaks to some of the strengths of the Baylor program, like speed and athleticism, but says the team’s overwhelmingly best asset is its work ethic and attitude. Grobe encourages and welcomes high expectations for the Bears this season.

Next, Robert Boudwin (AKA Clutch the Bear, the Rockets mascot) calls in shortly after announcing his retirement after 21 years as the lovable, iconic bear. Chances are, if you have ever been to a Rockets game or have seen one on television, you’re familiar with Clutch’s antics, and Robert describes how he invented the character and brought him to life for all these years, and shares what he intends to do next, as well as the future of the hoops-loving bear.

Austin, Jeremy and Kevin also share their impressions of week one of the Rio Olympics, some good (lots and lots of USA gold medals), some bad (lots of Olympic athletes robbed or threatened), some strange (what is the deal with the green water in the diving pool?), and congratulate themselves (mostly, Kevin congratulates) on a year of solid work.

Congratulations to you, the listeners, too. We would not still be doing a podcast every week if there weren’t thousands of you tuning in every week, sharing our content, supporting us on social media, and in general being awesome (especially when leaving reviews on iTunes!). So thank you guys for a great, great year and we look forward to sharing the next one with you, too.

And remember, no matter who you are, where you go or what you do this week, always, ALWAYS brew responsibly.

The USA Today/Amway Coaches Poll and the Rio Olympics; Vincent Harris of Harris Media; Capital Kings

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Welcome to the 55th episode of The Weekly Brew podcast – this week, digital media strategist Vincent Harris of Harris Media and Cole Walowac of EDM group Capital Kings join us on the show.

First, Austin and Kevin discuss the recent USA Today/Amway Coaches Poll rankings in college football, and preview the opening slate of NCAA games. How much do the rankings mean or matter at this point? Who are some of the early Heisman hopefuls?

Next, Vincent Harris, whose Harris Media digital strategy firm has worked for such political figures as Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz and – most recently – Donald Trump, calls in to talk about the impact and role of social media in this election cycle, with Republicans stepping up their digital game to compete with the success of President Obama’s social media reach in the last two presidential elections. Harris also delves into what social media does to political discourse in what is proving to be an especially fractured, disparate electorate this year.

Finally, Cole Walowac, producer and rapper for EDM group Capital Kings, joins us to talk about making music and EDM in advance of CK’s Aug. 25 show in Houston.

As always, thanks for listening, and please, if you enjoy the show, share it with your friends and definitely feel free – even compelled – to leave a review on iTunes.