Cameron Krutwig said he’d been joking about starting a podcast with Will Alcock since his junior year and after his final season with the Ramblers, they finally did.
“Bears. Blers. Bots.” It’s a pretty self-explanatory name for a podcast. What it doesn’t mention is it’s the only podcast run by former Loyola men’s basketball players. Cameron Krutwig and Will Alcock get together to talk about the Chicago Bears, the Ramblers, and Krutwig’s professional career overseas — currently with the Ibaraki Robots in Mito, Japan.
Closing out his career in 2021 ranked fifth in program history for scoring, a Third Team Associated Press All-America selection and Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Player of the Year honors, Krutwig is remembered as one of Loyola’s all-time greats. He helped lead the Ramblers to two MVC Championships, which resulted in trips to the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four and Sweet Sixteen in 2018 and 2021, respectively.
Hailing from Indiana, Alcock entered the team as a walk-on first-year in Krutwig’s sophomore season. Along with Krutwig, he contributed to both MVC Championships and the Ramblers’ Cinderella runs, finishing within the best 16 teams in the nation twice. Krutwig, an Illinois native, said it was particularly easy for him to gravitate towards another midwestern kid like Alcock.
The former Loyola athletes said their relationship grew over time on and off the court, as they were matched up against each other in every practice and shared similar interests. Alcock said they connected over playing video games like Madden and FIFA, adding they were always ready to watch football on Sundays, especially the Chicago Bears.
“Krut and I are kind of old souls a little bit, especially during COVID,” Alcock said. “When we were separated, we’d call a lot… He’d be playing video games and just talk. So I’m like, I’m sure people would like to hear what you say about what’s going on.”
Alcock mentioned he listened to an unhealthy amount of podcasts before co-starring on his own. He also said he was thrilled about the NIL legislation passed in 2021 — not because of the potential monetization, but because it opened opportunities for him to have a platform where he could share his commentary with a larger audience.
Krutwig said he’d been joking about starting a podcast with Alcock since his junior year and after his final season with the Ramblers, they finally did. Krutwig added since he was one of the few athletes to leave the program in 2021, he was further incentivized to start the podcast to keep in touch with Alcock and his former teammates by having them on the podcast as guests.
All-in on the idea, the duo met with Krutwig’s agent, who provided them with contacts who could help them produce the podcast and acquire ads to generate revenue. However, most of the offers they received interfered with the creative ownership of their podcast, so Krutwig and Alcock decided to do all the work themselves. They were responsible for editing and producing the podcast, uploading them to streaming platforms and finding ads to get money through the door.
Halfway through their first season, Alcock said BLEAV podcasts network reached out to them with a deal that would help them keep total creative ownership of the podcast, but would help them get ads for a share of the revenue. Krutwig and Alcock accepted and have been in partnership with them since.
Krutwig, who has played professionally in three different countries, said it has become more challenging to record and have guests on their podcast the farther east he’s moved from the United States.
Since they began their podcast in 2021, however, Krutwig and Alcock have recorded 41 episodes featuring 20 special guests. Some of these include former Loyola athletes and legends — Lucas Williamson, Clayton Custer and Donte Ingram, Loyola alum and now NBA insider Shams Charania and former Loyola Head Coach Porter Moser.
While Krutwig plays in Japan, Alcock returned to Indiana and is currently working while applying to go to law school — hopefully back in Chicago, he said. To “keep his college basketball body,” he plays in men’s basketball leagues with former college players — including former Loyola teammate Tate Hall — and works out with high school players to help coach them.
With the Atlantic 10 Championship coming up, both former players had positive things to say about the team. Having played in one of the biggest stages in basketball himself — the Final Four in 2019 — Krutwig said one never knows what can happen in the month of March.
“March is a whole different game, win or go home,” Krutwig said. “Couple guys that I played with that are still on the team know what it’s like in March, know the focus you need to have. So I wouldn’t be surprised if we go in there and win maybe one or two games.”
Alcock gave some words of encouragement and expressed his faith in Valentine’s program. Although this hasn’t been his most successful year, neither was Moser’s first in a new conference.
“Porter’s first year, in the Missouri Valley they finished dead last four wins,” Alcock said. “And, I just say, coming from Porter’s philosophy and now Drew’s program, it demands a lot. It’s not a pragmatic system and it’s gonna take some time to build up.”
The next episode for “Bears. Blers. Bots” is set to be released March 6 on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Updates on guests and new episodes can be found on their Instagram @bears.blers.bots.
Featured image courtesy of Steve Woltmann