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Bring it to Jerome
27 minutes | Aug 11, 2017
Ep22: Chris Tomlinson brings it to Jerome
Former NFL star LaDainian Tomlinson began the last section of his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech with “If this was my last day on Earth, and this my final speech,” then shared the story of his family. It is a story of West Africans, slaves, freemen, that is inextricably linked with Chris Tomlinson’s family story of slave owners, Klansmen, political and social power brokers. LaDainian Tomlinson is black. Chris Tomlinson is white. Chris Tomlinson joined this episode of “Bring It To Jerome” and gives details of these family histories, in many ways this family’s history … the story of Tomlinson Hill.
26 minutes | Jul 10, 2017
Ep21: Jeff Bagwell brings it to Jerome
Jeff Bagwell, who Jerome says is the Astros’ all-time best player, took time out from prepping for his Hall of Fame speech to Bring It To Jerome. Bagwell doesn’t do a lot of media interviews – “I don’t like talking about myself,” he said – so this was a special episode, during which, Bagwell talked about a host of subjects, including his playoff struggles, his disdain for sabermetrics, his upcoming Hall of Fame speech, and this year’s Astros’ chances are of winning the World Series. “I haven’t watched this much baseball my entire life,” Bagwell said. “I’ve never seen anything like it. They keep coming. … It really is a pleasure to watch.” Bagwell laughingly said that his Hall of Fame speech is likely to come in at the minimum of eight minutes, but in a rare treat he happily went three times as long in this episode of “Bring It To Jerome.”
46 minutes | Jun 6, 2017
Ep20: Carl Lewis Brings it to Jerome
Five-time Olympian Carl Lewis, once the world’s fastest human, slowed down for a bit to join “Bring it to Jerome” from his office at the University of Houston, where he has been an assistant track coach for three years. Never afraid to speak his mind, Lewis weighed in on a variety of subjects, including his role in the professionalism of track and field, his pursuit of excellence in the sport and his brief foray into politics, as a candidate for New Jersey state legislature. It was the latter topic that got Lewis going midway through the episode, as he discussed the mess that is politics today, the challenges he faced in his home state – where opponents questioned his residency – and the “culture of mediocrity” that he believes has led to the U.S. having “a crazy person in the white House.” Lewis on Donald Trump: “Everyone said ‘I don't care how stupid he is, I don’t care how crazy it is, I don't care how wacky he is, I don't care how misogynistic he is, I don't care how disrespectful he is, but I think he's going to make me feel happy.’ Well guess what … you see what we have now?” And Lewis was just getting started. Listen to “Bring it to Jerome” for more.
56 minutes | May 21, 2017
Ep19: Jeff Van Gundy Brings It To Jerome
Jeff Van Gundy may have lost his job with the Rockets, but the longtime NBA coach turned broadcaster, didn’t lose his affection for the City of Houston, despite having been here just four years when he was let go by the team in 2007. Funny, outspoken, and not afraid to challenge opinion – attributes that make him an outstanding television analyst – Van Gundy has a caring heart and a passion for giving, as shown in his work with Pro-Vision, a charter school started by NFL retiree Roynell Young. Van Gundy joined the Chronicle’ Hunter Atkins on the “Bring it to Jerome” episode and discussed a wide range of basketball topics, including the pain in getting fired by the Rockets, the greatness of James Harden, the genius of Mike D’Antoni, and the dominance Golden State Warriors. But he was most passionate about how he has been inspired by Young to help make a difference in young lives, and in his feeling for the people of Houston. “I could talk food, I could talk neighborhoods, I could talk schools,” Van Gundy said. “But the real thing that I love about Houston is people. … You walk into some place and somebody says ‘How are you doing?’ The New Yorker in me is like ‘Why do you wanna know?’ In Houston, it’s not a throwaway line, they really care.”
27 minutes | Jan 14, 2017
Ep18: Major Applewhite brings it to Jerome
The few weeks he has been the head football coach at the University of Houston have been a whirlwind for Major Applewhite, but he took some time out of his busy schedule to bring it to Jerome on a variety of topics, including his recruiting philosophy, the hiring of assistant coaches and his response to the critics of one particular hire, defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio. “I don’t get my true news from Twitter or Google,” Applewhite said. “There’s a lot of groupthink in this country because we all share the same social networks and the ways that we communicate. You have to scratch the surface to find the truth. …. That’s the same stuff they sad about me when Tom (Herman) hired me.” Applewhite said he had some interest from former Baylor staffers, and even talked to a couple, but none were the right fit for what he was looking for. The ever-confident Applewhite guaranteed that the winning program at UH will continue: “We’re gonna continue to do what Houston’s done, and that’s win.”
32 minutes | Dec 16, 2016
Ep17: Chip Rives brings it to Jerome
In many ways, the story of Phi Slama Jama is like most Houston sports stories. Spectacular, exciting, and, in the end, disappointing. That’s the story of the team, not the film “Phi Slama Jama.” Austin-based filmmaker Chip Rives captures the world’s tallest fraternity in a wonderful ESPN “30 for 30” film. The day after the 20th anniversary of the Oilers last game at the Astrodome, Houston native Rives joins Jerome in this episode where they discuss growing up as huge sports fans in a city whose sports teams suffered more heartbreaking defeats than uplifting triumphs. Rives’ 11-year-old son is a Texans fan, which means he is being tortured just about the same way his dad was as an Oilers fan in the early-to-mid 70s. “This is what it’s like growing up a Houston sports fans,” Rives said. “This is the pain you have to endure. I said ‘One day, one day, you’re going to have a moment when it’s awesome.’” Rives’ documentary has received rave reviews. He goes into how and why it was made, and some of the back story into the search for Bennie Anders. If you’re a Houston sports fan, you do not want to miss this episode. It’s a slam dunk.
23 minutes | Dec 8, 2016
EP16: Kenny Houston and Elvin Bethea bring it to Jerome
Pro Football Hall of Famers Kenny Houston and Elvin Bethea joined Jerome for a quick chat that centered around the good old days of the NFL, where even if a trainer held up three fingers and a player thought he saw five, the result was “Coach, he’s OK, he’s ready to go,” said Bethea. In the 1970s, there was no such thing as concussion protocol. “It was something that was overlooked,” Bethea said. “In most cases, if you didn’t go back out there, you were going to lose your job. Back then it was survival. You just pushed our body to the max, whether you got hurt or not, you kept going.” Enjoy two all-time greats discuss the game in this episode. And Jerome caps it off with a quick “Moral Victory Monday” nod to the Texans, who have lost three games in a row. Moral victories is all they have managed in the past few weeks.
35 minutes | Nov 10, 2016
Ep15: Aaron Wilson brings it to Jerome
Houston Chronicle Texans beat writer Aaron Wilson brings it to Jerome with a behind-the-scenes discussion on the first half of the season. Wilson compares the Texans' quiet locker room to the more boisterous one he covered in Baltimore for many years. Wilson, one of the top news breakers among NFL media, also goes into detail about J.J. Watts's injury, his rehab and medical opinions about whether Watt will return to form after two back surgeries. If you want to know what's going on inside the Texans, Wilson is the go-to guy. What will be a successful season for the Texans? How can they improve? How good can or bad is Brock Osweiler? Download this episode of "Bring It To Jerome" to find out.
35 minutes | Sep 16, 2016
Ep14: Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf brings it to Jerome
Former quarterback Ryan Leaf, the No. 2 pick in the 1998 NFL Draft, brought it to Jerome in a different tone than any prior episode. Addiction is a serious subject. As per usual, there was some laughter, and sports – Leaf is the most famous quarterback from Montana, not the Texans Brock Osweiler – but Leaf’s tale of addiction and recovery doesn’t lend itself to many jokes. He talks about how he broke into homes searching for pills and how he attempted suicide. “I wanted to die,” he said. “If I couldn’t be high … then I'd want to be dead.” Leaf said he sees himself in fast-living Johnny Manziel, and hopes Manziel learns from his life, his mistakes. Leaf and Joni Ogle, the executive director of Transcend Texas who was on the podcast as well, hope his words will change lives. “I just want to help,” he said. “I just want to be a good human being and being that usually means you’re helping people.”
19 minutes | Aug 29, 2016
Ep13: Jackie Joyner-Kersee brings it to Jerome
The “First Lady of Track” stopped by the Houston Chronicle offices on a promotional visit for Comcast, and Jerome wasn’t about to let her get away with recording a podcast. Jackie Joyner-Kersee, three-time Olympic Gold medalist and one of the greatest athletes of all-time, was the perfect post-Rio guest, as she talked about her love for the Games and the highs and lows she sees and feels when she watches today’s athletes. In the short chat Joyner-Kersee, a pioneer whose feats changed how many in the world view of female athletes, says she is thrilled at how women have progressed in sports. “There was a time where you might have only one or two women competing … in these Olympics Games you saw American women going strong in every sport. It was really great to see.” Houston has a special place in Joyner-Kersee’s heart, as she set a world record in the heptathlon during the 1986 Olympic Festival held there. “The track was like 114 degrees,” she said. “I ran and (the track) felt just like a sponge.” But she set a new mark anyway. In a lighthearted moment, Joyner-Kersee claims she needs three days to complete an 800-meter run. Jerome didn’t buy it. She still has that “Greatest of All Time” look about her.
37 minutes | Aug 23, 2016
Ep12: Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz brings it to Jerome
Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz brings it to Jerome like the hard-charging fighter he is. In an entertaining episode, the four-time world champion boxer covers a wide range of subjects. He talks about winning another title, and has fun with how he has toyed with fighters since his return to the ring in 2013. He also makes fun of his physique. “I’m a fighter, not a body builder.” But the 32-year-old lightweight, who turned pro when he was only 16, gets serious when he discusses eventually leaving the sport. He says he won’t be like a couple of his boxing heroes Roy Jones Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, who are risking it all by continuing to step into the ring despite being well past their primes. “I won’t get to that point,” says Diaz, who owns a trucking company based in Houston. “I’m smart enough to know that if I was in there getting beat up, getting beat, and things were going bad … I wouldn’t do this anymore.”
36 minutes | Aug 12, 2016
Ep11: Jenny Dial Creech brings it to Jerome
The episode begins with Jenny Dial Creech's moving reading of one woman’s struggle with a Baylor University system whose “leadership challenges and communications issues hindered enforcement of rules and policies, and created a cultural perception that football was above the rules,” according to the findings of fact of an investigation by the law firm Pepper Hamilton. Creech has interviewed or read court documents from cases of more than a dozen women who say they were attacked or sexually assaulted at Baylor and received little, if any, assistance from the university following the alleged attacks. In some cases, these women say they were dissuaded from pursuing criminal charges, and all but rebuked for becoming victims. The stories are gut-wrenching. Creech shares details on her outstanding reporting effort, and the story behind the story, that provides many details and accounts from alleged victims that have not been previously published.
34 minutes | Aug 7, 2016
Ep10: Wade Phillips brings it to Jerome, Part II
While fans don’t always acknowledge his genius, in football circles Wade Phillips is recognized as an all-time great defensive mind. In this episode, Phillips, who is writing a book about the 3-4 defense, talks about some of his favorite wins and shares details about his coaching philosophy. He cites a mental barrier that keeps players from playing as hard and fast as they possibly can, and how he works to move them past that. Phillips, who held the tackles record at the University of Houston for 40 years despite not being physically gifted, believes his defenses play harder than others and it comes from all-out effort, which he says is a skill: “Great effort can be taught.” And Phillips doesn’t applaud players for every type of hustle. “We grade off on players that speed up during a play,” Phillips said. “If you’re going and then all of a sudden you speed up, then you weren’t going hard enough in the first place.” Phillips always goes hard, and he does so here. Listen to one of the best ever talk football.
27 minutes | Jul 31, 2016
Ep9: Wade Phillips brings it to Jerome, Part I
The longtime NFL coach, the Son of Bum, took time out from his celebratory ride since the Broncos won the Super Bowl to chat with Jerome about a wide variety of issues. In this episode, Phillips talks about the jeweler mix-up that resulted in his championship ring having the wrong name on it, why he wears his ring every day and how special it was to finally win a Super Bowl after 39 NFL seasons. As great as the championship feeling was though, Phillips, who calls Houston home, says it wasn’t as emotional for him as the Luv Ya Blue welcome back parties after the Houston Oilers lost to Pittsburgh in the playoffs in 1978 and ‘79. “I’ve never heard a crowd like that, and I’ve been in a lot of games,” he said. Phillips says he is unsure how good new Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler will be, but “He’s the right kind of person,” to succeed at the position.
34 minutes | Jul 17, 2016
Ep8: Dale Robertson brings the ‘Houston 10’ to Jerome
Longtime Houston columnist Dale Robertson and rookie Chronicle columnist Brian T. Smith join Jerome to discuss the 10 most relevant sports figure in Houston. The Chronicle’s annual feature has become a hot summer debate topic in recent years and the 2016 edition is no different. Is it possible that Brock Osweiler will be atop the official list ahead of the unparalleled J.J. Watt and inimitable Simone Biles? Listen and find out who made the list, who was snubbed and who Smith and Solomon would have chosen No. 1, in this fun conversation breaking down the City of Houston sports scene.
30 minutes | Jul 5, 2016
Ep7: Mike “There is a D in D’Antoni” D’Antoni brings it to Jerome
In a laughter-filled interview, the new Houston Rockets head coach talks about being from West Virginia, his playing career, which ended with his jersey being retired in Italy, and his coaching philosophy. D’Antoni also goes into the emotional impact of being a basketball player at Marshall when 36 members of the football team died in a 1970 plane crash. D’Antoni, one of the first to regularly use an undersized lineup, says the dominant low-post big man is like a dinosaur in today’s wide-open game, which he helped popularize with the Suns in the early 2000s. He defends his ability and willingness to coach defense, joking that he was a defensive stopper as a player, so clearly he knows a little something about defense. D’Antoni, who describes himself as somewhat of a Forest Gump, had a short NBA/ABA career, but played with a number of people associated with the Rockets, including Moses Malone, and former coaches Don Chaney and Rick Adelman. The 65-year-old says age isn’t an issue – is 65 the new 50? – and his competitive nature is what brought him back to coaching. “I want to win, and I want to get over the hump.”
17 minutes | Jun 24, 2016
Ep6: Daryl Morey brings the full Monty to Jerome
Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey stepped out of the draft war room, and brought it to Jerome with a late-night interview at Toyota Center that ended with talk of Morey stripping naked at the celebratory parade should the Rockets ever win an NBA championship under his watch. Yes, they went there. Morey admitted the Rockets didn’t handle success well after they advanced to the conference finals and lost to Golden State in 2015. The firing of head coach Kevin McHale 11 games into the season and the total disaster that was the major offseason acquisition of Ty Lawson resulted in a disappointing 41-41 season. “They don’t do a parade for 41 wins?” Morey joked. Um, no. In a candid discussion, Morey talked about James Harden’s commitment and Dwight Howard’s likely departure and said next season would be a failure if the Rockets aren’t back to at least 50 wins and advance in the playoffs.
41 minutes | Jun 6, 2016
Ep5: Barry Warner brings it to Jerome on Muhammad Ali
Legendary radio broadcast journalist and personality Barry Warner shares first-person tales of the great Muhammad Ali, who passed away on June 3. In the 1960s and 70s, Warner spent time around Ali when the boxer was tried, convicted and sentenced to prison all in Houston. Warner, a native New Yorker, was friends with the attorney who represented Ali in his trial for violating Secret Service laws by not answering when his name was called after he was drafted into the Army. He also worked closely with Howard Cosell, and drove the star broadcaster around when he was in town for Ali’s trial and later for Monday Night Football games. Warner was with Ali the first time the champ visited Houston Oilers’ practice to meet Earl Campbell. Tune in for some fascinating stories you have never heard from someone who was there.
33 minutes | May 31, 2016
Ep4: Baylor alum John McClain brings it to Jerome
Baylor alum John McClain “Brings it to Jerome” just after the stunning news that head coach Art Briles was fired and school president Ken Starr reassigned in the wake of a scandal involving the school’s and football program’s pitiful response to assault allegations by female students against players. (Athletic director Ian McCaw resigned a day after this podcast.) McClain, a Baylor season ticketholder and longtime fan, has seen some down days for the program, but said this mess made him sick to his stomach. McClain talks about what is next for a program that started from the bottom of the Big 12 when Briles showed up in 2008, and ascended to the top of the conference and the top-10 in the country in recent years.
45 minutes | May 18, 2016
Ep3: Jim Crane brings it to Jerome
In an honest discussion, the Astros’ owner delves into the finances of baseball “We can’t compete on the payroll with L.A. or Boston,” the importance of team chemistry, playing golf with Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, his own baseball playing career and how he turned a business with one phone line and a single employee into one with 300 offices that generated $4 billion in worldwide sales. Crane also jokes about his failed MLB business partnership with Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. “As I look (back), down the road, that might have been a problem,” he laughed.
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