Good news is always good news, but to discount the way one receives a particular piece of good news for the first time is antithetical to the human experience. I'll always remember where I was for the Kris Jenkins shot, or when my sister told me she was pregnant, or the phone call that confirmed I was moving to LA for a (paid!) internship.
I've always wanted good news to be delivered suddenly and with certainty. Like opening a college acceptance letter and knowing you just hit a huge, seismic plot point in your life. But there aren't too many instances when the universe allows you to go from a normal state of being into full-blown American Idol finalist. In my professional life, I've gotten more calls like "hey, this is close to happening, sit tight, don't tell anybody yet," where I have to barricade my excitement and am forced to think about all the ways this thing could fall through until a less-momentous "so, yep, we're clear" seals it anticlimactically.
But on Tuesday night, in front of 2,000+ of my closest internet friends and Howard Eskin, I got my wish. I was paralyzed with fear. I felt responsible for the happiness (and safety, let's be real, things could have gone sideways quick) of everyone at XFinity Live. I was on the second floor slumped against the glass barrier, readying my body for the fetal position. Negadelphian doom was certain. But then, the commercial -- hashtag get to the commercial -- and after two years of Hinkie's lottery luck running out at #3, shit got suddenly, certainly bonkers.
Couldn't have done it without the Colangelos pic.twitter.com/o7X1LU09mA— John Gonzalez (@gonzoCSN) May 18, 2016
That's me nearly swan-diving onto the lower level. That's how you get good news. Honestly, the best 10 seconds of my life. (sex joke sex joke sex joke sex joke)
Many articles have been written about the night -- some of the best from Sharp, Gonzalez, Unterberger, and especially Nate Jones at NY Mag -- so I'll just add that for me, days later, I still can't believe it's real. It feels like the movie ended, the credits rolled, and we're still living in this movie world with no script or camera crew. The Sixers won the lottery, we're so happy we could burst, freeze frame on us with our fists in the air, only life's just gonna keep on going on, I guess.
I've said it on the podcast, and more clearly in this series of tweets (here), but the feelings of distrust towards the Sixers are real. That's not going to heal itself overnight. And we one-percenters of Process Trusting didn't need the #1 pick to feel like Hinkie's rebuild was the right thing to do. But in the case of both: IT DOESN'T HURT, GODDAMMIT.
I feel great. Paranoid this milk's gonna get sour fast. Melancholy that Sam isn't here to take us into the promised land (maybe he'll come back as Sam the White) (that was a Moses reference that I juked into a Lord Of The Rings reference, be cool). But great.
Whether you're Team Simmons or
wrong Team Ingram, let this be a time when we luxuriate in the moment. Even if everything turns to shit in the months/years/Colangelos to come, good news this good doesn't come around much. We earned a month of rest and warmth under the blanket of the top pick. Ben Simmons is laying on top of me, is what I'm saying.
Anyway, thanks to all for coming and tweeting about it and being generally great people. Ricky/LB fans IRL are the nicest collection of humans anywhere. We feel crazy lucky to have you guys with us for this weird-ass run.
*Oh and I should say all the credit for #1 goes to long-time commenter iladelphia, who told me not to wear the Andrew Bynum shirsey this year. As if we needed more confirmation that Bynum was bad luck.*
Here's the Rights To Ricky Sanchez podcast (once more popular than Woj) (say the goddamn name) we recorded mere moments after the party ended. Both of us are raw and exhausted. I'm not sure why Spike left my Juelz Santana mic check in there. I guess it was just that kind of night. Listen here.
And here's this week's episode of The 700 Level, where John Gonzalez interviewed many Lottery Party folks (eeeeeee lil Jake looks so cute and lil!) and then has Spike, Sharp, and me on a panel right after the results came in. By this point, I'm barely fluent in English. That segment starts around 16:43.
Til' next year, when we do it again.