There is the Philly cheesesteak, the soft pretzel and water ice. All foods that are unique to this city.
Another food event that is special to Philadelphia took place on Friday morning, when contestants and spectators filled the Wells Fargo Center for the 22nd annual Wing Bowl.
Sixers head coach Brett Brown was in attendance and he made sure to do his homework before making an appearance.
“I did Google it, and when you are reading about it you sort of take some of it in,” Brown said. “Then you click on images and you are like, whoa, this goes to a higher level and you think you know but when you actually get there, they obviously have a heck of a lot of fun. It obviously has grown in popularity.”
Brown found the crowd to be endearing to him and his team. He just didn’t anticipate seeing such a large crowd for an eating contest.
“You go down there and see 19, 20,000 people at that hour of the morning and the lead up as you are walking through,” he said. “People are saying hello and wishing you luck. I mean what a great city, what a great event. It’s unique. It was a real eye-opener.”
Brown said he has no desire to ever be a Wing Bowl competitor, and while Eagles center Jason Kelce took part in the competition, the coach hopes none of his players would want to follow that path.
However, Brown did have an idea about expanding Wing Bowl.
“I do think given my 17-year history in Australia there could be an international event like the Wing Bowl Olympics,” Brown suggested.
The Sixers on Monday acquired controlling stake in Team Dignitas and Team Apex, two eSport companies.
The companies will be combining under the Team Dignitas banner. The Sixers become the first North American sports franchise to acquire an eSports team and intend to manage the day-to-day operations of Team Dignitas.
"There is a tremendous opportunity to leverage the infrastructure, resources and experience of the Sixers organization to support these exciting teams as they continue to compete at the highest levels across multiple games," Sixers managing general partner Josh Harris said in a statement. "We see our entrance into eSports as a natural extension of our expanding interests in traditional sports and entertainment and are confident that our involvement will accelerate the already rapid pace of growth in eSports as a whole.”
Team Dignitas and Team Apex have created games such as League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm and Smite.
Sixers training camp begins on Tuesday and there are plenty of questions as they enter a new chapter following a 10-win season and three tumultuous years of losing.
Here are five things to keep an eye on during camp as the Sixers prepare for the 2016-17 season.
How much will Joel Embiid play?
Embiid will begin the season under restrictions. What those parameters are remain to be determined. The Sixers will continue to proceed with caution for Embiid's NBA debut after two foot surgeries in as many years. It is unlikely he will play in back-to-backs to begin the season, and minutes will be allocated as the team assesses him during camp. The restrictions will create playing opportunities for other bigs in the meantime.
Who will start?
The Sixers have to set a starting five within an unbalanced roster. The team is loaded in the frontcourt and there are only so many positions to go around. Brett Brown said Jerryd Bayless would be the starting point guard if the season began today, and Gerald Henderson appears to be the lock at two-guard. Ben Simmons is the only certainty in the frontcourt, filling the four-spot. The Sixers will have to select a small forward and a center from the plethora of bigs. Expect the starting five to change throughout the season, especially as Embiid gets more games under his belt.
How will the team be different?
The improvement in the wins and losses column is a given. Now, the team is implementing changes off the court intended to have significant effects this season. They expect the new 125,000-square-foot training complex to provide a one-stop shop for all the players' daily needs. The facility was designed so players and staff could spend most of their time there and foster relationships with one another, focus on basketball and create an environment in which they know they can improve. There is also an emphasis on what Brown described as career-best fitness. The team is looking to play uptempo, and players will be pushed to amp up their health, strength and conditioning to compete within that system.
What will Simmons' role be?
Simmons has the unique versatility to be a point-forward. At 6-foot-10, he has the size of a frontcourt player as well as the ball handling skills and court vision of a point guard. There will be times when Simmons is tasked with running the floor. However, Brown has said point guard is the most challenging position and he does not want to throw Simmons into that right away. The Sixers bolstered their depth by adding Bayless and Sergio Rodriguez. Simmons will manage the floor at times, but it won't be his main responsibility.
How will the Noel situation play out?
There are too many bigs. That was the case last season with Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor and the issue still remains, only now Simmons, Embiid and Dario Saric are also in the mix. Noel expressed his uneasiness of the situation to the Philadelphia Inquirer (see story). There is a lingering logjam that has to be sorted out with a trade this season. Who is moved remains to be seen.
For more hot topics, check out the CSNPhilly.com Give and Go series.