DFDepressed FanDepressed Fan

All  

Sixers

, all the time

First-Person Report: Sixers vs. Bulls

Thumbnail image for The final tip. (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
Mike was on hand for the historic night at the Spectrum and the Sixers win that followed. Check out his first-person report after the jump.
Thoughts on The Spectrum/Pregame:

- There are more scalpers outside tonight than the past 5 games combined. It gave tonight an immediate old school feel, like I was actually going to see something special that other people cared about (this is sadly the opposite of how I feel going to every other Sixers game).

- It is amazing how spoiled I have become, because The Spectrum can best described as claustrophobic. The concourse is so small that it's nearly impossible to walk anywhere after tip-off. The aisles in between the seats are also half the size of the Wachovia Center, so there's constant traffic jams as you're trying to make your way up & down the rows. Not to mention the space in between rows is smaller. It just feels weird that this was the normal way people went to public events only 10 years ago (and still do), because the newer building really is so much more comfortable.

- That being said, the action on the floor looks much better inside The Spectrum. I noticed the whole arena is a lot darker, so I guess the contrast between that and the well-lit court makes it look different. It also looks better when you look to your right & left from the seats. I have no idea why. It could be something with how steep the rows are aligned. It was probably just because there were actually people in the seats. Anyway, the atmosphere inside the building tonight was awesome.

- The jumbotron is hilarious. It would be like if you went to play Atari or even Nintendo right now. The extent of the graphics is a constant 76ers logo swirling around the entire night. No instant replay. No camera on the crowd. No promotions. Nothing. This aspect of the evening was kind of cool, because it gave the game an old-school feel. I know I know. You can't imagine how people could have possibly sat through a game 20 years ago without watching Lou Williams sing Happy Birthday on the jumbotron, or without the Kiss Cam.

- There are lots of old school 76ers fans in here. The whole crowd feels a lot older than the typical night at the Wachovia Center, which typically caters to kids. Lots of Dr J, Cheeks & Malone jerseys. Very cool. They even play some greatest hits mix of the 70s/80s over the PA before the normal hip hop starts blasting as the players take the court for warm-ups.

- I admit that I got chills as the Star Spangled Banner came to a close. It was a combination of most of the Sixers' holding the American Flag, with the great saxophonist kid, with the pregame festivities & with all the legends in the house. There were more flashbulbs that lit up The Spectrum at opening tip-off than I have seen at The Wachovia Center since the '01 Finals. So it's been about 8 years without the buzz that was humming around the arena tonight.

ONTO THE GAME:

- Derrick Rose was much less impressive than the last time he came to town. He still made 1 or 2 plays that left the crowd breathless, but it seems like the toll of a long season along with the Bulls sucking might be wearing on him. The only other thing about Chicago I feel worth mentioning is that Hinrich are Tyrus Thomas are both much better defenders than I realized. The rest of that team is boring as hell and needs to be blown up. I don't know what Paxson is doing anymore.

- Thad's "and 1" on a fastbreak towards the end of the 3rd was the loudest I've heard a Sixers' crowd in awhile. He has played great basketball the last 2 games, and while I don't share the same view as the 2 fans behind me who both agreed that Thad was "way better than Iguodala," he can be fun to watch. The fans behind the Sixers bench & under the basket both gave him a standing ovation as he exited for a breather. This spread to the rest of the arena, which joined in applause. I can't even remember the last time I saw that. The crowd got behind Reggie in last year's playoffs, but for 3 entire sections to give 1 guy a standing O as he walks to the bench, well, I don't think it's happened since AI.

- The Temple win to advance to the A-10 final drew a very loud response from the crowd. People in that building were ready to cheer for just about anything tonight. It looked a few times like the Bulls were going to add themselves to the list of heartbreakers who came to Philly this winter. The fans behind me started a "who's going to beat us tonight" conversation before Sammy came up with that huge block on Rose (2 votes for Gordon, 1 for Rose). I admit too, this team has worn me down, and I was just waiting for a Gordon 3 at the buzzer to send us home. But it didn't happen. Iguodala refused to be denied from getting to the basket, and the team as a whole played tremendous D on the last few possessions.

-As the stadium erupted in joy, it reminded me that this city still does love their Sixers. They are just aching for a winner. I know a good section of the fan base doesn't feel it matters whether the team is a 5, 6, 7, or 8 seed, or misses the playoffs altogether, because the bottom line is that we are not a championship contender. Tonight reminded me how great it will be if they nab the 5 seed and can win even just 1 playoff series, because people do love the Sixers and will come out to watch the team win.
by Brian on Mar 13 2009
Tags: Basketball | Bulls | First-Person Report | Sixers |