The Sixers channeled everyone in Philadelphia’s inner hypebeast by unveiling their new alternate uniforms for the 2018-19 season last week. Did I like the uniforms when they slowly began to leak before the official reveal? No. They didn’t look great in any computerized renderings. They just seemed boring without the same clean simplicity that last season’s “Parchment” City Edition uniforms had. The jerseys felt like a letdown.
Forget the leaks. Forget the digital mockups. Look at those threads on Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Dario Saric. The heather grey just pops when you see them on actual players and not some weird online mannequin. It looks like the Sixers are going to be draped in athleisure wear on the court. If you don’t like them, you’re missing a crucial aspect of what truly makes Philly the city that it is.
Philadelphia is literally the nation’s top per capita consumer of sweatpants. My friend Greg (Massachusetts native and fan of the Patriots, who, people often forget, lost to the Eagles in Super Bowl LII) once came to one of my dad’s Eagles tailgates while I was in college. The next day he said, “I’ve never seen so many grown men in sweatpants and Air Maxes in my life.”
He’s right! I didn’t realize it wasn’t “normal” for adult men to not wear sweatpants all the time until I moved into my freshman dorm and everyone else’s dad was wearing button-down shirts tucked into jeans like Danny Tanner. What would be better for Philly’s large adult sons than to wear uniforms that look like sweatsuits taken right from 9th and Wolf? Let the Sixers be comfortable. Let them take the court swagged out with the DGAF attitude that comes with unnecessarily wearing sweatpants at every given opportunity. Let them look like a 46-year old man from Port Richmond who believes he can shoot free throws better than Markelle Fultz.
Give me those shorts with the Rocky-influenced title belt going around the waist. I will wear them every night to bed until I die. I will roll out of my bed on Christmas morning in this full uniform set, put on my Eagles Super Bowl Champions hat (I put it on every day) and watch basketball on my couch for 15 hours. I will watch the Sixers beat the Celtics, who are the most annoying basketball team in the universe, and I will feel more comfortable than I ever have previously in my life.
And for those people who don’t like that this uniform set pays homage to the Rocky franchise, I would say they’re also just full of themselves. Philadelphia, for better or worse, will always be Rocky, cheesesteaks and soft pretzels (and now sweatpants). Rocky Balboa, who I definitely thought was a real person until I was, like, 11 years old, is just part of Philadelphia’s lore. That will never change.
If you asked some random 35-year-old dude from Big Arm, Montana, if he knows what Philly looks like, he probably does just from the training montages in the original Rocky and Rocky II. And what does Rocky, who everyone under the age of 12 from South Philly believes actually exists, wear in the most iconic shots of our glorious city?
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