@LockedOnRockets’ Ben DuBose breaks down Clutch City’s title hopes; PyeongChang 2018; Trump and Russia

We’re not going to lie — our podcast has a sick travel addiction so we’ve been on hiatus for a few weeks. Fear not, we’re back.

While Hunter Atkins is away covering the Astros in West Palm Beach, Florida, Austin and Jeremy begin the show by discussing the 2018 Winter Games and the scandals that have rocked the IOC. Are the games a success? Has the media covered Russia and North Korea correctly? Then, the guys discuss the Mueller indictments and what it means going forward for the United States.

Then, Ben DuBose, who covers the Rockets for Locked On Rockets, joins the show to breakdown the first half of the NBA season and assesses Clutch City’s chances at a deep postseason run. With James Harden as the MVP front runner, have the midseason acquisitions of Gerald Green, Joe Johnson and Brandan Wright given the Rockets the roster depth that they need to push Golden State in the Western Conference?

John McClain talks Texans; Paralympians Brad Snyder and Matt Stutzman

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Welcome to the 61st episode of The Weekly Brew podcast. Austin was able to sit down with some fascinating athletes at the Paralympics in Rio, and two of them – Matt Stutzman, the Armless Archer and Brad Snyder, a Paralympic swimmer – join us on the show.

Returning to the show for his fourth appearance (a show record – in other words, McClain does NOT turn down interview requests) is The General, John McClain. After 40 years of covering the NFL for the Houston Chronicle, McClain has a unique perspective on the National Football League, and he shares some insight into the nature of protest within the field of sport – with much discussion sparked by Colin Kaepernick’s National Anthem kneeling – as well as the arcane craziness of the uniform code that led DeAndre Hopkins to draw a $7,000 fine for wearing Yeezy cleats, which we’re told has something to do with some kind of rapper.

McClain also takes a close look at what we’ve learned about the Texans so far in the early season, including an analysis of whether Brock Osweiler appears to be worth what the team is paying for his services. Will Fuller was the breakout star of week one, and the defense is humming along nicely, with Bernardrick McKinney taking over responsibility for the sole communication device, following Brian Cushing’s latest injury.

Finally, the guys discuss a VYPE article detailing the very long list of Houston athletes currently playing in the NFL. As it turns out, Houston OWNS the NFL, with the Bengals fielding six Houstonians and Tampa Bay and Miami both playing five Houston products.

Kevin has a slight bone to pick with the listeners about the number of iTunes reviews that have come through in the past few weeks (namely, zero), and either makes a compelling case for leaving them or begs, depending on one’s perspective. Pretty much business as usual around the Oui Desserts Studios.

If you have not already, please, go subscribe over on iTunes or (if you’re not into Apple stuff, which, hey, it’s a free country) SoundCloud, so you don’t miss a single episode of The Voice of Houston.

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.

USA Today’s Nicole Auerbach previews Rio 2016 and Team USA Swimming; USA Men’s Basketball w/ Steve Carp; Astros w/ Jake Kaplan

Welcome to this very exciting 54th episode of The Weekly Brew podcast. We welcome in USA Today sportswriter Nicole Auerbach, Houston Chronicle Astros beat reporter Jake Kaplan (a two-time guest) and five-time Nevada Sportswriter of the Year, Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

First, Auerbach dives (HA!) into Team USA Swimming, which she will be covering at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. She offers some insight into the preparation and mentality of Olympic veterans like Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Missy Franklin, as well as detailing why everyone will be talking about Katie Ledecky after the Games this summer. Auerbach also shares how she got into sportswriting, and how pioneers like Lisa Olson and Christine Brennan paved the way for women in sports media today.

Next, Jake Kaplan calls in to talk about the Astros. When last Kaplan and the BrewCast spoke, the Astros were struggling through a very tough April, but since his last call, the ‘Stros are one of the hottest teams in baseball (despite the rough weekend in Detroit). What sparked the turnaround, and can the Astros sustain the momentum into the playoffs? Kaplan encourages fans not to worry about Alex Bregman’s slow start in the majors and offers a timeline for when Yulieski Gurriel can be expected to contribute, after the Astros signed him to a five-year $47.5 million contract.

Finally, Steve Carp, who watched Team USA Basketball train and compete in their first exhibition in Las Vegas, calls in to talk about this year’s squad, including a look at why DeMarcus Cousins is so unstoppable in international play and why Kevin Durant was booed in his first 2016 international game. Carp also covers the NHL, and provides a look at what the NHL expansion into Las Vegas might mean for leagues like the NBA, MLB and NFL putting a team in Sin City.

No new reviews this week! It is immeasurably disappointing, to Kevin in particular, who has taken it pretty hard. It would be so easy to brighten his day. Just go to iTunes, click “Ratings and Review” and leave a nice, little 5-star review with a blurb and he will read it ON THE AIR to THOUSANDS, if not MILLIONS, of listeners. As Spike Lee said: do the right thing.

But thank you, as always, for listening, and be sure to share this with your friends. If you don’t have any, maybe you can make some by introducing them to this awesome show. We’re happy to help.

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