There's never been a more exciting time to be a Philadelphia sports fan. Surprisingly, it's for the exact opposite reason most of us expect or want it to. No, we're not drowning in championships like our brethren up in Boston. In fact, the most recent success we've had was a 1-and-done playoff appearance a full season ago.
Oh hey, Alex Henery missed another field goal.
And yet, it's blinding how much the media spotlight is on Philadelphia, for better or worse. That is crazy.
Philadelphia Sports Craze!
Philadelphia Sports Craze!
Craziness. It's why I am writing about the Philadelphia Eagles when the Philadelphia 76ers are facing the Sacramento Kings tonight. Really, all three franchises are mired in their own pockets of insanity and I can't help but revel in it.
Hey, do you like sports? Do you own a TV, listen to the radio, have social media, or read the news in any capacity? There's absolutely no way you've not heard about the Philadelphia Eagles, unless you're a monk. And if you're a monk, you probably shouldn't be reading this.
The last couple days alone felt like the epitome of general bipolar behavior from the high of highs to the low of lows. Andy Reid's tenure is to Dexter as Chip Kelly's tenure is to True Detective. You wonder how the former lasted as long as it did, while the latter still has me confused as heck. Chip Kelly is the Yellow King, inciting insanity in all of us.
The flurry of player transactions is mind-bending as he fills needs and creates others in an attempt to build a monster that Frankenstein could only blush at. Having faith in Chip is exactly that, because it's so hard to get a read on what puzzle he's trying to construct without the picture on the box to look at.
MAybe, we figuRe It Out closer To the drAft?
What is Chip's plan? What is Hinkie's plan?
It's seamless. Two sports figures in this city are apparently mad scientists to anyone who cares. They have their own creed, a plan, a coda, and don't give two shits about the critics, the doubters, and the uninformed in their pursuits.
Sixers GM Sam Hinkie, actually, isn't a difficult guy to figure out, if you listen to what he says (when he says it) and pay attention to the moves he makes. The organization has more or less been transparent about what they're trying to do in their pursuit of success: Find a franchise player and build around him.
Yet, many seem confused when their perception and expectations disagree with his plans. However, whose fault is that really? Is it 'their' fault for not trying to understanding or his fault for not having a blinking, neon sign to explain it any clearer?
Furthermore despite being historically bad in some regards, poor in win-loss column for sure, how is it that THIS Sixers team seems a more relevant topic than the post-AI/Pre-Hinkie Sixers? The Sixers seem to be the poster child for "tanking", analytics, and basically everything angry old men yell at clouds for.
I grew up during the Iverson years in Philadelphia. This team is 100000% more fun than those teams were.— Michael Levin (@Michael_Levin) February 24, 2015
Okay, maybe I'm not that deranged.
But we (and I'm going to speak for all of us because... why not?) can't help but love chaos and the spectacle. We all experience the schadenfreude it produces. It's just the 2nd law of thermodynamics at it's finest.
These Sixers are a ridiculous amount of fun despite how much of a disaster they are to watch sometimes. It makes no sense but so much sense at the same time.
The Doug Collins era may have produced the "most successful" brand of basketball the city had since the magical AI title run, but it was also fairly conservative, (outside 1 playoff run) not memorable, predictably (ultimately) unsuccessful, and, while I loved the players, kind of boring.
Dribble hand-off, after dribble hand-off....the Doug Collins era felt like equilibrium had been established.
I applauded the Sixers ownership when they took a chance on Bynum. While it failed spectacularly, they made an attempt to break status quo. We clamored for a change of pace from Andy Reid, and Chip Kelly has taken the reins and has done just that thanks to Jeffery Lurie. The method to the madness behind Hinkie and Kelly was sound enough for the two's respective ownership to let them work.
The other side of that coin, seems to be Vivek Ranadive. Famous for experimental (read: dumb) 4 on 5 basketball and his love for Nik Stauskas, Ranadive is a peculiar figure in the sports world for being first the savior, then saboteur of the Sacramento Kings. His apparent meddling has led to a questionable roster construction and some coaching turmoil.
At least he's seemed to learn, we think? George Karl has somewhat righted that ship and looks to be the guy to turn around that franchise in the future. Whether the volatile, but talented DeMarcus Cousins is in that future, is a question for another time.
I'm not exactly sure what's in store for either of the 3 franchises moving forward. We do know the Sixers and Kings are playing tonight. Nerlens Noel will hopefully continue to do things. Boogie Cousins will definitely do things.
Chip Kelly probably made a trade while I wrote this, cut someone while I proofread it, and signed someone while you've read this.
We live in an exciting, crazy time.
Would you like me to decipher a Rorschach for you?