Episode 41 (Feb. 17, 2021): Jake Wallack, Madden Club Champion

While the Super Bowl is over, we have more football content for you!  Jake Wallach, or “JWall” as his fans affectionately know him, won the Madden Club Championship on February 9th - he joins the show to relive his big victory.  JWall takes us through the process of qualifying for a competitive Madden tournament, his 14-6 win over one of the best Madden players in the nation, and his strategy to take him down.  We also discuss JWall’s love for the Detroit Lions, and Calvin Johnson’s recent Hall of Fame induction.

BEERS:  Brewery Ommegang: “where heaven met earth,” according to its website, isn’t really a far stretch.  Will reviews Neon Rainbows from the Cooperstown brewer, and his rating is probably worth you heading to Untappd.com to find out if you’re one of the 47 states that Ommegang distributes to.   Jake takes a trip down the Pawtuxet River to Apponaug Brewing Company in Warwick, RI.  To the naked eye, it’s a “come for the food, stay for the vibes, and drink some beer in the meantime” vibe...but is Apponaug actually a hidden gem in Rhode Island? Jake reviews “Lakerunner,” a West Coast pale ale that might have him coming back sooner than he thought.

BUSINESS:  With plenty of high tensions in the market over the past few weeks, it’s refreshing to hear about a trailblazing entrepreneur making moves.  Whitney Wolfe Herd is officially the youngest self-made female billionaire in history after she led Bumble to its IPO this past week; it’s already up around 5% in the first few days of trading. We break down Bumble’s attractive case to buy, and Whitney Wolfe Herd’s long journey to bringing her company public.

BALLS: Are you lost without football? We are. We reminisce on a game that shocked many, as Tom Brady collected his 7th Super Bowl ring.  What’s next for Brady? Who will the Buccaneers retain as the free agency rumors begin?  After demanding a release from the Houston Texans, where will JJ Watt look to play football in 2021?  We also break down the recent success of the New York Knicks, who currently enjoy a 6th-place marker in the Eastern Conference.

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Publish Date: 2/17/2021

Recent Episodes

The crossover pod you’ve been waiting for! This week, Mike Gilligan and Oliver Martel from “Small State Big Takes” join us for our first ever collab show. In the true spirit of collaboration, we start this week’s show as the SSBT guys do every week: with our “big take” of the day.  The takes were big, controversial, and raunchy…ranging from Damian Lillard to how you like to eat your muffin.

BEERS: We start as we always do: searching for the best craft beer on the planet.  Will and Jake return to their Tree House roots and review two classics: Moment of Clarity and Curiosity Fifty Seven.  Gilli, who just moved to Philly (yes, we know it rhymes) stops at a Pennsylvania classic, Yards Brewing Company, to review Philadelphia Pale Ale.  Oliver keeps it simple with a classic Blue Moon.

BUSINESS: The rage over non-fungible tokens, or NFT’s, has grown significantly in the last few weeks.  Second-to-none is NBA Top Shot, the nation’s hottest marketplace to own “moments” from all sorts of basketball players. Will these NFT marketplaces replace the thrill and wonder of a good-ole-fashioned pack of trading cards? What’s next for digital memorabilia? The guys also react to the news that Mark Cuban will allow Mavericks fans to pay for tickets and fan gear in Dogecoin, a viral cryptocurrency that’s gained significant exposure. Is it a pure publicity stunt or secretly genius?

BALLS: Our inaugural Pod vs. Pod Conference Pick ‘Em Challenge is on!  Both podcasts will pick the winners of seven conference tournaments. We’ll compete for bragging rights, switching our Twitter profile pics for 24 hours, and a small donation to the opposing podcast’s charity.

--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/beersbusinessandballs/support

Publish Date: 3/5/2021

If you’re a baseball person, you know Bobby V. But even if you don’t keep up with America’s pastime, there’s still a chance you know this week’s guest for a few reasons: as an ESPN analyst, a restaurant owner in southern Connecticut, or most notably,  a “master of disguise.”

We are honored to have Bobby Valentine on our show this week to reflect on a career with a plethora of accomplishments.  We recall Bobby’s days at USC - from rooming with future Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner, to his time in the Sigma Chi Fraternity with 3-time Super Bowl Champion coach Mike Holmgren.  Bobby reminisces on nearly stealing home his Major League debut, playing a role in 3 of Nolan Ryan’s no-hitters, and his “catcher’s balk” disguise incident in 1999 as the manager of the New York Mets.  We break down Bobby’s opinions on the future of the game of baseball and the inevitable universal designated hitter rule.  We shift gears to chat with Bobby about his role as the Athletic Director at Sacred Heart University, the gaps he had to fill going from professional to collegiate athletics, and what’s to come for the SHU Pioneers in the near future.

BEERS:  Vermont is known for its skiing scene and scenic outdoor activities, but its craft beer market is one of the best in New England. Will tries Big Bang by Foley Brothers Brewing - an unfiltered single IPA with some of our favorite hops, he thinks this is one you should have on the list.  Jake goes back to his Connecticut roots and reviews a classic - Sea Hag by New England Brewing Company.  A staple at any gathering and a great contribution for a friend’s party, Sea Hag is one of the most crushable IPA’s in the region.

BUSINESS:  Texas suffers its worst nightmare: after basically freezing over, there are still millions without power, thousands in need of shelter, and hundreds dead.  Why wasn’t Texas prepared for a winter storm in the same way that the Northeast or Midwest would’ve been?  We break down some potential factors, and look into some stocks you might be able to take advantage of...if they can make it out of this mess alive.

BALLS:  San Diego Padres standout shortstop Fernando Tatis inks himself a HUGE deal for $340 million over 13 years. How does this change the game for young stars that will hit free agency in the first few years of the 2020’s?

--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/beersbusinessandballs/support

Publish Date: 2/23/2021


Super Bowl Sunday has finally arrived! It’s the Chiefs and the Bucs - can Tom Brady separate his legacy from the New England Patriots and win yet another title, or will it be Patrick Mahomes’ time to take over as the face of the NFL?  We bring in former NFL safety Quintin Demps to discuss his career, what he learned from Andy Reid, and what to expect this weekend.


Is it IPA season again?  Will reviews “Totally Tubular” from Orono Brewing Company in Maine, and its tropical notes have us dreaming of warmer places...well, anywhere that doesn’t have a foot of snow on the ground. Jake reviews “Peeptoad” from nearby Tilted Barn Brewing, to which he makes a comparison to another Rhode Island staple.


You’d have to be living under a rock to not be aware of what’s going on in the stock market these past few weeks, and who better than our friend Zaid Admani to discuss it!  In a relentless battle of “Bros vs. Suits,” the stock market endured a “short squeeze,” in which a group of Reddit users convinced many retail investors to pump up stocks in order to inflict massive losses on hedge funds who had “shorted” their share of these companies. GameStop, AMC, and BlackBerry had all benefited from the short squeeze - some users report gaining as much as 1700% on their positions.  We break down the events of last week and ponder if this could be the new norm. We also discuss the recent resignation of Jeff Bezos, and what it could mean for the future of Amazon.


Quintin Demps grew from a city kid growing up in San Antonio with a single mother to a standout defensive back at UTEP.   He earned himself a 4th-round draft pick to the Eagles, was mentored by 9-time Pro-Bowler Brian Dawkins, and quickly found himself one win away from the 2009 Super Bowl...only to be walked off by a last-minute touchdown pass from Hall of Famer Kurt Warner.  Demps reminisces on his memories of the league, the lessons he learned from now-Chiefs head coach Andy Reid during his time in Philadelphia, and being carved apart by Tom Brady during the four times in his career they played each other.  We also discuss the mental and financial struggles with life after football, how to fix the Texans, what Deshaun Watson’s mentality should be going forward, and if Patrick Mahomes has a legitimate claim to the “Face of the NFL” title with a win.

--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/beersbusinessandballs/support

Publish Date: 2/4/2021

The Bryant Bulldogs are taking the entire Division I basketball landscape by storm in 2021, so we thought it’d only be right to sit down with the architect of one of the best turnaround stories in the 21st century (starts at 19:31).   Jared Grasso knew he was a basketball guy from the minute he picked one up (22:16); the son of a coach, he went on to become a 4-year starter and 2-year captain at Quinnipiac (23:30), where he ranks 23rd on the Bobcats’ all-time scoring list.   Grasso talks with us about his tactics to build a championship at Iona (27:49), and going to the NCAA Tournament five times.  Grasso takes us through his decision to seek greener pastures at Bryant (33:09), his mentality of turning a 3-28 program into an NEC competitor, and purging recruits from powerhouse programs like Rutgers.  We play “Break Down the Quote,” as Coach breaks down his three favorite phrases…or “Grasso-ism’s,” some may say (47:49).  We also discuss the game Grasso scored 30 points against Ben Gordon (25:40), the best places to eat on Long Island, and his close relationship with CBS Sports insider Jon Rothstein (and his machine-like eating habits - 49:44). BEERS Will tries a new selection from Moniker Brewery, a new establishment on Fountain Street in Providence, Rhode Island.  Jeff Goodno and Bryan Benedict, the two founders, enjoyed success at Beer’d Brewing Company in Connecticut, and are now off-and-running on their new venture in Providence.  Jake reviews Spectrum by New Park Brewing - a brew that gets some pretty high praise in a crowded Connecticut beer market. BUSINESS Gamestop - that place you used to go when you were 8 years old may have just made you rich!  Even though Gamestop is more than likely forecasted to lose money this year AND next year amid the closure of brick & mortar stores and the evolution of buying new video games, their stock soared more than 300% over the past week.  How did a group of Redditors inflate the stock price? What does it mean for day traders? BALLS We could not have even imagined both games in Championship Weekend to end the way they did.  The Super Bowl will be Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes - a matchup that earned the Chiefs a 27-24 win over Tampa Bay in Week 12.   We recap both games and offer some thoughts before our Super Bowl breakdown next week. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/beersbusinessandballs/support

Publish Date: 1/26/2021

When you think of the wine industry, you probably think of the rolling Tuscan hills, old money, and dressing to the nines for a fun Saturday fall afternoon with your friends. But it means far more to Sigma Chi alumnus Brandon Chaney, who left his career to pursue winemaking full-time. The proprietor and founder of Fairwinds Estates Winery in Napa Valley, Brandon is an accomplished tech entrepreneur who left his job to chase his passion for making (and drinking) great wines. As Brandon tells us, it certainly has not been all sunshines and rainbows - Fairwinds lost most of their property to the lethal Glass Fires in October 2020.  How did the experience change Brandon's outlook on his passion, and how are they rebuilding? We unpack a lot in our "Business" segment with Brandon Chaney this week, and we're excited to share his story with you.

BEERS: Craft beer without the hangover? Sign us up. For years, the non-alcoholic beer industry has remained stagnant - no one is reaching for the O'Douls, St. Pauli Girl, or Beck's anymore. Athletic Brewing Company is on a mission to redefine craft beer by providing an easy-to-drink craft beer without the health risks & the unavoidable hangover. We certainly love our craft beer, but we enjoyed giving Athletic Brewing a shot. Head over to athleticbrewing.com to check out their products today.

BALLS: We give some rapid-fire predictions for the 2 games in the upcoming NFL Championship Series, and digest all that's been going on in the baseball world.

--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/beersbusinessandballs/support

Publish Date: 1/21/2021

Our first show of 2021 kicks off with a bang!  Bryan Hoch, longtime New York Yankees beat writer on MLB.com, joins the guys for our first episode since December 22 (interview starts 16:46). Bryan has a decorated career in sports journalism, particularly in baseball - from his humble beginnings starting a Mets blog in high school, to covering the most storied franchise in sports, Bryan shares memories & highlights from an extremely rewarding career. We discuss his favorite Yankees to cover, the pure shock of watching his team win the 2009 World Series, and the eerily methodical pregame routine of Hall of Fame shortstop Derek Jeter.  Bryan recalls his base hit off former pitcher Jeff Nelson, his favorite Topps baseball cards he’s pulled over the years, his favorite Ron Burgundy quotes, and gives his bourbon of choice. BEERS: Massachusetts, we’re back!  Will reviews Cloud Candy by Mighty Squirrel - he’s all-in on the Boston-area favorite.  Jake tries Secret Batch #292 (not so secret anymore) from True North Brewing Company, another staple of the Massachusetts craft beer scene. BUSINESS:  Twitter is still facing fallout from banning President Trump from the platform after the storming of Capitol Hill last week. Shares have declined more than 12% since banning the President; Wall Street analysts are estimating massive financial risk for Twitter due to Trump supporters no longer engaging with the platform, and sparking conversations on social media censorship. That, analysts say, will become less appealing for advertisers to set up shop on Twitter. Should we expect more of this from other Big Tech firms, and what are the possible implications if you’re a shareholder? BALLS: We break down our biggest surprises from the NFL Wild Card Weekend, and give some rapid-fire predictions for the 4 games in the upcoming Divisional Round. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/beersbusinessandballs/support

Publish Date: 1/13/2021

If the names Dooley, Fringe Guy, Jimmy Heaters, or the Rally King mean anything to you, then buckle up. Although it started as a meme page on Instagram, Friday Beers has become more of a rallying cry for the 9-5 corporate worker - wherever you are in the world, and whatever time it is, the feeling of a Friday Beer just "hits different."  In Episode 36, Jake & Will sit down with Jack and Max Barrett (starts 3:44), the masters behind one of social media's fastest-growing brands.  We discuss their rise to Instagram & Twitter royalty (10:15), their inspiration behind "The Squad” (12:48), and their endeavor into the craft beer scene (28:13).  We trigger some nostalgic - but painful - memories of their breakup with Dua Lipa (17:23), and their subsequent partnership with their new sole followed account...Hailee Steinfeld. NOTE: Please help Friday Beers give back to NYC restaurant workers by visiting ROAR NY at https://www.roarnewyork.org/. This is a phenomenal opportunity to give to someone in need this holiday season. If you can contribute, please do - any amount makes a difference! Rapid fire this week from our portion of the show: BEERS (51:50): We review selections from Long Live Beerworks (our favorite), and Loophole Brewing Company, a new selection you can more than likely find in a New England liquor store. Will has also made NO progress in his quest to 1K check-ins on Untappd...can he drink 33 new beers in 9 days?! BUSINESS (54:58): The vaccine and stimulus package approvals promised solid gains, but they were quickly thwarted by news of a new COVID-19 strain...only to rise again near market close. How long will this continue? BALLS (58:34): "DA GOD DAM JETS" won a game! What does this mean for the future of the franchise? We also select our Week 15 teams for Contenders & Pretenders (60:37). POSITIVITY CORNER (66:28): Dr. Anthony Fauci says he went to vaccinate Santa Claus a few weeks ago - should be you concerned of the Big Man climbing down your chimney this Christmas? --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

Publish Date: 12/22/2020

The Show

Presented by House Enterprise, hosted by Jake Zimmer and Will Tondo. The name explains itself. We’ll be discussing craft beer, the latest business news, and what's going on in the world of sports. Join us for weekly conversations and interviews with industry leaders and guests around the nation.



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