THE GAME: Lakers vs 76ers
For several years in elementary school, all I wanted for lunch was a cheese sandwich. Cheddar cheese and mustard on white bread. Nothing else, and always with the crusts cut off. Any time I eat a sandwich these days with too high of a cheese-to-meat ratio, I am transported back to the patio of my elementary school, eating a sandwich out of my beloved Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom lunch box.
Or jawbreakers and summers spent in Newport Beach. Shakey's pizza and post-AYSO soccer game lunches.
And, perhaps most of all, Bull's Eye barbecue sauce on a hamburger. The mere aroma of it reminds me of the burgers my dad used to grill when I was a little kid.
He would fire up the Weber on summer nights and overcook the meat until it closely resembled the charcoal, a tooth-shatteringly crisp black crust on each side of the patty. Always Tillamook cheddar and bacon; never anything else. Vin Scully on the radio.
I found his burgers to be pretty dry, not surprisingly, so I would venture into the fridge and pull out the only brand of barbecue sauce that my parents ever stocked: Bull's-Eye.
(For comparison, I just counted how many different kinds of barbecue sauce I have in the fridge and pantry at the moment: 14.)
I make a lot of fancy burgers these days. I haven't had a burger that simple in a long time. I was craving one again.
The Lakers have been in a funk for the last couple of weeks, dealing with injuries. Last night, however, they played one of the few teams in the league that has been more devastated by injuries this season: the 76ers.
NOTES ON THE FOOD:
- The same butcher shop is still around from my childhood, so that's where I bought the beef and bacon. I imagine the beef is still from the same supplier, but I know for a fact the bacon is not.
- There are very few foods I am as picky about as I am bacon. Actually, what the hell am I saying? There are no foods I am as picky about as I am bacon. If it's not cooked enough and there are bigs chunks of fat remaining, I will throw it away. If it's burnt, I will throw it away and curse myself. So I cook it slowly in the oven, turning it and checking on it every few minutes until it is perfect.
- I cooked the burger more than I usually do, as an homage to my dad's backyard burgers, but I certainly did not incinerate it.
- I melted a thick slice of Tillamook cheddar on top
- And a healthy amount of Bull's-Eye
NOTES ON THE GAME:
- I strongly dislike when the Lakers wear black jerseys. It's one thing for a team like the Kings or Timberwolves to come out with alternate jerseys. When you've won 16 titles wearing purple and gold, why would you ever wear anything else?
- It's good to see Joel Embiid playing well this season. I don't ever want to see another big man go through what Greg Oden did.
- I wish the NBA Hall of Fame used the same standards as baseball's - Yao Ming and Allen Iverson would have no place.
- At one point in the second quarter, both teams were called for travelling on back-to-back possessions. I don't remember the last time I saw that. Hell, it's possible I've never seen that.
- Ingram has looked awful the last five games.
- A win is a win, but it's impossible to draw any conclusions, because Philly might be the worst team in the league right now.