New Astros’ PBP voice Todd Kalas; Shehan Jeyarajah of SEC Country; week’s sports headlines

Incoming Astros’ television play-by-play broadcaster Todd Kalas and SEC Country’s Shehan Jeyarajah are guests on this episode of The Weekly Brew, the self-proclaimed ‘Voice of Houston.’ Kalas reflects on some memories of a lifetime in and around baseball, including calling a World Series game with his father, the late, legendary broadcaster Harry Kalas. Kalas also looks forward to the upcoming season for the Astros and assesses just how big this year could be for the club. Jeyarajah is the definition of a college football insider and shares his insight into the recent Clemson/Alabama championship match and Deshaun Watson’s pro football prospects. Jeyarajah also examines Kevin Sumlin, and how hot his seat is, and obliges Austin and Jeremy with some Baylor talk. Not to be missed. And the guys run down the week’s biggest headlines. Give it a listen.

Astros broadcaster Bill Brown; Chip Rives, director of ESPN 30 for 30 Phi Slama Jama

Welcome to the 66th episode of The Weekly Brew podcast, the Voice of Houston! We’re getting deep into the Houston sports scene this week with two fantastic guests, Bill Brown and Chip Rives.

Brown spent 30 years as the primary television play-by-play voice of the Houston Astros, witnessing and calling things like no-hitters from Darryl Kile and Mike Fiers, the last regular-season game ever played in the Astrodome and Craig Biggio’s 3,000th hit. Brown was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and was, for many in the city of Houston, the voice of the Astros and the voice of baseball. He discusses some of his memories of 30 years of distinguished service, delves into why baseball is special to its fans and looks forward to the coming years for the Astros’ franchise.

Like Hansel, Chip Rives is so hot right now. The documentarian has won five Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award (recognizing journalistic excellence) for his work on films like ESPN’s Brian the Boz and the MLB Network doc The Eighth Wonder of the World, discussing the Astrodome. Rives’ latest effort, the 30 for 30 Phi Slama Jama, documents the wildly popular 1980’s University of Houston Basketball team under the guidance of head coach Guy V. Lewis, featuring Akeem Olajuwon (later Hakeem), Clyde Drexler, Reid Gettys, Benny Anders and many more, who dunked their way into America’s heart.

Rives discusses the legacy of Guy V. Lewis, one of the early integrators of athletics in the South, and the curious search for Benny Anders, “The Outlaw” who virtually disappeared after his time at UH.

And then Kevin begs for iTunes reviews. Guys, they’re REALLY IMPORTANT. And it’s been a while since we’ve gotten any. We’re pretty firmly committed to, like, not paying for them or cheating the system, but frankly, our morals only go so far. We’re bringing you some of the best interviews with Houston’s most fascinating sports figures, telling engaging, entertaining stories through the magic of podcasting. The LEAST you can do it pop over to iTunes and leave a nice 5-star review with a little blurb. We’ll even read it out loud at the end of next week’s episode. Do the right thing, guys.

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

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.

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.

Justise Winslow, ROOT SPORTS’ Bart Enis, Jimmy Price of AstrosFuture and CBS Sports’s Ananth Pandian

Welcome to Episode 49 of The Weekly Brew podcast – we know we say every episode is ‘packed’ (it’s sort of a catchphrase at this point), but this episode is PACKED. We broadcasted from Miami Heat forward Justise Winslow’s inaugural invitation basketball camp, and he joins us to share some thoughts about Houston basketball and life in the NBA. Bart Enis, of ROOT SPORTS, Jimmy Price of AstrosFuture and CBS Sports’ Ananth Pandian also call in this week.

Justise Winslow is one of the NBA’s rising stars – a strong defender who earned serious playing time in his rookie season (including starting Game 7 of the Toronto vs Miami Eastern Conference Semifinals) by taking on the toughest assignments in the NBA, guys like Klay Thompson, LeBron James and James Harden. He joins us to talk about giving back, the Houston basketball scene, life in the NBA and who in the Association he really gets fired up to guard.

Next, another of our friends at ROOT SPORTS, Bart Enis – a sideline reporter for Rockets and Astros broadcasts and a longtime Houston sports media figure – gets into some discussion about the surging Astros, who have turned around a discouraging start and are on a roll in the months of May and June, thanks to strong pitching and some shakeups in the lineup. Enis has been covering Houston sports since 1983, and learned the trade from his father, legendary Texas TV/radio broadcaster Bill Enis, who introduced the young Bart to larger-than-life figures like Muhammad Ali and Gordie Howe, and he shares what those experiences were like and how they impacted his development as a broadcaster in his own right.

Next, Jimmy Price, the owner and founder of AstrosFuture, an outlet monitoring and reporting on the Astros’ farm system, joins The Weekly Brew podcast to break down what’s happening in the five minor league affiliates, the Fresno Grizzlies, the Corpus Christi Hooks, the Lancaster JetHawks, the QC River Bandits and the Tri-City ValleyCats. If you want the scoop on what the Astros have in the pipeline, Price is the guy and AstrosFuture is the place to go. Price talks Alex Bregman, Forrest Whitley, AJ Reed (a recent call up), Tyler White and more in his thorough and illuminating look at the minor leaguers the ‘Stros have rising up through the ranks. 

Finally, Ananth Pandian, NBA writer for CBS Sports, helps Austin and Kevin relive the glory of a Cleveland NBA Championship and delves into the recent NBA Draft, looking at guys like Ben Simmons, Brandon Ingram and Dragan Bender and what their NBA futures might hold. Pandian also offers an outsider’s look at the Rockets and what Mike D’Antoni might be able to do with James Harden and not a hell of a lot else next season. Pandian also examines the glut of NBA-ers sitting out the Rio Olympics and what that means in the grand scheme of things (i.e. not much – USA is winning the gold, and you heard it here first, folks).

In other words, it’s a solid episode, and you should should get to listening ASAP. We would prefer you do that on iTunes, because that is where you can subscribe and leave us the all-important iTunes reviews. We had one this week, and we appreciate it, but Kevin had some internet troubles as we were recording this week’s episode, and he will hit you back in the next episode along with any other listeners who want to get in on the action.

Thanks for listening, and – as always – remember: no matter who you are, where you go or what you do this week, always, ALWAYS brew responsibly.

NBA Playoffs & Astros; ROOT SPORTS’ Kevin Eschenfelder, USA Today’s AJ Neuharth-Keutsch, TheDreamShake’s Ethan Rothstein

Welcome to the 46th episode of The Weekly Brew podcast – we hit the NBA, Astros and college football hard this week, welcoming in ROOT SPORTS anchor and announcer Kevin Eschenfelder, USA Today national basketball writer AJ Neuharth-Keusch and Ethan Rothstein of SB Nation’s Houston Rockets blog The Dream Shake.

But first, Austin, Kevin, Jeremy and Dolores dive into the passing of legendary athlete, boxer Muhammad Ali, and his impact on sportswriting, boxing, politics and the world. The BrewCasters also delve into the Big 12’s perplexing decision to add a conference championship game to its round-robin schedule without any plans for expansion.

Next, Kevin Eschenfelder, sports anchor for ROOT SPORTS and the Voice of Cougar Football, calls in to discuss the recent success the Astros have enjoyed since moving George Springer into the leadoff spot in the lineup. Esch also delves into the rest of the Astros roster and the potential for the rest of the team’s season before getting into the nuts and bolts of working with ROOT SPORTS on the pre- and post-game shows. Esch is also a University of Houston alum and indulges Kevin with some discussion of the upcoming college football season and the potential Heisman candidacy of Greg Ward Jr. and the future of Tom Herman with the Cougar Football program.

AJ Neuharth-Keusch covers the NBA for USA Today and he discusses the incredible Western Conference Finals we just witnessed, the job Billy Donovan has done with the Oklahoma City Thunder and whether or not Donovan’s success at the helm of the team will have an impact on Kevin Durant’s free agency decision. Then AJNK breaks down the NBA Finals, including an ABC record most-watched Game One, and what the Cavaliers need to do to win this series. Where does LeBron rank now amongst the best players in the NBA? Also, what in the heck is up with James Harden getting overlooked for all three All-NBA squads?

Finally, Ethan Rothstein, managing editor of SB Nation’s The Dream Shake, comes on to talk some Houston Rockets basketball. The Rockets have a new head coach – Mike D’Antoni. The reaction has been, at best, mixed, and Rothstein examines the fit and looks at some of the coaches Leslie Alexander passed over in favor of D’Antoni, particularly Frank Vogel, now with the Orlando Magic. Rothstein also looks at what might happen with Dwight Howard and whether he might possibly find himself in a Rockets jersey yet again next season, and what Daryl Morey might potentially do about that. Rothstein also gets into the historic offensive season from James Harden and what it means that he was left out of the All-NBA squads entirely.

Terrific guests this week on The Brew. However, the listeners were NOT terrific, failing to leave even a SINGLE iTunes review, which the listeners well know we need to help us continue to grow. So right now, drop whatever you’re doing and go to iTunes and leave a 5-star review with a little blurb telling us what you enjoy about the show or what you’d like to hear, and we’ll take it under advisement. So get on that. And remember, no matter who you are, where you go or what you do this week, always ALWAYS brew responsibly.

David Ubben discusses Big 12 expansion rumors; Julia Morales talks Astros, fashion, 2006 Rose Bowl and more

Welcome to the 43rd episode of The Weekly Brew podcast. This week, Julia Morales, ROOT Sports’ Houston Astros field reporter, joins us along with Fox Sports SW and Sports on Earth Big 12 analyst, David Ubben.

David Ubben is a TV analyst for Fox Sports SW and a writer for Sports on Earth, covering the Big 12 Conference. If you’re into the Big 12, Ubben is the guy to follow, and this week, he shares some of his insight into the talks of expansion that heated up this week, with Oklahoma president David Boren possibly in conflict with his own board of regents over whether to field offers from teams like Memphis, the University of Houston and BYU to join the conference. Ubben breaks down the likelihood that we’ll see a bigger, better Big 12 and the likelihood that the conference will instate a championship match.

Next, Julia Morales, the exceptionally talented and engaging ROOT Sports field reporter for the Houston Astros, calls us from Fenway Park to talk ‘Stros and the Red Sox series. She also gets into her experiences being the only woman traveling with the Astros and her memories of spending the last four years covering the team day in and day out. Morales also reminisces about being part of the Texas Pom Squad and on the field for the 2006 Rose Bowl victory against USC, and gives some advice to young women considering a career in sports broadcasting.

Finally, the listeners KILLED IT this week, and we wound up with two new iTunes reviews. If you’re reading this, you should head over to our iTunes page and click Subscribe to make sure you get every new episode of The Weekly Brew deposited directly into your podcast queue, and furthermore, click Ratings and Reviews to leave us a nice, little 5-star review with a blurb about what you enjoy on the show and what you’d like to hear. And if you’re in the Houston area, don’t forget to check out our sponsor, Oui Desserts, at 3411 Kirby. And this week, no matter who you are, what you do or where you go, please remember to always, ALWAYS brew responsibly.