Jan 14, 2012

Live from Philly

The Wiz got spanked last night, and along with Michael Lee and the rest of the national press, ZA was in the building (for those of you scoring at home, that's another franchise record: first road game covered!), taking it in just a few rows from the Sixers bench (shout out to the boys of Pi Kappa Phi for the tickets and their entertainingly earnest efforts to get the Sixers dancers to swing by the house after the game).

The Dream Team. In other news, Zards ALards! is filing for moral bankruptcy. 

Although the Zards roared out to an early lead (2-0), it was pretty darn clear pretty darn quick that it wasn't going to be our night. The Sixers are for real. They play hard, they play smart, and they've got about eight players better than anyone on our roster. So, well before Philadelphia blew the doors off in the third, ZA had turned its attention away from the action on the court and begun comparing the "fan experience" at the Wells Fargo Center to what goes down in Chinatown.

Peep the notes:

  • The good people of Philadelphia appreciate their dance team (the Dream Team) way more than we enjoy the Wizard Girls (do they even have a name?). In the first quarter the Dream Team came out in raincoats and did a number to "It's Raining Men" that drew serious applause.

  • The Sixers have a a section behind one basket filled with 76er fanatics who get free tickets. They generate a lot of high quality Jumbotron content, so it seems like a pretty good investment on the team's part. The clear standout of this group is a roughly 450 pound man (not an exaggeration) who dances in a manner reminiscent of a lava lamp. At one point he lifted his shirt up over his head, treating the entire arena to a shot of his undulating stomach and generating an incredible wave of heartfelt laughter and mild panic.

  • Since Leonsis took over, the Wiz have made a point of emphasizing Wizard history and tradition. The Sixers do this too, and they do it better. The best example: a montage of Doug Collins' highlights from his playing days in Philadelphia accompanied by a well done voiceover, "Philadelphia is the city where I became a man...I had children here...My wife and I grew together here...for me to coach here, it's bringing it full circle, it's how I want to end my career." No sarcasm, it was pretty moving.

  • The Wiz have a deal with Chik-Fil-A where, at some point in the fourth quarter, an opposing player gets fouled and everybody in attendance gets free chicken sandwiches if he misses both free throws. Thing is, that's only gonna happen about twice a season (trust us, we took statistics), it occurs at a slightly different point in each game, and by the time fans realize what's going on and get to cheering, the guy is usually hitting his first attempt. Fan participation nipped in the bud. In Philly, fans get free Big Macs every time they crack 100 points. Which is why, up 30 with six minutes to go in the fourth, Jodie Meeks hit a three pointer and the building absolutely exploded. It was pretty stupid and really awesome. Corndogs Jackie!

It should be noted that the Sixers don't draw well; the crowd was about the size it would have been in D.C. (which is a shame, because Philly has a hell of a team to root for). Still, The Wells Fargo Center was more fun than Verizon. Come on Ted, send somebody (read: us!) on a 29 arena tour to figure out what works and what doesn't. Let's get the Phone Booth going!


  1. so happy to see ZA covering more than just my basketball interests!!!

    (A few more posts on the ladies of the NBA and maybe just one more on corndogs will undoubtedly make this my homepage)

    godamn i love corndogs

    -anonymousssss (sike you know who dis issss)

  2. I wish I could have seen the 450 pound dancer. Dude sounds awesome.