Episode 74: Lawyer Up

This week Dave and Steel by Dave’s high-rent lawyer friend Grayson. Together the three of them discuss quick favorites from this year’s NBA playoffs, do a special legal-themed edition of Ask OTC, rank the on/off chainness of various categories of things, play angsty music from Bleached, Fugazi, The Misfits, The Hotelier, PJ Harvey, and Teenage Bottlerocket, and share some immortal book wisdom from JD Salinger’s much beloved Holden Caulfield.


Unchained Melodies: Angsty Edition

Book Wisdom

This week Dave shared a brief passage from J.D. Salinger’s classic coming-of-age novel The Catcher in the Rye.

Episode 70: 2016 in Review, part 3

Here’s the last of our 3-part year in review for 2016. In this episode we bring on our old buddy Spencer Gardner to talk about the year in sports. It’s pretty much only for the hardcore fans (there’s a lot of nerdy talk about the NBA, among other things), but we had fun. Happy New Year to you all. We’re really holding our breath for 2017 …


The Year in Sports Hair

Top ‘Do Nominees:

Most with Least Award Nominees [Bald of the Year]

Best Sports Moments


The coolest sport you’ve never heard of. Check it out:

Featured Image: Collage made from Robert Beck‘s images of Steven Adams for Sports Illustrated

Episode 62: Eye on the Gold Chain [Rio Olympics 2016!]

This week Dave and Steel are joined by Steel’s old friend Jack Bangerter to talk all things Summer Olympics. We talk about our lack of world-class talent, they also throw in a segment of small talk (this week featuring edible crayons, demonic chimpmunks, and metallic hydrogen) and then spend a solid 40 minutes reliving all the great moments from the Rio Olympics 2016 and suggesting some really outstanding improvements to the lineup of events for future games. We also present to you an Unchained Melodies made up of our ideal medal winning songs and bring to you some ancient Greek poetic Book Wisdom from Pindar, whose Olympic Odes are among the earliest records we have of athletic greatness. It’s a gold medal performance, this week, for sure.


Small Talk

Mastery of these three topics are sure to make you the center of any late summer social gathering you might be lucky enough to attend. You’re welcome.

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games

Personal Olympian Connections

  • I took an art class with Alev Kolter, and Kelsey Card was a student worker in our son’s daycare last year. Had no idea that either were Olympians until after the games ended, though. [Steel]
  • I met Michael Phelps at a karaoke bar. We sang The Turtles’ classic hit “So Happy Together.” I feel directly responsible for at least 5 gold medal perfomances. [Dave]
  • I accidentally stepped on Jeret “Speedy” Peterson’s finger once and he stood up and punched me in the face. It didn’t really hurt but it broke my sunglasses. I was wearing them indoors, so I guess all’s fair? Also, my uncle, mom’s sister’s husband, Jim Osborne won a bronze medal in the 1968 games in Mexico City.

Favorite Athletic Achievement

Favorite Failures

Unchained Melodies: Olympic Anthem Replacements Edition

Book Wisdom

This week Steel shared the ancient Greek poet Pindar‘s victory ode: “Olympian 12“: For Ergoteles of Himera Long Foot Race 466 B. C.

Episode 59: NBA Finals Recap

In this week’s episode Steel and Dave are joined by their old friend Spencer. It’s not exactly as timely as when we recorded it (thanks a lot for being a super quick editor, Steel!!!), but this episode is mostly dedicated to the recent NBA Finals, the gripping, seven game battle between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Dave, Steel, and Spencer recap their own greatest lifetime athletic achievements (lots of running, including Dave’s epic poop marathon), share some finals observations, discuss some of Spencer’s numerous NBA conspiracy theories, discuss the influence of pro wrestling and LeBron’s film watching habits on the course of this year’s title champions, name their favorite bench players and stadium characters, dig in to the historical roots of the Cavalier-Roundhead struggle, and offer some incredible ideas for improving the NBA playoffs in future years. We also suggest songs to replace Queen’s “We Are the Champions” as the go-to post-victory tune, and Steel shared some book wisdom, a dunking-inspired poem by his friend, the poet Josh Kalscheur.


  • City of Meridian, Idaho’s POOP SCOOT 5K Run Poster
    poop scoot fun run registration number
    Poop Scoot Fun Run!

    Favorite Bench Guys

  • Kevon Looney, 45 year old catfisher posing as a 20 year old rookie from Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • MOZGOV [Dwight Shrute without glasses?]
  • Sasha Kaun
    Generic dad Sasha Kaun
  • Channing Frye (because his face is 50% skinnier than the rest of his team

    Cavs team photo
    Channing Frye is not like the others
  • Mysterious but radical Warriors employee?/superfan?/all-around awesome dude

Post-Finals NBA Stuff

Unchained Melodies: “We are the Champions!” Edition

Book Wisdom

Josh Kalscheur’s poem “Throwdown

Episode 57: [Hidden Track]

This week Dave and Steel welcome their old buddy Spencer back to the show. Together, the trio discusses their dream tattoos, the NBA playoffs, great moments in terrible officiating, the best sports gambling moments in life and film, share some monumental hidden tracks from Travis, Todd Snider, Cracker, The Beatles, Wilco, and Beck, and Dave shares some beautiful Andy Pafko/Bobby Thomson-related book wisdom from Don DeLillo.


Great Moments in Sports Gambling

Unchained Melodies: Hidden Track edition

Book Wisdom

This weeks’ edition of Book Wisdom came from Don DeLillo’s description of Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” in his masterwork Underworld.


Episode 55: Politics, Presidential Style

This week Dave and Steel are joined by their old buddy Jordan to discuss the biggest news of the day. They cover sportsball (NBA PLAYOFFS! LEICESTER CITY!), as well as the most important questions facing this year’s voters as they seek to decide who should become the next president of the United States, share some aspirational music for several of the leading candidates from Beyonce, Pink Floyd, Bill Frisell, Eminem, Tim McGraw, and Neil Young, and Dave shares some beheading book wisdom from A Dance with Dragons, the fifth book in George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones fantasy epic.

It’s a shorter episode this week, but we’ll release a VERY SPECIAL POLITICAL ANNOUNCEMENT in the very near future, so hang tight for that. All we’re able to say for now is that it’s going to be shifting some tectonic plates, electorally speaking.

Episode 37: Owning It

This week Dave and Steel are joined once again by Dave’s old neighbor Matt Brown. Together the trio discusses Matt’s vinyl collection, the best and worst American sports teams owners in recent memory, give their recommendations for book of the year, play great music by Pavement, Jonathan Candido, Andrew W.K., The Baseball Project, and Barrett Strong, and share book wisdom from Don DeLillo’s first novel, Americana.


Recommended Record Labels

OTC Sport Team Owners




  • Bill Veeck, the best owner of all time. Just watch the first 2 minutes of this if you need proof:






  • Donald Sterling [LA Clippers]. This guy’s whole life. Holy crap.


  • Steve Ballmer [LA Clippers]. Amazing everything. THIS COMPANY YAAAAAAAAAAAASSSS!
  • Jim Dolan [NY Knicks]. Amazing musician, bizarre friendship with Isiah Thomas
  • Mikhail Prokhorov [Brooklyn Nets]. Just read this. Yikes.
  • Ozzie and Daniel Silna [Spirits of St. Louis]. These brothers and former ABA team owners worked out a deal guaranteeing them a fixed share of TV money in perpetuity for giving up their team. Best legal deal of all time?

Books of the Year

Unchained Melodies: Sports Owner Theme Songs

Book Wisdom

This week’s passage came from Don DeLillo’s 1971 debut novel, Americana.

Episode 21: Pickup Basketball, Assigned Reading, Expert Testimony: Urban Planning, Unchained Melodies, and Those Winter Sundays

This week Dave and Steel are joined by their friend Spencer. Together the trio discusses Steel and Spencer’s pickup basketball escapades, give reports on their recent reading (books by Thomas Pynchon, Dan Simmons, and Sabine Heinlein) and give each other new reading assignments (books by Frank Herbert, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Ignazio Silone, Brandon Sanderson, Daniel Kahneman, and Alexander Dolgun), Dave & Steel ask Spencer all their burning questions about urban planning and transportation issues, share great music by Dawn Landes, Saintseneca, Christopher Paul Stelling, Strand of Oaks, Adult Mom, and Konono No. 1, and drop a beautiful poetic tribute to fathers from the twentieth-century American poet Robert Hayden.


Assigned Reading

For Dave:

  • Brandon Sanderson’s fantasy epic Warbreaker [from Steel]
  • Ignazio Silone’s classic Italian novel Bread and Wine [from Spencer]

For Spencer:

For Steel:

  • Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic Dune.
  • Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s Antifragile

Expert Testimony

Portland’s spending on bike infrastructure relative to the cost of 1 mile of urban freeway, as checked by Polifact.

Unchained Melodies

Dawn Landes — Straight Lines

Saintseneca — Or or No

Christopher Paul Stelling — Every Last Extremist

Strand of Oaks — Kill Dragon

Adult Mom — Survival

Konono No. 1 — Lufuala Ndongo

Book Wisdom

This week’s passage of Book Wisdom was Robert Hayden’s moving tribute to his father, the poem “Those Winter Sundays.” Fathers everywhere, we thank you.

Episode 12: Furious 7, Sports!, Small Talk: The Sport, Unchained Melodies, and The Goalkeeper

This week Dave and Steel are joined by their old friend Spencer. The whole episode is sports themed, so brace yourself for some incredible wingspan and raw athleticism. They discuss Spencer and Dave’s impressions of the latest Fast & Furious film, the NBA sneaker landscape circa 1993, their favorite basketball video games, best basketball haircuts, the most prolific reproducers in NBA history, and their favorite sports friendships and rivalries. They also have a special sports-themed segment of Unchained Melodies, featuring songs by Belle and Sebastian, Public Enemy, Simon and Garfunkel, Skee-Lo, Camper Van Beethoven, and The Duckworth Lewis Method, and close the episode with some poetic reflections on the ignominy of the goalkeeper from the great, and recently deceased, Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano.



NBA Shoes

The spreadsheet made by 11 year old Steel to document what kind of sneakers NBA players wore in 1993, according to their basketball cards.

A list of sneaker brands currently worn by NBA players, from Hoopshype.

Thinking about buying a pair of Ewings? Check out their latest models.

Favorite Basketball Video Games

Dr. J vs. Larry Bird


NBA Live 1995

Favorite NBA Hair Cuts

Complex Sports has produced several really outstanding lists of NBA things, including the 50 ugliest haircuts of all time.

Best NBA Names

SB Nation’s Dan Grunfield has written an excellent personal exploration of some of the NBA’s most outstanding names.

Most Prolific NBA Fathers

Complex has a list of athletes with the most children by the most women. Some famous NBA names there.

OTC Sports Friendships

You can learn more about Dave’s beloved Core Four, but more reasonable people wouldn’t recommend it.

OTC Sports Rivalries

The Price of Gold, the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary about Tanya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan’s rivalry, is well worth checking out.

Unchained Melodies

Belle & Sebastian — Piazza, New York Catcher

Public Enemy — He Got Game

Simon and Garfunkel — The Boxer

Skee-Lo — I Wish

Camper Van Beethoven — Take the Skinheads Bowling

The Duckworth Lewis Method — Nudging and Nurdling

Book Wisdom

This week’s passage came from the recently deceased Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano‘s classic Soccer in Sun and Shadow.