True Philadelphia Madness

I know this isn’t unique to where I live, but because I am a slave to my surroundings, the only context I have to understand a kind of projected, unhealthy connection between citizens of a city and its sports teams is through the Philadelphia lens.

So, let’s make this easy: The Philadelphia 76ers are the sports team that I like the most, second to no other team other than the entire sport of golf which really doesn’t count as a “team” in the classic sense. Last night, they lost in somewhat agonizing but predictable fashion to the Brooklyn Nets, who now exist as the perfect totem for 2021 Brooklyn, which is buying your way into temporary status at the expense of credibility and respect. So, the team I like lost to a team it might have beaten (but really probably shouldn’t have if all thinks are equal) and they did so in a close game riddled with late-game mental mistakes, but who gives a shit, it’s the second game of 82 games.

All of that makes sense in isolation, but rooting for a sports franchise long term is not unlike watching a daytime soap opera in that it’s a joke to people who do not get it and for those that do, discovering Armondo’s evil twin sister Carmondo wasn’t buried alive a second time but in fact was masquerading as her own mother this whole time is the kind of thing that shakes the bedrock of the workweek. A normal, not sick person sees that Sixers game and things “oh well, that was close, get them next time.” I see that Sixers game and think “not only do these guys not have it this year, not only will they never have it, I should give up on the team and renounce my commitment to basketball because obviously Embiid is past his prime and will never get to a championship, this team is going to be some kind of carnival version of the 90s Knicks and it will only end in heartbreak if I keep watching these guys grind themselves into dust the same way they always grind themselves into dust so it would be better to cut fucking bait right now.”

These are not well thoughts, but these are the thoughts that go through the sports talk brains that only seem to really take purchase and grow like heirloom pumpkins in a four-sports town like Philly. Clap your hands, everybody.

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