We Are So Goddamn Lucky

As predicted, and as it should be, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors are in the finals. Again. This matchup, now in its fourth installment, has been met with much dissent by basketball fans across the nation. To those fans, I ask: what the fuck are you complaining about?

The Warriors are the best team in basketball history. Theres really no solid argument to the contrary. This is the most talented core we’ve ever seen in basketball, and possibly all of sports. They’re just so goddamn good, that the coach just says “fuck it” and lets the players do the coaching for a quarter here and there. Where else have you seen that? Their reign of terror has really only lasted these past four seasons, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but it sure does feel like a very long time since we weren’t 100% sure they’d win the finals or at the very least be there, doesn’t it? And while some find it repetitive and boring to see the same faces and hear the same names called year after year, I find it to be exhilarating knowing that I’m watching the game played at its absolute best by some of its best players. I ask myself, is there anything in basketball as exciting as this? is there any team or player that makes this sport as fun to watch as this team?

Yes.

The Philadelphia 76ers.

But they’re not here right now, so we’ll go with the next best thing.

LeBron James. The greatest basketball player ever. If you think anything else, especially if you’re my age, you are an idiot. You’re so caught up in hating him for “The Decision” and how you’d NEVER leave your team with an owner who you hated in a city like Cleveland to go play with your friends in Miami for a lot more money. Yep, you’re such a TEAM GUY that you’d never do that, and therefore you’ve looked at LeBron through a clouded lens and watch too many highlight videos of an old man with gambling debts jump over far inferior athletes and declared him the greatest. And then there are the Kobe people, who I dismiss entirely. ANYWAY. LeBron did come back to Cleveland and thus they are in the finals yet again. A team that without him, would certainly be looking to trade away the #1 pick they just received in the lottery. I mean holy shit are they bad. But, they’re here. Competing for a championship. Why? Because when you have the best player ever, that’s where your team goes.

So we have two very different teams here. The Warriors, at their core, have not changed all that much since the first installment of this matchup in 2015. All they really did was add arguably the second greatest player ever to their already dominant team. Also managed to fill their supporting roles as perfectly as a team could do along the way. As for the Cavs, yikes. Yes, much of their “core” still exists, but with the exception of LeBron, this “core” is really a shell of its former self, and the role players added along the way just never worked out the way it was supposed to, aka, they just stunk. The second best player took a better offer and left the team, so LeBron is left with little to work with. And yet, here we are.

Game 1 in Oakland. Seemingly a lock for the hosting Warriors. And what did we get? A true shootout. The best team ever and the best player ever battling it out. While it ended in defeat for the king due to a costly blunder by one of his hazier teammates, you cant help but walk away from that game thinking, “holy shit, this really is the best series we can get”.

As I write this, Game 2 is two hours from tipping. I can’t wait to sit down and not watch the Celtics against the Rockets. I’m gonna watch the NBA Finals, where I am so lucky that I get to see this happening, and you are too. We all are. Whatever your take is now, you’re going to be telling your kids about how we had (at least) four straight years of this matchup.

The Cheesesteak Experience

One night a few years ago, I had my friend Devin over for dinner. It was an NFL Sunday and I was making cheesesteaks. I prepared one for him and myself and afterwards I asked him how he liked it. “It was very good”, he said. He then asked “so why do I have to go all the way to philly just to have this same thing?”. My answer wasn’t one I put much thought in to, as it was a difficult one to make. On the one hand I’m not about to sit here and discredit the fine work I had just done, but I’m the other I wasn’t about to put my replica on the same pedestal as the definitive dish of my birth town. All I could come up with was:

“Because, you just do”.
His question was a valid one, although I haven’t thought about it for years. Why SHOULD he, a Long Islander, hop in his car and drive 200 miles through treacherous roads like the LIE and the Belt Parkway, before inching across the Verrazano and Goethals bridges, fight through the hell that is the Jersey Turnpike, to eventually arrive in Philadelphia, frazzled from the war on the roads, just to eat what, at its core, is simply minced meat and cheese whiz on an Italian hoagie roll?
To answer the question I’m going to have to take you on a journey with me to South 9th street and East Passyunk Avenue in Philadelphia. The two streets intersect with one another and at its center, the two landmarks of Philadelphia cuisine. On one side, you’re surrounded by the orgy of neon lights that is Geno’s. With its enormous sign and walls lined with photos of famous customers and badges honoring police officers in and around Philadelphia, the restaurant is a true homage to the city. Across the street on the Passyunk side, a much less ostentatious and less frilled spot. Although it’s appearance is more modest, Pats King of Steaks seems to know exactly what it is.
Okay so now we’re at Pats and Genos. If you’re from the Philadelphia area you’ve on multiple occasions been asked which one you prefer. If you’re not from the area, let me save you the time of bothering someone and just tell you the differences. Aside from the appearance of both spots as I just described, Pats has red tables and benches out front and Geno’s tables and benches are orange. Also Pats meat seems to me like it’s a little more finely chopped and Geno’s has a softer roll. But that’s just me.
Alright. So back to the question. WHY have I taken you here. Now that we’re here let’s plop ourselves in the month of January. It’s a freezing cold night and there’s no reason for you to be out waiting outside on line for a sandwich, and yet it makes all the sense in the world. It’s January and it’s a late night, you’ve had a few drinks and so have the groups or people coming from the Sixers game that just ended. Most likely they’re celebrating a win, and the whole street is excited. Someone in a Brian Westbrook jersey is yelling obscenities at you and your friends and families all around, but that’s all part of the charm. After waiting your turn you get to the window, “one whiz with” you ask. Quick side note, this is how you order. You simply say what you want on it. They only sell cheesesteaks, you don’t need to let them know that’s what you came for. So by going up to the window and saying “whiz with”, you’re saying “Hello Sir/Madam, I’d like one of your finest cheesesteaks with cheese whiz and grilled onions on it”. Very Simple. Anyway, you order your sandwich and in no time it’s in your hands. You head over to your table, sit, and open the wrap. And there it is. You’re greeted by a foot of finely minced beef, cascaded by liquid gold and all hugged together in a soft, squishy hoagie roll. You take your first bite and for a moment, the chill of the night is washed away. You’ve got a smudge of whiz on your upper lip, and a stream of cheese and grease begins to flow on your fingers and down to the paper from which the sandwich came. “Oh no!” you think as you see this puddle grow, “Im losing all my cheese!”. Fear not, because as you get to about the half way point of your cheesesteak you’ll realize this puddle is your ally, and you will dip your next bite in to it for even more gluttonous flavor. In the midst of all this you may notice a playground next to you. During the day, this park is filled with the young minds of the city as they swing, slide and shoot hoops. But this is the night time, and you realize that whatever activities going on in there are probably that of Philadelphia’s prosperous.. uhm… “off the books” economy. But guess who doesn’t care? You. You’ve got your cheesesteak and thats all that matters in the world.
If you’re still wondering what I’m getting at, you’re probably a New Yorker. Let me put this in terms you may understand. While Philadelphia is my birth town, I did grow up on Long Island. I live in Queens. I know a good slice of pizza from a bad one. You may have heard me on my podcast talk about how you can find a good slice anywhere (if you have not, go ahead and download and subscribe to The O Show on iTunes), and I was right, you can! But why is a slice from New York so highly regarded? because there’s an experience to it. Mozzarella, tomato sauce and bread put together is good wether its from 7/11 or from the best spot in Manhattan. You’re gonna like it. What you chase after is the experience, which is what going to Philly for a cheesesteak is. Cheese whiz, chopped beef and a hoagie roll is going to be good every time. If you get too food critic-y about it you’re gonna miss the point. Here let me explain, for this past super bowl, which was won by the Philadelphia Eagles, I again made cheesesteaks for my girlfriend and I. She said they were very good, but it was nothing like the steaks we had as Genos this past weekend when we travelled down there. Not because of the taste, but because there’s something about waiting in that line, having it made for you by a native Philadelphian, sitting at those tables and going through the exact journey I took you on before. This is a city that is proud of its food. Its proud of it’s people. So by having me make you a cheesesteak you may get to taste a little bit of what that is like, but to feel that, to feel  that pride and like you’re a part of this, you have to go there.
So to answer your question Dev, why do you have to go all the way to Philly just to try this?
Because, you just do.

Ep. 8

It’s The O Show ocho and in this episode Owen talks about never catching a foul ball, his show at Governors, the Conor McGregor fiasco and more.

 

Visit www.everybodyclubclothing.com and enter promo code “THEOSHOW” for 15% off any item

 

*all music used in this podcast is out of admiration and for promotion of its artists. I do not own or profit from any of these files*

Ep. 7

For the first time ever, The O Show truly is just The O Show, as Owen takes the mic solo. He celebrates Saquan Barkley day, talks about his adventures in peeing at Penn State games, never being set up on a date and how that’d be a disaster if he had been, the Sixers and gets to the bottom of a potential sub-retweet about him.

*all music used in this podcast is out of admiration and for promotion of its artists. I do not own or profit from any of these files*

Ep. 6 – Steve Ostrowski

Stevie is back and to be honest we got pretty drunk to celebrate his return. We spend about 40 minutes talking about our glory days in youth sports, then change gears to a discussion about the importance of addressing your mental health and the importance of taking steps toward your healing. To end, we answer some table topic question and Stevie sends us off with his own song, “Wish I Never Met You”

*all music used in this podcast is out of admiration and for promotion of its artists. I do not own or profit from any of these files*

Ep. 5 – Brian Pelan & Tyler Reeve

In this episode, Owen is joined by (former) Suffolk County champion wrestler Brian Pelan and fish delivery boy Tyler Reeve. The trio debate wether or not New York pizza and bagels are actually good, discuss Owens poor health, how truck drivers are the worst people on earth, space ships, Lavar Ball and much, much more.

*all music used in this podcast is out of admiration and for promotion of its artists. I do not own or profit from any of these files*

Ep. 4 – Devin Stark, Liam Finnegan and Scoot

In this episode, Scoot makes his triumphant return, former ice delivery man Devin Stark and frat boy Liam Finnegan make their first appearances. The quartet sit down to discuss Saquan Barkley, Josh Allen, their thoughts on the upcoming MLB season, socks, Owen’s trip to the sex shop, OJ Simpson and much much more

*all music used in this podcast is out of admiration and for promotion of its artists. I do not own or profit from any of these files*

Ep. 3 – PFC Connor Andersen

Episode 3 is a very special farewell edition featuring former garbage man, PFC Connor Andersen. Connor is deploying the day after this is recorded so Owen had him on so he could give his goodbyes to all of you. Along the way, they discuss what his life will be like during deployment, Connor gets a pizza delivered to him mid-show, and leaves us not only with an emotional goodbye, but a joke to end all jokes.

*all music used in this podcast is out of admiration and for promotion of its artists. I do not own or profit from any of these files*

Ep. 2 – Steve Ostrowski

Episode 2 features bartender and amateur rock star Stevie, as he and Owen discuss drunk eating, old habits, relationships in distress, play table topics, and much more.

*all music used in this podcast is out of admiration and for promotion of its artists. I do not own or profit from any of these files*

Ep. 1 – The World Premiere feat. Scoot

In the first ever episode of The O Show, Owen is joined by candidate for Providence College Rugby captain and long time friend Scoot, as they discuss peaking in high school, 9/11 conspiracy videos, Super Bowl LII and its potential impact on the future of the Jets and Eagles, why Owen’s baseball career came to an abrupt end, and much more.

*all music used in this podcast is out of admiration and for promotion of its artists. I do not own or profit from any of these files*