It is obvious that the city of Philadelphia has struggled in the world of sports this past year. Fans across the board had hoped the Sixers were the answer to saving the 2012 sports year, but with Andrew Bynum out indefinitely the hope may be fading for some. There is speculation surrounding the future of his career in Philly and no one is certain what will happen at this point. Despite that turmoil, their current record of 8-6 is still promising especially with Jrue Holiday reaching a career high of 33 points in Sunday night’s win over the Phoenix Suns 104-101.
To write this team off as a failure just because Bynum is not active would be unfair to this young and developing team. There are plenty of reasons to stick around and watch this team thrive. I’ve compiled a list based on my experience (as well as others’) attending their games this year and find a lot to be excited about.
- “10, 9, 8, 76ers” theme song- This song is beloved by all fans. Sixers owners brought this song back from the 70′s and 80′s and has proved to get fans up out of their seats to sing and clap along. During the fourth quarter the song plays as the jumbo screen shows fans dancing and singing along to the lyrics. You can enjoy the song in this clip and you can thank me later for it being stuck in your head for the next three hours- Sixers Theme Song (via Spike Eskin).
- Parachute prizes- Toward the end of the third or beginning of the fourth quarter there is a boisterous siren heard throughout the Wells Fargo Center. No it’s not a fire alarm/drill nor is it a tornado warning. Just a warning of falling objects from the ceiling, that’s all. More specifically, parachutes holding t-shirts fall graciously from the sky reaching the grasping hands of fans. But sometimes the grasp isn’t so graceful. I’ve seen fans fall over seats and tackle the person in front of them for those parachutes. It’s incredible what a person will do for a free t-shirt these days.
- Big Bella- Much like the parachutes, fans are going wild for Big Bella who is, get this, the world’s largest t-shirt cannon. She is quite the machine. She hangs out behind the basket before timeouts and when she makes her way to the court with the Sixers’ Flight Squad (to be addressed later) the fans get on their feet and scream at the top of their lungs for more free t-shirts. This isn’t just a t-shirt dispenser, Big Bella is really a t-shirt rocket. According the the Sixers website she spits out up to 100 t-shirts in just a minute! She is quite a catch if you know what I mean (see what I did there?).
4. Free McDonald’s Big Macs- With a 100+ point game by the team, of course! That’s right, McDonald’s is so generous that they are just handing out free Big Mac’s to customers with their ticket from the 100+ point game,not sure on the expiration date though. Last year, when there was about two minutes left to go in a game and the Sixers needed three points to get to 100, fans were chanting “Big Macs” throughout the Wells Fargo Center. Like I said about those t-shirts, fans will do anything for a burger these days.
5. Dream Team/Flight Squad- Entertainment at it’s finest. I’m not talking about the 2011 Eagles Dream Team, this is a another kind of Dream Team; Sixers dancers. I will say, it’s really fun to watch all the men stare at them while they do their number out on the court during long timeouts in their sparkly outfits. I personally like the Dream Team and commend them on their appearances, sparkly outfits and their long beautiful hair, of course. Some might take that as being a girl crush but so be it. Now the flight squad is just as intriguing. I consider them to be the male version of the 2012 Women’s Olympic “Fab Five” team. Back flips after back flips and dunks off the trampoline get the crowd cheering, even if the Sixers are losing. Did I mention the back flips? Two thumbs up for the Dream Team and Flight Squad!
6. Fat Man (for lack of a better term and uhh cause that’s what we call him!) This is literally the biggest Sixers fan ever. He sits, well stands, behind one of the baskets for what appears to be every game. You can’t miss this guy. He paints his face and sometimes his stomach for his beloved team. A big Afro wig rests on his head as he sways back and forth to “10, 9, 8, 76ers!” or any other song. He is most famous for his belly dance where he appears to be modestly dancing and then all of a sudden he lets loose and gives that tummy a big old SHAKE. Just take a look- Fat Man
These are all obviously irrelevant to what actually happens during the game but it makes for an enjoyable time for fans of all ages. I encourage all Sixers fans to leap that extra row for the free t-shirt, stare at the Dream Team for two seconds too long and cheer their loudest for “Fat Man” at the next Sixers game.
Here’s a look at what some fans are saying when asked what their favorite part about going to the games.
“It really is a party atmosphere!”- Lorrie G.
“I would have to say when they play “10, 9, 8, 76ers song in the fourth quarter. Second is the confetti after they win.” – Dan N.
“10, 9, 8, 76ers! #favsong” – Ryan M. (via Twitter)
“Parachute prizes that magically fall from the sky.” -Mer C.
“The 76ers song is pretty catchy and the flight squad is fun to watch. I do like the parachute drop too.” – Kath M.
“The seats are cushioned.” – Maureen M. (thanks for that one sis)