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Friday, January 20, 2006

Sixers vs. Flyers

The question came from a reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He wanted my opinion on why Phialdelphia has enthusiastically re-embraced the Flyers while sort of turning on the Sixers. So, here's what I told him.

The Flyers have a hard-core fan base. They like hockey no matter what, and seem to not care about other sports. The rest of us jump on the bandwagon around playoff time because we’re starved for a winner, but we don't know half the rules and don't really care. I personally love the Sixers, but generally it's a football town. After the Eagles rip our hearts out every year, nothing else gets much attention until about March. By then the Sixers are generally not deemed serious contenders, and the Eagles' free agency period is the focus.

I couldn’t figure out why he was asking me, but, hey, we all need an ego boost now and then. Of course, he was just sampling fan opinion, and I guess blogs make that job easier than ever. But I even got a follow-up: Any thoughts on why the Sixers are struggling so much with attendance this year? They're not much worse on the court than they have been in recent seasons and Iverson has been great.

I replied: You hear stuff about the price of tix with the cost of gas, the economy, etc. I agree with you that they're not much worse, but losing so many late leads is what I think is turning people off. They should be better, not "not much worse." Iverson is what he is, and we've seen it for 10 years. I love the guy, but the city just wants a winner — any winner — now, and that's not going to happen with the Sixers this year. I had predicted 48 wins and a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals. Unless Billy King pulls a player with a low-post offensive game out of his hat, there's no shot of that.

Picks. Just winners this week: Pats, Colts, Seahawks, Panthers.

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