If you’re a Philly fan in a Sixers jersey walking down South Street, you may have been subject to an impromptu version of the Sixers' starting lineup intros.
“I’ll do the BEEEEENNNNN Simmons and they’ll look at me, like that guy's weird,” public address announcer Matt Cord joked.
Now in his 22nd season, Cord is always working on his craft, even if that means soliciting the reaction of fans strolling to their neighborhood bar.
How he enunciates and emphasizes players' names is constantly evolving, as are the physical movements he delivers them with, sometimes resulting in an inadvertent whack to those that dare cross behind his perch.
For Cord, the starting lineup introductions are his performance, and the mic is his stage.
It wasn’t until about a handful of years ago that Cord started incorporating physical gestures into his routine. Out of necessity due to a neck accident, a stationary mic was switched out for one that Cord could move around with more freely, giving new life to his performance.
Recently, Stephen Curry approved.
“I totally knew he was watching everything, but I didn’t know anyone had taped it,” Cord said. “Now everywhere I go, people say that to me, ‘Hey! I saw that video Steph posted!'”
But, since Joel Embiid was out, there was one thing Curry missed.
“He missed my Process,” Cord said.
It’s true. There’s nothing quite like when Cord introduces the Sixers' "crown jewel" at Wells Fargo Center — especially if you sit behind the scorer’s table.
“When I do Joel ... from Kansas ... No. 21… JO-el, The Process EMMBEEEEEEEAD ... I turn around for ‘The Process,’ for whoever is sitting behind me.”
Take a look for yourself.
JO-el The Process EMBEEEEEEEEEADDD!— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) March 22, 2019
Have loved everything about how @MattyCord performs @Sixers starting lineup intros since I got here (like have you ever noticed how he turns around to the fans for The Process??) Story coming up next on @NBCSPhilly https://t.co/CYtSlB4KjR
But, it wasn’t always this way.
In the summer of 2016, Cord ran into Embiid at a music festival.
“I go up to Joel and say, ‘Hey man, you’re going to start next year, and I’m working on your name and I need something else.'”
“Call me Hans, that’s my middle name,” Cord remembers Embiid saying.
“So then, the very first game, I see him in the back (at the arena), and I’m like Joel HANS Embiid, and he’s like, ‘No, no, no. I’ve changed it to ‘The Process.’ He was joking around, and he said he legally changed his name to The Process, so you have to call me The Process.”
Cord, worried Embiid could get in trouble, decided against it.
“I didn’t do it the first game … and he kind of looked at me a couple times in the game when he scored.”
And now, the rest is history.
Embiid isn’t the only player who has influenced Cord’s introductions.
“Years ago, (Allen) Iverson came up to me and said, ‘Make me 6-2.’"
And so, Cord obliged.
“And finally … a 6-2 guard…
“The next game, I did it again. And the next game, Eric Snow (formers Sixers point guard) came up to me and said, 'Can you make me 6-4?' And I’m like no, stop this, I’m going to get in trouble, everyone’s going to be seven feet by the end of this!”
Lucky for Cord, that same game, Iverson re-thought his request.
“He came up to me and said I think we better go back to six-foot.”
If you catch Cord at the arena, there’s one thing you’ll always see him doing: Smiling.
“Honestly, since I’ve been here, and I know you can’t have a bad game as a PA announcer, but he’s just always smiling,” T.J. McConnell said. “And just the way he announces so enthusiastically, he comes up with these things like Three-J (when McConnell shoots a three), and even stuff he said when I was a rookie with Ish Smith, like a 'dish from Ish.'”
Well actually, Cord doesn’t come up with all of those sayings. But, he did come up with Three-J.
Longtime statistician Ron Pollack has offered up sayings like, "Dish from Ish," "Feed from Embiid," and "Embiid indeed!" It’s a joint effort.
For players like JJ Rrrrrrrrrredick and Allennnnnn Iiiiiii-versooooonnnn, both say that when fans come up to them in the streets, they say their name like Cord says their name.
“That’s the coolest thing ever,” Cord smiles.
But what means more to him than anything else is his biggest fan, his almost 16-year-old niece, Lily, who has Down syndrome.
“She is fantastic, she imitates me. She can do Embiid. She can do Iverson,” Cord said as he pulled out his cell phone.
“Here she is doing Bobi, down by the beach.”
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You know that unmistakeable voice you hear echoing throughout Wells Fargo Center every single home game? That is the voice of Matt Cord and this is the voice of his (almost) 16-year-old niece, Lily ❤️. His biggest fan and his biggest inspiration. She doesn’t let Down syndrome stop her from doing what she loves 👏 And @mattycord76 you better watch out for your job, Lily might be coming for it 🤣 (Story link in my bio 📝)
Watch out Matty, Lily might be coming for your job.
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