ENOUGH with the Cheesesteak Shots!

I’m sorry, I can’t take it anymore.

I understand how national broadcasts work. A bunch of – mostly – outsiders come into the city for a few days to produce a television show. Their audience includes you and me, 30-something’s from LA, rednecks from Roy Oswalt’s street, zealots from Utah, Tyler Perry’s disciples, and, most likely, George W. Bush. It’s a wide swath of humanity.

Considering those folks listed above, producers must appeal to the lowest common denominator, and with that comes the rehashing of many things we already know: Philadelphia has a liberty bell, the sports stadiums are all right next to each other, and we boo. We know this, but it’s not ingrained in the minds of people like Nathan Williams, who’s sitting in his living room in Madison, Wisconsin, having a casual conversation with his wife in an accent that angers us. So, because of folks like N-Will, we put up with these simple tales.

I’m one of the few people in the city who actually likes Joe Buck. – ducks – Most comments I see from you accuse Joe of being a corny Philly hater. He may be corny – I’d call it ironic – but he doesn’t hate Philly. He just has to play both sides. We’ve been lucky enough to have him call many of our games over the last few years (that means we’re good). And because of that, we’ve heard a lot about how good our opponents are, too. However, if you watch a game through the lens of a fan from a visiting city, you’d most likely come away feeling the same way about Buck, who I’m pretty sure has given Chase Utley the on-air equivalent of a hand job many times since this run began in 2007.

The point is, I generally enjoy a national broadcast and don’t hate them simply because they have to uncomfortably straddle both sides of the fence. I also understand that, especially during baseball games, there’s a lot of time to fill. But for the love of John Kruk’s left nut, would ESPN and others please please please stop showing gratuitous shots of heart-attack porn?

We get it. Philadelphia is famous for the cheesesteak. That doesn’t mean we need to see them being made three times a game. Three. Three times during last night’s broadcast, ESPN showed the country multiple shots of cheesesteaks being prepared, cheesesteaks being eaten, John Kruk carrying cheesesteaks, etc. It’s like we play in the real world equivalent of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Every other inning there’s a shot of some fat slob serving a cheesesteak to some fatter slob. I half expect to see Augustus Gloop slurping a river of Cheese Whiz during our next national TV appearance. 

There’s other things in this city. Perhaps not a lot, but surely more than cheesesteaks. If they want to go the sandwich route, they should look no further than Dinic’s or Tony Lukes for a another Philly original, the roast pork sandwich. Or how about the Comcast Center? That’s pretty fucking cool. Or the Moshulu? Let’s make the Moshulu famous, it deserves it after the awkward PR the Flyers gave it by throwing faux tea off it’s bow. Hell, I’d take a wide shot of the room where Mark Wahlberg’s child was conceived. Just please stop with the cheesesteak shots… Unless it's footage of Erin Andrews feeding a wiz wit to Hannah Storm. Then it's OK.

With love,



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41 Responses

  1. Erin Andrews and Hannah Storm? I see your standards are pretty low. I’d take Clarissa Simpson over Erin everyday of the week and Hannah’s is really trying too hard to be hot. It ain’t workin’ very well. Linda Cohn doesn’t get enough credit over at ESPN.

  2. couldn’t agree more. i’m sick of the cheese steak porn. however i am proud of our city’s sandwich superiority. mostly i think they oughtta show more of those other sandwiches. the roast pork. the Schmitter. the prosciutto special from chickie’s deli. some cheese being carved at DiBruno bros. some hot sarcone’s rolls. maybe a shot of that $18 Churchill burger I had at Pub & Kitchen the other week. there’s just so much more to our fat city that those national guys are missing. rib eye, fried onions and wiz. anybody can do that. show me a nice Italian hoagie on a seeded roll. or how about a roast pork italian with the broccoli rabbe. now that takes some talent.

  3. Totally a Delco kid if he left out Steves or Chinks…Malvern ain’t Philly kid. But I agree with your ideas.

  4. I partially disagree with your Joe Buck comment.
    Buck may not hate Philly persay, but the guy hates the eagles. You can tell his either sick of calling like 6-8 of our games each year, or he hates us because of our reputation. Or maybe Aikman has a gun to his back? Either way, he can’t hold in his excitement when the opposing team is beating the eagles, especially by the end of the game. He hardly has anything positive to say about us, and when he does it’s the same dribble over and over again just so he can make it seem like he doesn’t hate every morsel of the Eagles organization. You can tell in the inflection of his voice when we do something good, he’s hardly as excited. He may not dish out the not-so-subtle snide ass comments that Al Michael’s brain dead ass might, but it’s obviously he is not an Eagles fan at least.

  5. I would go into a general gripe about how suburban kids from West Chester say they’re from Philly…but we’re all on the same team here.

  6. I’m from and live in Delco. I wasn’t slighting Steve’s, Jim’s, or Chinks. They’re all steaks. Dinic’s has the best sandwich in the city, though. Hell, let’s start a search for the best sandwich in the city. I’ll put it to a vote.

  7. i cant imagine that even the national audience isn’t tired of the cheesesteak thing. I know if they try and show me a shot of the staple food in any other city 400 times i wont watch that sunday night baseball game..and i agree with you on joe buck, i think evreyone is so used to watching local broadcasts where they don’t acknowledge nearly as often our teams flaws or the other’s plusses that we get pissed when joe calls it unbiasedly. finally, team chinks/erin andrews.

  8. I for one can’t get enough of “cheesesteak porn” during those broadcasts! Hell, gimme more!

  9. dont be hatin on west chester. however if you are in west chester lorenzo’s is the best place to get a cheese steak.

  10. Gotta agree with you about Joe Buck. Of all the modern-era broadcasters I actually find him the least obnoxious. He kinda reminds me of Brian Williams in that he sports a sneaky clever wit, and I think if he had better booth partners he would be a lot more entertaining. I feel like one day when we’re all in our 80’s we’ll be reflecting to our grandkids about how Joe Buck would wipe the floor with whatever loud, obnoxious, weekend tractor-pull announcer they currently have on national broadcasts. He’s no Harry, of course, but I think he’s as close to a “modern-style” throwback as there is right now. Plus, there are faaaaaaaar worse alternatives out there.

  11. oh, and the Moshulu was the actual boat young Vito came over in in Godfather 2. you’re telling me they couldn’t work that in somehow?

  12. Hey Sean,
    We are all on the same team here. But learn the geography of the region. You city guys can’t get it right. Malvern- and West Chester, for that matter- are in Chester County, not Delco.

  13. I was laughing so hard every time I saw a shot of it or the announcers’ banter contained some cheesesteak reference after seeing the MANY complaints about this Philly-one-note phenom on twitter last night.
    Can’t producers come up with other iconic city shots, like Indep. Hall, Art Museum, etc?
    Furthermore, when my family and I visit fam in DelCo, Philly or at the shore, our 1st stop isn’t for a steak but a hoagie. my born & bred-in-Chicago-husband cannot resist enough good Italian hoagies washed down with some cold beer.
    I myself, love some Taylor Pork Roll, but I hear that’s technically more of a NJ thing…

  14. I really hate that we are the cheesesteak city. And that we are only that, to most of the country. We have an outstanding reputation among true foodies for offering an array of establishments and cuisines that is almost unmatched. But between cheesesteaks and booing Santa (another one I’d like to see fall by the way-side), we sound like an uncultured group of heathens. And I AM from the city– South Philly– so don’t go effin’ with me 🙂

  15. It’s so true – living in Boston for some time now, and these national broadcasts’ emphasis on the cheesesteak alone simply furthers outsiders’ illusions of there being nothing special about Philly. That it was so dull the nation’s capital had to move, that everyone’s fat, etc. I don’t think even the obese make special trips to visit cities and eat their special “steak and cheese.”

  16. It’s good to call this out. Why don’t they provide shots of the beautiful Parkway, both towards the Art Museum and towards City Hall? How about a shot of City Hall, which may very well be the most impressive public building in America?
    What I also find problematic is old footage. It’s always weird when they have a shot of the skyline without the Comcast Center. It’s been there for a while now.

  17. If anyone calls it a steak and cheese, you know they are not local and don’t have any local family. My biggest pet peeve, however, is when announcers call them “Philly” cheesesteaks. Another dead giveaway. They are just cheesesteaks.
    I was at Jim’s on South Street once and a bunch of pageant queens were ordering “stikes with cheese.” The grill guys at Jim’s have no patience. Grill guy: “What kinda cheese you want?” Queens: “White cheese.” Grill guy: “We got six kinda white cheese.”
    I was ordering a bunch for the office lunch. When it was my turn Grill guy asked if I was ready. I said, “Gimme two with provolone and onions, two with whiz and onions, one with extra american and hots, etc.” Grill guy: “Damn, home girl know how to order a steak!” I was flattered.

  18. The funny thing is that our ballpark get awards from PETA and other organizations for having the healthiest food and being vegan/vegetarian friendly.
    Two words on how to play that up during a broadcast: hummus cannon.
    Seriously, if the Phanatic splatters an entire section of fans in mashed chickpeas, no one will care about cheesesteaks anymore.

  19. anybody touting Steve’s & Chinks is obviously from NE Philly. As a dude who grew up in Drexel Hill and lives in South Philly, and works in the Northeast i can say that those steaks at Steve’s and Chinks ain’t half bad, but NE Philly ain’t Philly anymore than Delco is. As far as I can tell, it’s anywhere USA, loaded with strip malls and an insular attytood.

  20. My friends and I make it a drinking game. Gratuitous shot of steak sizzling up = do a shot. I don’t like the national games (baseball or hockey) cause they add at least a half hour to the length of the game, prolly with just all those cheesesteak shots. Joe Buck’s head looks like one of the puppets from the Genesis Land of Confusion video.

  21. yeah must be a slow sports day.. this worries you that much? hahahahahahaahahahahaaahahahahahahaahahahahaaahahahahahahaahahahahaaahahahahahahaahahahahaaahahahahahahaahahahahaaahahahahahahaahahahahaaahahahahahahaahahahahaaahahahahahahaahahahahaaahahahahahahaahahahahaaahahahahahahaahahahahaaahahahahahahaahahahahaaahahahahahahaahahahahaaahahahahahahaahahahahaaahahahahahahaahahahahaaahahahahahahaahahahahaaahahahahahahaahahahahaaahahahahahahaahahahahaaa

  22. So Kyle-Boy, I’m confused now.
    Do you or do you not like cheesesteaks?
    And I’m getting weirded out about the female subjects of your sick fantasies. Yuck. Stop-it.
    And I hate Joe Buck exactly because he’s not obknockshuus. In fact I hate him because of the very fact that he has

    personallity. If it wasn’t for MacCarver, I’d be put to sleep everytime there’s a Fux game.
    BTW the Phils are like 0-3 on nationally TV’d games this year. Hmmmm.

  23. this is the type of thing that makes people hate buck.
    and as far as best sandwich (not cheesesteak) goes, i generally like anything from primo’s. their sandwiches are the shit.

  24. and Acuff, how is that stealing? i watched the game last night and said the same exact thing about the cheesesteaks. clearly so did kyle, so did people at the 700 level, and i’m willing to bet that so did most of philly. there’s only so much to talk about and with as many sports blogs as there are in philly, overlap is natural.

  25. And Chris, even though it was on MNF, didn’t Joe “I’m-Not-As-Good-As-My-Father” Buck have harsh words for TO after he did that racy pregame skit with the Desperate Housewifes chick? And how long did his “comedy sports” show last on HBO? Yeah, Buck sux.

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