As has already been mentioned in past posts, I don’t live in New York anymore. This makes it tough for me as a Cosmos fan in the wasteland that is the world outside of New York. Thankfully those of us on the outside looking in have the internet and One World Sports to keep us in the mix about the goings on in around the boys in green.
Sadly, the mainstream press does not cover the Cosmos as much as many of us would like, not sure anything short of 24/7 would be enough frankly. As a result we rely on the internet and fan sites like Twice a Cosmo and others to get our Cosmos fix. During one of these Cosmos fueled internet binges a wonderful discovery was made – the world of podcasts. While scouring the internet for more content to feed my desire for information about the Cosmos, the players, and especially the fans I came across three fan produced podcasts that cover the team.
After a season of listening to these podcasts it seemed like a good idea to share my excitement by reviewing them and put my thoughts to paper (er, internet?). As a matter of fact, as this post is being written one of the podcasts is actually playing in the background and talking about this weekend’s play-off game with the Strikers. Let me begin with that one – First Team Podcast.
Way back when, the first podcast I came across was the First Team podcast (@1teampod) hosted by this kid named John Frusciante (@JFrusciante). This kid is great (no disrespect, just saying kid because only a young man can do all he does – if anything, there is some envy here for his energy). As an initial note, the First Team podcast appears to be the oldest of these fan podcasts. Not only that, but John is ubiquitous. In addition to the podcast, you can find John on YouTube, Periscope and he even writes articles on the team – I’m sure this guy is cheering on the Cosmos in some other way I haven’t discovered yet as well. The kid is relentless in his support of the boys in green. No joke. He is fearless in bringing his fandom to any platform possible. I emphasize youthfulness here, jealously, because kids are not afraid to try anything and if there is a way to support the Cosmos that you haven’t thought of yet, just look at what John is doing because he will find a way to employ all relevant media platforms out there. Last, not only is John an innovator in his fandom, but he does it all himself. He sets up interviews, conducts the interviews, and then produces the shows all by himself. He also attends Cosmos related events where he reports live from the scene and then puts these broadcasts together and publishes them on his own. I have never heard him reference anyone else as a collaborator, I’m sure he does it all himself, that’s impressive – John is a one man Cosmos loving media machine. Keep up the great work kid.
The next podcast I discovered in my pursuit for more Cosmos related information was Into the Cosmos. This fabulous podcast is hosted by EJ Garr (@EjTheRainmaker) and co-hosted by this guy named Frank Dell’Apa (@frankdellapa), maybe you’ve heard of him? These two guys are beasts. I had never heard of EJ before finding this show, but he is quite a prolific podcaster with his own network of podcasts covering a variety of sports related themes which produce multiple episodes every week. Feel free to find his shows on the Sports Palooza Radio network, I make this suggestion because googling the network often turns out easier than googling Into the Cosmos which often turns up a bunch of results related to the stars (astrology, not Hollywood) – personally I like the diversion, but if you wouldn’t this is just a heads up. Anyway, EJ does a fantastic job and this podcast is terrifically professional. The show broadcasts live and recordings are always posted shortly after the live show ends. This is not always found with fan podcasts – not a knock on anyone, but a feather in EJ’s cap for sure. But my favorite part of the show is EJ’s enthusiasm when talking about the Cosmos – it is literally infectious. If you listen to this show and don’t smile then you’re face must be frozen – I wanted to put in a plastered botox reference here but couldn’t think of anything good, damn it! Anyway, it reminds me of watching the Jets back in the day when Joe Namath announced some Jets games – no matter what was happening on the field (Jets usually getting destroyed) Joe made it sound good. To Joe, they could do no wrong. You get the same feeling with EJ – he gushes over the games, the players, the fans and even the charity events and public appearance the Cosmos are involved with – cannot wait to hear him talk about the seals. But EJ and Frank are not one dimensional fanboys either, a great indication of their class can be seen in how they prepare for guests that are from opposing teams. The interviews are routinely really interesting because they involve personal items discovered through careful research of the guest that enhance each episode. I won’t say much more about EJ’s co-host Frank Dell’Apa because his reputation as a journalist precedes him - his work can be found in print and media including two decades plus with the Boston Globe. Mr. Dell’Apa’s analysis is generally a step above the average fan, his very presence on the podcast is a testament to EJ’s own professionalism in the sports related podcasts he does. Keep up the good cheer.
The last podcast I am aware of is Cosmos Country (@TICCPod). This is a larger group with some fascinating history. I’m not sure if all the details about these guys are correct, but here goes. I believe the Cosmos Country group has strong ties to the Borough Boys supporters club of the Cosmos. The two hosts are these guys named Nick (@ticc_nick) and Louie (@deltareaper) and the editor of the show is a guy they call Prez (@prez10points). There is also another person who is on the show occasionally named Leo. Now, the best part of this show is the history these guys have with Cosmos 2.0 which actually begins even further than you could imagine. As members of the Borough Boys these guys were instrumental in trying to bring a professional soccer club to New York City long before anyone had an idea the Cosmos were coming back. One of my favorite parts of the show is when they share stories about the early days and their interactions with the MLS and then the shift to supporting the Cosmos endeavor joining NASL. My favorite story is the one describing the first time they entered the Cosmos’ offices and saw all the trophies, photos, and plaques dating back to the 70s and how this moved them not to walk away from that history. As a fan of the Cosmos, soccer, and tradition in general, that story really moved me. If I remember correctly it was Nick and Leo that told it. My next favorite thing about the show is listening to Prez make his occasional diatribes about the Cosmos' foes, and in particular his score predictions – I don’t remember the numbers exactly, but I believe he predicted the Cosmos would beat New York City FC like 50-0. It was a really insightful analysis that followed this prediction; I was convinced and utterly shocked when the outcome did not reflect this score. I really enjoy this show and when I started listening to it I would sit there every week like a kid hitting the refresh button waiting for that week’s episode to get published/uploaded/posted whatever it is called. Oh yeah, when you listen the first time the easiest way to tell the difference between the hosts is that Louie speaks English and Nick speaks New York – he has a PhD in adding the letter "r" to every word in the English language from the University of BrooklynQueens.
Speaking of which, the accents are a great part of these shows. Especially as someone that hasn’t lived there in a while, it is a great pleasure hearing something so familiar. OK, before wrapping this up, there is a negative. One down side of the shows is how good these guys are at keeping secrets. You can tell that sometimes they know more than they let on; but like the true pros they are, they stay tight lipped. I hate it!
For a guy who can’t be there, having these guys talk about Cosmos related stories and events makes it easier to feel like part of the fan base no matter where I am. Thanks guys.
Would appreciate any comments or thoughts on these podcasts, or if any have been missed. Appreciate it.