Thursday, October 20, 2011

Top 10 ideas for the new Sixers owners

In the great new age of Sixers ownership under Joshua Harris and Adam Aron, they've stressed how important it is to listen to their fans. And hey, I'm a fan! I'd really like to take something for that and stop, but since that's not an option (damn Obamacare!), let's get right into the listy goodness...

10) Violate David Stern's gag order.

You really want to show the fan base that you are different from the old guard? Tell us what you really think about what's going on. And if you helped to undermine Angry Dad Stern's plans to spank the players in public for being naughty about their allowance, you could kick Pat Croce off our list of best Sixers owner ever. (OK, it's a very, very short list.)

9) Fight with Ed Snider.

Seriously, the Lord Voldemort of the NHL has taken a pass for far too long, and needs to be talked about in as catty and dismissive a manner as possible. It's not as if there are people who care about both the Flyers and Sixers, so why not use the Dark Lord as a PR pinata?

8) Play crap games at the Palestra.

I realize that it's not realistic to eat low dollars for premium games in a college gym... but a Tuesday night against the Nets? Put it in the historic UPenn gym, one of the best places in the country to see a game, and see just how much fun you can have in a setting where people can actually walk around and shop and eat after the game. You'd also see what's possible, in terms of home court advantage and crowd excitement, rather than the sterile bank you are locked into now.

7) If you can't go to the Palestra, go to Atlantic City.

How much fun would it be to go get your gamble on in the increasingly abandoned and hellish dystopia that is Atlantic City in a world where casinos don't require a long drive? Not very, really, but it would probably be something you could sell, and would give all of us blogging types the chance/hope/dream of putting Paul Pierce on tilt at the poker table before or after his game. A man can dream.

6) Prankery!

This happened at a college game a few years ago. It needs to happen more often.

Seriously, you've got the chance to show the world the true Philadelphia fan experience -- joyous goofy fun at the expense of others, and even our own. Go nuts.

5) Bring back Big Shot!

Then tear him and Hip Hop, the current mascot, limb from limb.

Why should our Philadelphia sports atrocities always have to come from the fans? (And seriously, if we must have a mascot, just pony up to the Phillies for 41 extra dates of the Phanatic. He's the only mascot this town needs.)

4) Cheerleader Fight Club

Let's face it; actual cheerleader routines are kinda dull. But my five-year-old dream of an insurgency faction in the team stripping down to reveal enemy colors, only to be spanked into submission by the loyal members of the troupe? Gold, I tell you, gold. Plus, um, girl fighting. That's good clean family fun, isn't it?

3) Harold Katz Hate Off

I don't know about the rest of you folks, but I'm going to spend the rest of my days remembering the Harold Katz Era -- Roy Hinson for Brad Daughtery! Ruining Andrew Toney! Squandering Charles Barkley! The Doug Moe Era! -- with something approaching sheer and total seething hatred. What better way to show that you won't end up like that, then to bring the man back for an Appreciation Night that turns into a session of the dozens at his expense? (And if he's not well enough to make the trip, just dress someone up to look like him. It'll do.)

Failing that, I'll accept reparations for having to watch Shawn Bradley. The years of therapy, they have not been cheap...

2) Wear the wrong shirt? That's a paddlin'.

Nothing ruins a night out at a game like finding yourself surrounded by Road Fan of other franchise, and with the new lower prices at the games and continued existence of Kobe and Celtic twerps in the area, not to mention the re-emergence of the Knicks as an entertaining delusion, New York Fan is bound to jump on Amtrak in greater numbers and inflict themselves upon us. So why can't we be the first franchise that not only expects the incursion, but does everything in our power to actively combat it? I'm talking about separate but unequal refreshment stands, bathroom facilities, aggressive wanding and patdowns at the gate, sudden seat downgrades, arbitrary ejections, and wildly unfair security decisions in the stands. Make it blatant, make it a point of pride, make it a reason for locals to go to the games, if only to see what new and spectacularly unpleasant thing happens next. The inevitable lawsuits will be great PR, too!

Oh, and don't skimp on the opponent, either. I want sound effects of crying babies for when they yell at the refs. I want huge coordinated chants of FLOP! for when someone goes all Soccer Player. I want embarrassing personal facts about opponents shown on the screens when they are shooting free throws, so we can choose to chant something entertaining when they shoot. Let's bring our A game here, people.

1) Actually Put The Game First.

NBA games are 2.5 hour events for the people in the seats, and during that time, far too many teams feel as if they need to stuff every possible second with some dubious idea of entertainment, even going so far as to have music during the damned game. Instead, give the event some air, please, and think about dead ball and halftime promos that are actually about hoop. So fewer bad band gigs, and more trampolines, kiddie hoop, HORSE games, spectator contests where many people shoot from half court, etc., etc.

Basically, act as if you don't have to trick us into thinking that going to the game is fun, and don't make it painful for actual basketball fans to be there. You'd be amazed at how many teams miss this now...

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