Sixers

How hardcore Philly sports fans are coping with no games

How hardcore Philly sports fans are coping with no games

The seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic has become clear. The NBA, NHL, and MLB have all announced that games will be put on hold for the foreseeable future.

By all accounts of medical professionals, these appear to be wise decisions by the leagues. There's no arguing that.

But there's also no arguing that this changes the daily lives -- no matter how inconsequential -- of hardcore sports fans quite a bit. Game viewing is an important part of many Philadelphians lives, so we reached out to some of the biggest fans we know here in Philly to see how they plan to fill those voids.

The timing of games being suspended was particularly tough for Flyers fans who were riding one of the team's hottest streaks in recent memory.

"Us Flyers fans were, excuse me for this, Flying high recently," Fran (who some of you may know from his mildly funny @FlyGoalScoredBy Twitter account) told us.

"Charts were showing us as the favorites to win the Cup. Charts! Those things NEVER give us good news. We had goalies!  When have we everrrrrr had goalies?"

It's true. I can't even remember any goalies, to be honest.

Fran suggested a three-pronged approach to filling the orange game-day void: 1) Cold ones 2) HockeyFights.com 3) Search eBay for weird Flyers gear.

"Search HockeyFights.com for your Berube’s and Brown’s and Cote’s and heck if you’re feeling wild, your Mike Richards’. I could watch Richie TKO Dubinsky from here until we die," he said. "And you can get LOST on eBay looking at knock off Flyers gear. Need a wierd Flyers clock? Done!"

Michael Robertson, a huge Phillies fan that runs a popular Twitter account dedicated to radio broadcasters Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen, says the lack of games will be a challenge.

“Quitting cold turkey is rough,” he said. 

In addition to catching up on Netflix, reading, etc. — “you know, the cultured stuff that gets punted because you have to watch Tommy Hunter pitch” — Robertson plans to get his Phillies fill from the archives.

“There will be plenty of old Phillies games on YouTube that I'll be throwing on the laptop.”

Robertson did point to one potential silver lining.

“If Opening Day only gets pushed back two weeks, it's not too bad. I don't think I've ever been to an opener that was above 40-degrees and dry. But I'm starting to think I'm not going to get a lot of use of the Ballpark Pass.”

The usually-humorous Sixers fan we talked to, @Killakow, also rationalized a pretty specific “best case” for how the future could play out for Sixers fans.

“Best case scenario is that most of the United States self-quarantines and practices social distancing rather seriously and that, after this first month, things are stable enough that sporting events can resume,” Mr. Kow said.

“If that were to happen, this might be a blessing for the Sixers for two reasons: First, it allows the team (especially Ben Simmons) extra time to get healthy. Second, if the NBA moves to a condensed playoff schedule and makes each series best of five instead of best of seven, then the Sixers will probably have a better shot at advancing deeper into the playoffs. Failing all of that, the best case would be for this season to be immediately forgotten and considered to be a ‘gas leak year’ like season 4 of ‘Community’.”

Finally, I texted my cousin Danny, one of the biggest Philly sports fans I know, asking him what he planned to do with all of his new-found free time with no games on TV?

“Wash my hands,” he responded.

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Jeopardy! contestant fails to answer Sixers question, Joel Embiid chimes in

Jeopardy! contestant fails to answer Sixers question, Joel Embiid chimes in

The Sixers' Process was one of the most talked-about sports topics of the 2010s, a controversial approach to winning that cost Sam Hinkie his job.

But not everyone is waist-deep in sports culture, and Jeopardy! viewers learned that the hard way Wednesday night.

When Alex Trebek rattled off a $1,000 clue in the "Current Sports Nicknames" category, Sixers fans' ears were burning. The prompt:

"Joel Embiid in 2019 won the trademark for this nickname of his that also describes the 76ers' strategy of improving the team."

Easy stuff, right? Apparently not for Paul:

Oh, Paul, no.

The answer, of course, is The Process. The answer was not "Do a 180", which would be the silliest sports nickname I've ever heard. "Do a 180" sounds like something you'd yell at your friend while you watch them play Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2.

This is basically the polar opposite - or, as Paul might say, a 180 - from the Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time tournament earlier this year, when Philly native Brad Rutter shouted out the Eagles for their 41-33 win over the Patriots in Super Bowl LII.

Incredibly, it seems Embiid noticed Paul's answer and decided to adopt the nickname, at least temporarily:

Also, the gaffe didn't cost Paul the match: he ended up winning Wednesday night's show. Way to go, Paul!

And, Paul, if you're reading this, it's okay that you didn't know about Joel Embiid. You'll get there one day, if you watch some games and maybe follow @NBCSPhilly on Twitter. It'll come. Just trust the process.

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By the numbers: Sixers' wild overtime win over Nets

By the numbers: Sixers' wild overtime win over Nets

The 76ers’ 112-104 overtime win over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night kept the team’s momentum rolling as they aim to move up in the Eastern Conference playoff race. 

A look into the numbers tells a deeper story: Yet another singular performance from All-Star Joel Embiid, a hard-earned win despite napping for nearly one-third of the game, and a dominant defensive display in the extra period. 

JoJo does it again

Embiid carried the mail throughout the win, finishing with 39 points and 16 rebounds. It was his fourth career game reaching those numbers in a game. 

According to basketball-reference.com, only Wilt Chamberlain (35) and Charles Barkley (6) have reached those numbers more times in their Sixers careers. 

He earned nearly half of his points from the free throw line, making 18-of-19 in the game. Elias Sports Bureau found six games in which a starting center made at least 18 free throws, and missed one or fewer. Embiid’s name appears twice on that list. He made 20-of-21 FT in a 118-115 win over the Celtics last March 20.

Sixers put down the controller

After taking a 22-6 lead on a Tobias Harris layup with 5:45 left in the first quarter, the Sixers apparently thought the game was over. Over the next 14:36 of game time, they were outscored by the Nets 44-8! That made a 16-point lead into a 20-point deficit. Elias Sports Bureau says that dating back to the start of the 1997-98 season, no team has won a game in which it allowed a 44-8 run.

Slamming it shut in OT

The Sixers stopped messing around with enough time to make up the deficit and force overtime. The Nets managed just a single point in the extra five minutes. This was the third time in Sixers team history that they allowed one point or fewer in an overtime period.

They will look to add more nuggets to the record book Saturday night in Milwaukee when they take on the 47-8 Bucks.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

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