The following was posted originally by Bobby Hallinan over at Class is Boring (posted here with minor edits), but it’s good and you totally should have pitched it to me, Bobby. Happy Thanksgiving to all and heed his advice.
One of the most widespread tropes attached to Thanksgiving, up there with turkey, football, and online arguments about which side dish is the best, is the contentious presence of That One Uncle. He’s been memorialized as a recurring correspondent on Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, and he’s been the subject of countless online survival guides, especially this year, after a year of living every day in one of the most divisive political environments in recent American history (“recent” here meaning, loosely, “the last 20 years”). This uncle is typically some combination of overweight, alcoholic, and racist; as with most generalized straw-men, he is stupid and easily defeated with a few maneuvers that can be outlined in a 500 word article.
While I’m sure that guy actually does exist in some (many?) families, it’s never been a character in my family; even the ones I disagree with are too smart and stubborn to be swayed to my way of thinking over the course of a dinner and a second helping (and I hope they feel the same way about me). However, for Sixers fans, there is likely another argumentative relative who you can argue with, and even better, enough evidence is in that you can pretty definitely say that you are right and he is wrong, and that that’s been the case for years now. Exciting! I’m talking, of course, about That One Uncle Who Was Wrong About The Process (TOUWWWATP). Here’s your guide to surviving him.
Physical Fitness Is So Important
This is more of a long-term thing that you won’t have time to adequately prepare for in the time between when you read this and Thanksgiving 2017, but you may be able to implement it for Turkeys Day to come. You see, you will do a lot of pointing and laughing when it comes to confront TOUWWWATP. It’ll probably be like one of those Family Guy bits where something goes on for so long that it stops and starts being funny like three times each, but you don’t have the advantage of being a cartoon character, so you need to tune your muscles properly. Specifically, your shoulders, triceps, and core will be tested by holding up your hand with your index finger extended in mocking accusation and laughing heartily from your belly. On short notice, the best you can do is to rest up (if you do any driving, control the wheel with your left hand; when you wake up in the morning, have someone help you up out of bed rather than sitting up yourself). You won’t get the most of your Thanksgiving if you completely neglect the physical aspect in favor of constructing “arguments.”
Have Your Okafor Lowlights Ready
The two players who TOUWWWATP was likely most wrong about over the course of the Process and the years leading up to it are Andre Iguodola and Jahlil Okafor. They probably hated Iggy for having the audacity to take a big contract that was offered to him while being a great player not well-suited to stardom; they probably loved Okafor for reasons as nebulous as “he’s a winner” and as shortsighted as “no one else is a good post player, that must mean that a good post player would be an incredible tool to have.” You’ll be able to remind them that Iguodola’s defense, playmaking, and general gap-filling is what a “winner” actually does, that winning in high school and college doesn’t matter (see: Simmons, Ben), that post play is very inefficient compared to shooting or pick and roll play, and then deliver the coup de grace with a long YouTube video of Jahlil Okafor being a sad-sack on defense (which is likely something TOUWWWATP claims to value but did not appreciate with Iguodola, and is also something he likely doesn’t appreciate about Robert Covington). Here, again, physical fitness will be important, as you need decent stamina to hold a phone in front of TOUWWWATP’s face as you chase him around forcing him to watch YouTube against his will.
Choose A Few Key Mistakes Of Your Own
If you claim you were right about everything, you won’t get anywhere. You’ll need to acknowledge some moves you were wrong about. Maybe you thought JaKarr Sampson was a legitimate NBA starter. Maybe you lost hope on Covington a little bit. I’d recommend admitting that you thought Nerlens Noel was much better than he ended up being, or that Okafor, while not a great outcome, would actually be serviceable. This acknowledgement that you’re not perfect isn’t just a means of softening the blow of literally pointing and laughing at TOUWWWATP for an extended period of time, though — it’s a bait and switch. “I was wrong about stuff; so was Hinkie. THAT WAS BUILT INTO THE PROCESS!” you’ll yell triumphantly. “The Sixers completely wasted the third overall pick in what was supposed to be a loaded draft, but because they stockpiled so many picks, IT DOESN’T EVEN MATTER! They still have the best young core in the league!” you’ll shout while doing clap-pushups and removing your clothes to reveal that you’ve had a full Joel Embiid jersey-shorts-leg compression sleeves-socks-sneakers outfit tattooed all over your body. “I was right and you were wrong you subhuman waste of blood!”
Football Is Your Friend
TOUWWWATP may be more nimble than I’m giving him credit for here. He may bring up the fact that the team hasn’t won anything yet, that Embiid is still injury prone, and, most crucially, that the team gave up future assets for a point guard who can’t shoot when most of that point guard’s value stemmed from his ability to shoot. Pointing out that judging Markelle Fultz after four games is stupid, that counting on Embiid to get hurt just to prove you right is ghoulish, and that expecting to win when your two best players are 23 and 21 is historically ignorant may get you somewhere, but your now-enraged uncle won’t want to hear any of that after the abuse you’ve put him through, and you’ve won already, so simply deflect with football. A well-timed “How about that win over the Cowgirls, eh Uncle [Whatever]?” should pivot you seamlessly out of a combative conversation and into one in which you share common ground. Of course, you might have to explain why pejoratively implying that the Cowboys players are women is actually bad, but hey, at least you came out on top with the Sixers thing!