Here they come….the doubters.
The Sixer’s 2021 playoff run is upon us and it is starting with the Washington Wizards, who were won their way into the playoffs via the play in tournament.
The Philadelphia sports landscape is tricky one to navigate. There are a lot of complex psychological issues that have contributed to the mindset of today’s fan. Regardless of age everyone surely by now has witnessed some terrific heartbreak in this town. From quadruple doinks to Carter walk offs, to a streaking Ronde Barber it is easy to sit in that “mud brain” my kids’ teachers call it.
It’s easy to forget we have had plenty of moments that made me spill my beer and cry tears of joy. From Philly Philly, to double doinks, to moonshots off Broxton, to Down 3-0 in game 7 down 3-0 in the series, there is always hope in this town, there is always fight and there’s always enough passion to make it all worth it.
It is time for this generation’s Sixers team to leave their mark on complicated brain scans.
It is time for this generation’s Sixers FANS to heed the advice of Paul Reed and “get it out the mud” ……brain.
Now is not the time to worry about what ifs or what happened last year, two years ago, two decades ago. Now is the time believe. Now is the time to watch your number one seed, your best team in the East unleash absolute hell on every team that dares walk on that court with them. Now is the time to make the Wells Fargo Center a house of horrors for Westbrook, Beal, Young, Butler or whoever else thinks they can lace them up against our hometown five. Yeah, that includes Durant, Harden and Irving because our team likes our chances against anybody, and so should you.
If you are thinking about hitting reply and reciting the same old tired sports talk radio tropes about this team, you need to give it a rest and keep it to yourself for the next month. Some of us are buckled in, have the lap bar down and know damn well that we need to keep our hands and arms inside the vehicle at all times. We are not going to be sorry you deprived yourself the opportunity to be young again, to have dreams of red, white and blue ticker tape parades down Broad and say “never a doubt” as you triumphantly stand over fans of teams like the Lakers and the Nets who foolishly thought they could mercenary their way past you.
You could recreate the Kelce speech very easily for this this squad. Just turn on 94.1 on your radio anytime of day and the host or a caller will remind you of all their flaws. While that is going on, there are about 28 other fan bases wishing to be in our position. The road to the finals goes through South Philadelphia and it has been a while since we could say that.
Is it going to be easy? Hell no. There will be adversity, setbacks, and game sevens. There will be injuries, technicals and buzzer beaters. There will be threes from the logo, blow calls and some nights it might feel like the basket is the size of a thimble. But guess what? There is also going to be Sixers blow outs. There will be unlikely heroes and galloping fast breaks. There will be MVP performances from the true MVP of the league. There will be frustration on the faces of everyone the rightful DPLOY Ben Simmons defends, and we are going to hear “the song” playing most nights.
C’mon Sixers fans, we need to do our part. Sports are best when shared with the community. If you see someone out there with an Embiid jersey on, give them a “Go Sixers.” Let everyone know we got this. The city needs to show the team we have their back. Tell the “Simmons can’t shoot” guy in your office to shut the hell up and get his TPS reports in on time. Tell your “Embiid can’t stay in shape” Uncle that he needs to get a slant and upgrade those tired New Balances he wears to every get together.
You have options here. You can guard your heart and stew in negativity by saying “it won’t be us”, or you can be 12 again and say, “Why not us?” I can tell you what is more fun. Am I guaranteeing that we will see Embiid kissing a championship trophy at the end of this? No, but I’ll be damned if I can’t actually close my eyes and see it. Can’t you? Just try for a second…… Doesn’t that feel awesome?