If you were one of the hundreds (and hundreds) of Sixers fans who showed up to Buffalo Wild Wings in Northeast Philly on Tuesday night, then you already know. And if you weren't, well, you already know also, because we haven't shut up about it. Here's coverage from Fadool at CSN Philly with interviews of me and Pavorsky, Max Rappaport at Sixers.com featuring Spike and some of you guys, and The Evster being The Evster for The 700 Level. Most importantly, Pablo Torre repping us hard on Around The Horn:
THE PROCESS GOES NATIONAL. #OneSixEleven pic.twitter.com/665NJThqXC— Michael Levin (@Michael_Levin) May 19, 2015
The fact that this even existed is a testament to the work and stress Spike Eskin put into this, and you people being passionately dumb enough to want to show up. Great to meet a bunch of you finally, and thank you for not catfishing me in public. I love you and appreciate you all. I'm not gonna do a play-by-play of the event, because you can listen to a better version of that on the Ricky. And anyway, the best summation of the night comes from our bipartisan surprise guest and Enemy Of The Podcast himself, Hot Andy Sharp, over at some rudderless arm of ESPN:
I'm sure the NBA will reform the lottery soon to keep teams from doing exactly what the Sixers have done the past few years, but the crazed look in Sixers fans' eyes before the drawing is also the best argument for keeping some form of the lottery going forever. It's the best. Nothing in sports is so critical to the future landscape of a league and so incredibly stupid at the same time.
Were Philly fans disappointed in the end? Absolutely not. These people have developed a religious dedication to playing the odds, and in the end, they landed exactly where the numbers said they would. Trust the process. When Hinkie drafts Mudiay and forces him to go back to China for two years, it will only be another piece in a puzzle than ends in glory.
I can't even make fun of them. First of all, because most of the fans were great, and people from Philly are awesome in general. Second, because I got a free T-shirt. Most importantly, because there's just no way that spending years putting faith in Randy Wittman is any smarter than treating the lottery like it's the NBA Finals. It's the best part about caring way too much about sports. In the end, we're all equally pathetic.
Massive ups to the lesser half of Basketball Apartment for even showing up in front of an always unpredictable Philadelphia crowd. Even bigger than that: we turned him, folks. Look at what he's wearing. My only regret is that I forgot to out Sharp as a Cowboys fan in front of everybody. Maybe for the best, since our goal was to keep the death count under one.
Worth noting Zach Lowe talked to Hinkie about us or at least us in hashtag form (#OneSixEleven) up in New York.
Philadelphia GM Sam Hinkie told me he knew about the hashtag, but that he also knew about the infinitesimal odds. "They were just so tiny," Hinkie said. "I was teasing Scott [O'Neill, the Sixers' CEO] about it: Why don't we just wish to be 9 feet tall? That's not gonna happen either. Why get your hopes up? There's all sorts of things I would like that have a 1-in-500 chance of happening, but I don't tweet about many of them."
Sam's pitch for the hashtag was reportedly #WeCameInExpectingOurMostLikelyOutcome, but unfortunately, Spike is in charge of Twitter, not him. GET ON BOARD, SAM. THAT'S WHY WE DIDN'T GET THE PICKS.
Some big thank you's to:
Buffalo Wild WIngs, specifically the servers and bartenders who somehow did not commit murder. I meant to talk to them to find out if they knew what the hell was going on to draw this many cultishly dressed idiots on Tuesday night. Though BWW reached max capacity (and still hasn't called), it was the perfect venue. Next year when we have break a thousand, we'll have to find a bigger nerd palace to watch.
Kevin Lennertz and Cheesesteak Tees. We couldn't have looked any more dumb, so the shirts did their job. You can still buy the shirt for delivery for only $15. If you ordered a shirt for pickup and didn't get around to grabbing it at the party, you can pick it up at the actual Cheesesteak Tees store. Tom was a huge help. Hooray for Tom.
And then in no particular order: Sports Authority, LL Pavorsky, anyone who wore a Spencer Hawes jersey, Spencer Hawes himself, Nerlens Noel for giving us a shoutout while at the Lottery, my parents for not showing up because they don't love me, Mike Baumann and Justin F. for holding it down online, Wesley Share for absolutely nothing, everyone but Tom Penn, former Sixers beat writer Chris Vito for attending, John Gonzalez for not attending, The Liberty Ballers Basketball Championship Team Probably, dudes with weird facial hair, Vlade Divac, people who read the last page of a novel first, and Adam Aron. Always gotta thank Adam Aron.
It's insane that we did this again and that so many of you showed up. I don't even think other blogs exist. This is the only blog. You are the only community. We are all each other. And not even a Booker T scissors kick could tear us apart. I'm wildly proud of everybody involved, and what this weird blog and vaguely Sixers podcast have become. Thanks for everything, gang. Mean that.
Some odds and ends:
- This was weird.
- This was great.
- This actually happened.
- Spike and I recorded a late night Ricky in the studio immediately after the podcast, which can be listened to here, on iTunes or RSS, or just after this colon:
- Then I slept in Spike's guest room. We did not consummate the lottery.
- You guys remember Joel Embiid or nah?
- My friend showed up in a #1 Sixers shirsey with "OPTIONALITY" on the back.
- Follow The Rights To Ricky Sanchez twitter account, being run by our intern, Phillip. This account was borne out of Spike's frustration that no one credits The Ricky when they talk about the Lottery Party.
- Deadspin wrote some more of the same stuff. Marcus Hayes did too. I'm not gonna link to them.
- Never dating a Lakers fan again.
- Oh and we did a LIVE RICKY at the party, but almost nobody could hear us, so we've got that for you here as well. It's dumb, but it's also really dumb, so check it out here or below. There's a lot of booing.
Thanks again. I don't know what I'd do without you people.