Covering games under the almighty privilege of the press pass is a powerful thing.
You have pre-game and post-game interaction with star players; immediate access to stat sheets, trends, in-game box scores, etc.; and then there is the occasional run-in with the dance team, as they share the same access points and hallways you do.
Glamorous, huh? Hardly. But interesting in its own right.
But last Friday night, I took a trip down memory lane and walked through Wells Fargo Center as a fan. I slummed it down by hopping on SEPTA (note: they frown upon you drinking Olde English on the platform), partook in the festivities going on in the tailgate lots and snatched up one of the free rally towels — all the while pumping the Sixers fight song (and, in case you're wondering — and I know you are — the answer is yes. This trumps the Eagles song).
Anyway, the new owners have done a tremendous job. From the pregame introductions to the new Sixers dance team (just please tell us why you chose to name them the Dream Team ... that moniker is dead in this town) to the overall in-game experience, the Sixers are indeed relevant again. More importantly, fans are actually going and getting into the games (as evidenced by an impromptu "SPENCER HAWES" chant). That part is amazing.
What's that slogan? Passionate. Intense. Proud. I think.
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Check, check and check.
However, there is one area for concern. If you're going to run a $1 Hot Dog Night, you better have $1 hot dogs. In nearly three hours inside the arena, my friend and I had a grand total of, ready for it, drum roll please ... three hot dogs. One-and-a-half dogs each.
We waited in line for nearly half-a-quarter only to get up to the front and find out the hot-dog bins were barren, with the loneliest looking buns this side of Kim Kardashian. In fact, it was so bad that one Sixers fan shouted to the vendors, "You guys need to call the Phillies." One of my friends waited in line for an entire quarter, before arriving at the front to find out the dogs were gone and beer sales were over. Needless to say, a few well-deserved expletives were dropped.
Point is, we love everything the Sixers are doing right now. Doug Collins is an early Coach of the Year candidate. The new owners actually care and it shows. Spencer Hawes for MVP?
HOWEVER, if you are going to promote a $1 Hot Dog Night, you cannot run out of hot dogs.
That's like going to a Broncos game and running out of Tebow ...