Video: Phillies Fans Still Excited to Receive Hunter Pence Bobblehead Long After His Trade to San Fran

Video: Phillies Fans Still Excited to Receive Hunter Pence Bobblehead Long After His Trade to San Fran

"It's a bobblehead. Who's not excited about a bobblehead?"

That seemed to be the prevailing fan sentiment at Citizens Bank Park prior to Tuesday night's Phillies game against the Cincinnati Reds.

The scheduled giveaway for the evening was a bobble figurine of former Phillie and current San Francisco Giant Hunter Pence. Pence quickly became something of a fan favorite in Philadelphia, partly because of his quirky, powerful swing and "Let's Go Eat!" tagline, but also because of his athletic physique - at least that's what one particular lady told us. The giveaway was scheduled months ago, long before Pence was traded to the left coast, but as the team said, what else were they going to do with 45,000 bobbleheads other than give them away?

We set up shop along the first base gate to gauge fan reactions to receiving the piece of Pence paraphernalia. Were they still excited to get a Pence bobble even though he was traded? Had they long been planning to come to this game for the bobble alone? And finally, what did they plan on doing with it now that he's playing for the Giants?

We were kind of hoping for a few crazy answers at either end of the spectrum. Something like, "I plan to put it in the middle of my Hunter Pence shrine right next to my giant fork." Or on the flip side, someone throwing it in a trash can immediately after receiving it.

We didn't get either of those, but one lady (who didn't want to be filmed) did ask her friends if she should give it back because she didn't really want it.

For the most part, fans were excited to stash their little Hunter Pence figurine right in the middle of their existing bobble collection and said they'd remember Hunter's time in Philadelphia fondly.

Pence, playing right field for San Francisco tonight, would agree with that sentiment and attached a note to Phillies fans on each bobblehead:

"Thanks, Phillies fans, for the great memories. I'm glad my Bobble Figurine will still be given out oven though I'm no longer in Philadelphia. I hope it will serve as a lasting reminder of my time there. It was a year of my career that I will never forget."

Nerlens Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday vs. Pistons

Nerlens Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday vs. Pistons

NEW ORLEANS — Nerlens Noel made another step toward his return from arthroscopic left knee surgery by joining the Sixers in New Orleans for their game against the Pelicans.

Noel arrived on Wednesday with Robert Covington, who is slated to start after missing the last three games with a left knee sprain. Noel is not cleared to play, but Brown doesn’t think it will be long until he suits up. 

“I don’t think far away,” Brown said of Noel’s regular season debut after shootaround.

When asked about the possibility of Noel playing this weekend when the Sixers face the Pistons on Sunday in Detroit, Brown replied, “Maybe.” 

Noel has missed the entire regular season recovering from elective surgery for an inflamed plica in October. He completed the first phase of his rehab in Birmingham, Ala. and has been continuing his work with the Sixers. This trip to New Orleans is the first time he has been with the Sixers on the road. 

“[He is] integrating with the team, studying a lot of tape, scripting with his teammates with the understanding that we have a chance to see him soon,” Brown said. “All that trying to ramp it up where he can go to an NBA court more comfortably.”

Noel spoke out about his displeasure with the Sixers crowded frontcourt at the start of the preseason. He recently stuck with his stance, saying, “I don’t think the roster’s changed.”

Brown is working to keep the team moving forward as a unit while still being aware of and recognizing Noel’s perspective. 

“It does,” Brown said when asked if Noel’s open frustration concerns him as it pertains to team cohesiveness. “But I feel like it’s so much a part of what we try do around here that it’s not like you’re going to blink and you’ve forgotten something that equals camaraderie, that equals team, that equals trying to keep this together, and you’ve left it for a week … 

“It’s a day-to-day focus for me and it’s a very candid conversation with me and the player. The team hears it, the individual hears it, we all understand it … We need to coexist and we need to understand the reality of it all, too. There’s a human side you understand. It’s also pride, it’s competitiveness, it’s do your job, it’s nothing is given, you’ve got to take stuff, draw your own line in the sand, competitors rule the day.”

Last season Noel averaged 11.1 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game. The Sixers will look forward to having him back on the court in that once-crowded frontcourt that is now shorthanded. Jahlil Okafor remained in Philadelphia with gastroenteritis. Ben Simmons still is rehabbing from a right foot fracture. 

"Soon you’re going to see Ben Simmons coming to a team bench where he doesn’t come out with boots and have to push him in some type of wheely apparatus," Brown said. "We’ve dealt with so many injuries trying to find that balance of dealing with their health and so on, and then trying to integrate them back into a team is part of growing a program."