Craig Ackerman, Rockets play by play broadcaster; Chron’s Dylan Baddour on Election 2016

Welcome to the 63rd episode of The Weekly Brew podcast! Kevin celebrates a milestone with the program (he debuted on The Weekly Brew a year ago this week, talking Sepp Blatter and Major League Baseball in Episode 8), and admonishes the listeners for not leaving reviews on iTunes.

Craig Ackerman has been the Houston Rockets’ play by play announcer since 2008, and this year, he will begin to take on select road-game duties when the Rockets are on the road as Bill Worrell begins to transition away from broadcasting. Ackerman has spent more than two decades with the Rockets, dating back to his days as a student at HBU when he came aboard as an intern. Ackerman knows the Rockets as intimately as anyone in the media, and he shares some insight into the team’s history and future under new head coach Mike D’Antoni.

Friend of the show Dylan Baddour, a Houston Chronicle reporter and two-time guest, breaks down the recent presidential debate, examining some of the more dubious claims made by Trump and ponders what the debate says about the state of political discourse in America, headed into one of the weirdest elections in recent memory.

Finally, and this is real serious, folks, Kevin reprimands the listenership for the lack of recent iTunes reviews. If you leave a 5-star review, we’ll read it aloud on the show to the thousands of podcast listeners! If you’re being 100 percent realistic, it might be your best – if not only – chance at fame. And it’s so easy! Just head over to iTunes, click “Ratings and Reviews” and leave a 5-star review with a little blurb. You’ll feel so warm and fuzzy, and get that satisfaction that only comes with doing the right thing and doing something for someone else. Do it!

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

TCU’s Gary Patterson, Big 12 Expansion; Chron’s David Barron on MLB hacking scandal + Simone Biles

Welcome to the 53rd Episode of The Weekly Brew podcast – this week, TCU Football head coach Gary Patterson joins us, along with Houston Chronicle’s David Barron, and we get into the Big 12 expansion talks and the week that was at the RNC.

First, Patterson calls in to preview the Horned Frogs’ season, starting with a very tough September, breaking down the quarterback competition between Foster Sawyer and Kenny Hill. Coach Patterson also speaks to the Big 12 expansion discussions, positing that the University of Houston would be an excellent candidate for several key reasons. Coach Patterson also speaks to his relationship with new Baylor head football coach Jim Grobe and what Bears fans can expect with Grobe at the helm.

Next, the BrewCast discusses the expansion talks in more depth, considering how schools like BYU, Boise State, UH, Cincinnati and Memphis might fit into the Big 12’s expansion plans, and whether 12 teams or 14 teams would make for a stronger conference long term. Austin, Jeremy, Dolores and Kevin also look back at the goings on in the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last week, and consider whether an Astros World Series victory is a fair trade for a term of (ugh) Trump.

Finally, David Barron of the Chronicle joins us to illuminate the sentencing of former St. Louis Cardinals’ scouting director, Chris Correa, who will spend 46 months in prison after being convicted for illicitly accessing Astros’ computers and scouting information. Barron analyzes why the punishment is so severe, and whether this sort of cybercrime might be more prevalent in sports than some are willing to admit. Barron also covers the Olympics and he will be on hand in Rio to report on the competitions. Barron gets into some local products who may be poised to have a big month in Rio, particularly Spring’s Simone Biles, a gold-medal favorite in as many as four events.

And finally, we had another iTunes review this week! That brings the total to 57, which is, like, pretty good. Solid. But it’s not 100, which is a nice, big, round, sexy number, so get on iTunes and leave a 5-star review with a blurb, and we’ll give you a shoutout on the air! Also, we saw some tremendous growth on Facebook this week, so thanks to the diehards who Liked us there – you can use Facebook to contact us with questions or comments and we’d love to hear from you. Thanks!

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

Astros, Texans with MaD Radio’s Mike Meltser and Seth Payne (Sports Radio 610); Chron’s Angel Verdejo

Welcome to Episode 47 of The Weekly Brew, without question the best 77 minutes of Houston sports talk you’ll hear this week. We are joined by Mike Meltser and Seth Payne, of Sports Radio 610’s MaD Radio, and Houston Chronicle Astros beat writer Angel Verdejo as we delve into some Texans, Astros and University of Houston discussion.

Mike and Seth host Houston’s most entertaining and successful (terrestrial) sports radio show, MaD Radio, and they give us a little insight into how they came to be teamed up and the process that goes into creating quality radio content. Mike and Seth help Kevin and Austin ponder what characteristics define the Houston sports fan (“long-suffering… beleaguered, per Seth) and whether we’re on the verge of a “Golden Age of Houston sports.”

Angel Verdejo then weighs in on the Astros, including some analysis of the recent injury to Carlos Correa and the team’s struggles against the division rival Texas Rangers. Angel also delves into the recent MLB Draft, breaking down the first few rounds – featuring picks like Forrest Whitley and Ronnie Dawson – and where they fit into the overall farm system with other up and coming guys like Alex Bregman. Angel also takes a look at University of Houston product Nick Hernandez and whether fans might one day see him suit up for the hometown major league team.

The BrewCast also weighs in on the most recent tragic mass-shooting, in an Orlando nightclub, as well as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s social media responses. Gary Johnson, of the Libertarian Party, gets a shoutout (one of the hosts might be starting to #FeelTheJohnson) and the crew analyzes the Cavs’ chances to beat the Warriors in the NBA Finals (slim).

As always, thanks for listening, and a special thanks to the FOUR listeners who left iTunes reviews this week – really, if you think about it, we ask very little of you people: listen to the show, share it with your friends on social media [Facebook/ Twitter] and leave us iTunes reviews! So four people did a very good job this week and, suffice it to say, Kevin is thrilled. Keep him that way by going to iTunes, clicking Ratings and Reviews and leaving a 5-star review with a short blurb about what you enjoy and what you’d like to hear on the show. You’ll get a shoutout on next week’s episode if you do…

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

Astros discussion with Chron’s Jake Kaplan; Dylan Baddour talks Election 2016; Jim Bordell of Team Rubicon on Houston flood recovery

Welcome to this, the 42nd episode of The Weekly Brew podcast. This week, we talk with Jake Kaplan and Dylan Baddour of the Houston Chronicle about the Astros and Election 2016 and hear from Jim Bordell of Team Rubicon about Operation Moonshot and the flood-recovery efforts going on in Houston.

Dylan Baddour is the Houston Chronicle’s young, hotshot political reporter, and he’s been covering the madness in the race for the Republican nomination. He calls in to the podcast in the wake of Cruz and Kasich dropping out of the race, and discusses the impact for the election season, particularly as Republicans weigh whether or not to unite behind Donald Trump, the presumptive favorite for the nomination. Baddour also speaks to what has been a particularly heated and divisive nomination season, and contemplates whether or not this is the “new normal” for American politics.

Jake Kaplan, a Philadelphia transplant who spent time working for the Philadelphia Inquirer and MLB.com covering the Phillies before signing on with the Houston Chronicle to cover the Houston Astros. After a puzzling 12-20 start to the season in which many, including Sports Illustrated, picked them to go to the World Series, the Astros are in trouble, and Kaplan examines the pitching struggles facing this team and assesses what it needs to do to turn things around.

Finally, we welcome Jim Bordell, who is the incident commander for Operation Moonshot, Team Rubicon’s Houston flood relief effort. Team Rubicon is a nonprofit relief group that unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to deploy emergency response teams, and they have brought their expertise in crisis management to Houston in response to the heavy rains and flooding of the last few weeks. Hear Bordell talk about the relief efforts and visit teamrubiconusa.org to find out how you can help.

Our sponsor, Oui Desserts (at 3411 Kirby), has agreed to help us in our reviews to get iTunes reviews. If you go by Oui Desserts with your mobile device, Penny will show you how to leave a 5-star review with a little blurb about what you enjoy in the show, and in return, you will get a free cookie or macaron for leaving the review and we’ll read your review on air next week. Take advantage.

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

Super Tuesday political primer; ESPN Deportes’ Dolores Lozano; The Vanity

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Welcome to Episode 32 of The Weekly Brew – on this week’s podcast, we cover all the bases, talking politics, sports and music on this special Leap Day edition.

First, we welcome in Texas State Representative Matt Shaheen (R) and Harris County Democratic Party Chairman Lane Lewis, who help break down the political landscape in advance of Super Tuesday. Shaheen discusses what conservatism means and the issues the GOP has gotten away from in recent memory, while Lewis addresses the issues facing Houston – the most diverse city in the U.S. – and the effect Bernie Sanders has had, energizing the electorate. Both discuss the significance of the Trump candidacy and what it means that Trump is as powerful and popular as he is.

Dolores Lozano, of ESPN Deportes and a Baylor grad (another Bear!), calls in to talk about her path to a career in sports and the state of the Baylor and University of Houston programs, as well as the Houston sports landscape.

Finally, Alex Dugan, the Houston-born lead singer of Austin-based band The Vanity, joins us to discuss what it means to be a rock and roll band and promote The Vanity’s upcoming show (with former podcast guests Second Lovers!) at Raven Tower in Houston Saturday, March 5. We’ll definitely be there and so should you! Visit their website to get tickets.

And most importantly, remember to vote this week! As always, thanks for listening, and be sure to go to iTunes, click “Subscribe” and while you’re there, you can help us out tremendously by clicking “Ratings and Reviews” and leaving us a nice 5-star rating with a little blurb telling us how you found us, what you enjoy and what you’d like to hear going forward. Thanks, and as always, remember to brew responsibly.