Well… when they start sucking, I might stop talking about them, but how can I now? The 76ers are off to their best start in almost 10 years! With a record of (7-2), the Sixers lead the NBA in some of the most impressive categories for a team: Greatest points differential, points-per-game on the road, field-goal percentage, points-allowed, and we rank in the top 5 for every category worth considering. Some are quick to critique the small sample, to which I say, “Fuck you!”, but then follow up with, “That small sample size is still 15% of the season. It’s a good indication.” We lead the Atlantic division currently, and sit behind only Miami and Chicago for the entire Eastern Conference.
My prediction of the Sixers having a great season is looking more realistic than ever. While other teams are getting their bearings from the short off-season and almost non-existent training camps, we’re picking up exactly where we left off last season.
Last Monday, I was able to score courtside seats at the Wells Fargo Center once again to witness the beauty that is the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team when they played the Indiana Pacers. Some notables about the trip :
1) Matt Cord no longer does the play-by-play or intro announcements for the 76ers. HUGE BUMMER. The guy was incredible. He was replaced by a fellah named Tom Lamaine, who’s voice is as lame as his name. That means no longer will echoing “DALAs” be heard after and Andre Iguodala slam dunk. No longer will Lou Williams first name be dragged out for another ten seconds after draining a buzzer beater. Instead, it’s some lame-ass old guy. Bring Cord back!
2) It had a pretty low attendance. Lowest I’ve ever seen in my visits to the Wells Fargo. Granted, it was a Monday night, and they were in fact playing the Pacers, but still, not many people. The upside to this of course is that basically anything that was yelled by the fans was heard, and heard well. I decided to make up for Matt Cord’s absence by screaming “DALA DALA DALA” after every basket, which was surprisingly embraced by my fellow spectators. I also yelled, “Get my shrimp!” at Roy Hibbert (ala Parks n’ Rec on NBC where Hibbert makes a guest appearance), but he did not turn around to acknowledge. Damnit.
3) Celebs were abound. DJ Jazzy Jeff was in the building to receive a standing ovation. M. Night Shamalamalan was also present, but he didn’t receive quite the same response from the crowd. It was a pretty torn mix between applause and boos. Lady in the Water will do that to ya. Weird note about M. Night, he was rolling solo. Like, completely solo. He had a personal escort from the Wells Fargo Center (as he walked right by me) but had no lady, no wife, girlfriend, friend, or anyone present. Maybe he just looms everywhere he goes. Mysterious.
4) Marc Zumoff is a really nice guy. I didn’t meet him personally, but since his broadcast was about 10 feet away from my seats, I got to witness some of the Zumoff magic. During pre-game, a group of 30 kids (ranging 12-25) were waiting at the first row to get autographs and just witness the shoot-arounds. Zumoff gets done his intros, sets his mic and earpiece down, and walks into the stands to sign autographs and chit-chat with them. Strangely pleasant. It’s a long ways away from the “Eric Snow rushes into stands to fight fan” incident theheadrush witnessed a year ago. Zumoff also has a page on his website strictly for people aspiring to be broadcasters to contact him. Isn’t that nice? Alright, I’m jumping off Zumoff’s weiner now.
Although my position on college athletics has been established and repeated many times, I will take this opportunity to boast once more. The BCS Bowl couldn’t have been a larger disappointment. People complained when LSU/Bama first met because of the game’s low score and field goal marathons, and the title game that was hyped for 44 days did the exact same thing: let everyone down. 9 field goal attempts, no score by LSU, and absolutely no last-minute theatrics. Playoffs anyone?
NFL Playoffs on the other hand, with one game in particular, have actually been eventful and entertaining. (Once again my transitions are so smooth.) I got 3/4 picks right last week, with my Detroit/Saints score prediction looking eerily similar to the real life outcome. Adam called the Tebow upset. I, along with every Pittsburgh fan, didn’t see it coming. Usually when Tebow “pulls the trigger” it results in a ball being flung 30 feet over a receivers head. Kudos this time around, kid. I don’t see it happening forever… on to the predicts!
Saturday – 4:30 – New Orleans Saints (-4) @ San Francisco 49ers
I like the Saints in this one. Granted the 49ers have a stellar defense, but I haven’t seen anyone put a stop to New Orleans high-scoring offense and I don’t see San Fran doing this either. I think the bye week actually hurts San Francisco, and there offense just isn’t capable of keeping up. Saints 31, 49ers 17.
Saturday – 8:00 – Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots (-13.5)
That’s an awfully big spread for a playoff game. Tom Brady has a way of sticking it to people he doesn’t like, but I actually think he enjoys Tim Tebow. I don’t think Brady is going to be gunning for him as hard as he would for say, Mark Sanchez. Either way, Bill Belichick isn’t going to be out-coached by the likes of a lazy, stoner head coach like John Fox. I think the Pats got this, but I think the Broncos will cover. ….And if I’m wrong, then Tim Tebow may very well be the 2nd coming of Jesus. Knock off the Steelers and Pats for a Superbowl run?? Patriots 28, Broncos 24.
Sunday – 1:00 – Houston Texans @ Baltimore Ravens (-7.5)
This game could truly go either way. If T.J. Yates starts, and bombs, Jake Delhomme is certainly going to be put in early. Hell, he might even start. It’s hard to say how this is going to end up because who knows what kind of offense the Texans decide to bring. We all know what to expect from the Ravens offense. Since my back is against the wall, I’m taking the Texans with the spread. End result : Ravens 17, Texans 14.
Sunday – 4:30 – New York Giants @ Green Bay Packers (-9.5)
The Giants, who almost beat Green Bay earlier this year, are a 9 point underdog? How could this be? Somebody in Vegas knows something I don’t, because I can’t see how this spread could be so big. Everyone knows the Packers defense is total garbage and the Giants run game can control the clock for a good majority of the game. Although I’m a fan of the Discount-Double-Check commercials, I’m picking the Giants to upset. Giants 38, Packers 28.
Welp, that’s it. Happy gambling folks.
This post was written by Randy Neil