The Evster: the Sixers are cool but the Wells Fargo Center still kinda sucks

The Evster: the Sixers are cool but the Wells Fargo Center still kinda sucks

Don't let the Sixers fool you. Despite their bonkers start, this organization is still completely and totally incompetent. I love Evan Turner, and I would jam my tongue into Michael Carter Williams's mouth, and I am almost, almost, almost ready to cheer when Spencer Hawes makes a three-pointer, but this team still has a lot of work to do before I spend my hard earned money on a trip down to the Wells Fargo Center.

Luckily, as a rising internet celebrity, I now get free tickets to games thanks to some guy on Twitter (who I've never met before). Seriously, some random dude gave me free tickets to the season opener vs. the Heat and also to the following week's game vs. the Wizards. It's incredible. He didn't even ask me to send him any barefoot pics or anything (yet). He just gave me the tix, and I went to the games, and snapped a bunch of photos for you sad, pathetic common-folk who still have to pay to attend sporting events because you don't have OVER EIGHT HUNDRED LOYAL TWITTER FOLLOWERS.

So here you go you sorry sack of inbreds: some sweet pics of life down at the Wells Fargo Center as well as some photographic evidence that the Sixers brass still spend most of their time sucking their own butts.

For the season opener vs. the Heat, the Sixers pulled out all the stops, hiring a group of mummers to perform outside the arena. The Mummers got the party started with some timeless ragtime hits while thousands of parents hurried their children through the turnstiles, imploring them to not make eye contact with the sad, weird troll people.

The following Wednesday? Not quite the same fanfare outside the arena, but still a pretty awesome way to greet the fans ...

... with a dumpster parked out front.

Just your standard, black, dirty, disgusting dumpster.

Come on down to the Wells Fargo everyone! Watch your step around the dumpster though. Couldn't move that before the game tonight. Just parked it right out front. Right in front of our multi-million dollar facility. Open the lid and see what you can find in there! Could be a dead mummer!

Aw man, I'm sorry I don't have a better picture of these bozos. These were the DJs hired to PUMP UP THE JAMZ when you first entered the arena. I wish I could remember their names, it was something like DJ Dazzle and his buddy DJ Razzle. Obviously those weren't their names, those are ridiculous names, but it was something like that. DJ Razzle had to be 55 years old. He kept putting his hand down on the DJ table to steady his balance. And yes, that's a Toyota Corolla in the background. They were playing Bruno Mars when I first got there.

This is a "Chicken American" sandwich from Chickie's and Pete's. I figured it'd be a smart move to go with a known Philly entity instead of some Aramark dogisht that'd been sitting under a heat lamp since last seez. Turns out the Chicken American is just three chicken fingers on a seeded roll with no cheese, no tomato and no taste. Very simple. Very basic. VERY American. Oh sorry, it did have a small dipping container of honey mustard sauce along with it though. So there's that. It cost $10.50. I ended up just eating the chicken fingers on their own after developing a severe case of lockjaw from trying to pry my mouth open wide enough to jam it all in there. It was seriously the driest sandwich I've ever eaten. But that's all right, at Sixers games you can always wash anything down with a nice cold brewski from the ...

BUD LIGHT BLUE ZONE.

CHIEW, CHIEW, ZIEWZZ (those are the slashing sounds of the Bud Light Blue Zone)

A little chilly in the Blue Zone last Wednesday. Too chilly in fact for them to open up shop. Same for this gem of a hot dog stand ...

PREMIUM PHILLY FLAVOR.

What does that even mean?!?!?!?

CHIEW, CHIEW, ZIEWZZ

My friend who I was with had a hankering for some "Assorted Candy" which I thought was going to be a bunch of different hard candies thrown into a bag. I realize now that that would've been ridiculous, but at the time it seemed like something the Wells Fargo Center would possibly offer. When my friend asked the dude behind the counter what kind of assorted candy they had, he told her they only had Twizzlers.

Now I personally think Twizzlers suck, but that's neither here nor there, the fascinating part is that this was OPENING NIGHT. The Sixers had an entire offseason to stock up on candy, and yet, apparently they decided to go with JUST THE TWIZZLERS. On top of that, this all took place the week of Halloween, so they easily could've gone to a local supermarket and loaded up on candy. But nope, just the Twizzlers was enough. JUST THE TWIZZLERS.

Let's talk about the Sixers Flight Squad, shall we? (Who I am totally fine with by the way, I am totally fine with them.) I am all for people running around like idiots and launching themselves off of trampolines and ramming their faces headfirst into a basket. I'm honestly shocked that Slam Ball wasn't a huge success. But these dudes need to RE-LAX. 95% of the time they're on the court, they're just trying to pump up the crowd by yelling things like, "C'MON!" and "LET'S GO!" and "DJ RAZZLE ON THE SCRIBBLE SCRABBLES!" There's just so much clapping and so much head-nodding. None of them know how to properly throw a t-shirt.

The picture above was taken around 20 minutes before tip off (still plenty of great seats available!) when the Flight Squad came out for a little impromptu break dance sesh. It was so embarrassing. Whenever someone did a flip, all the other members of the squad would go, "Ohhhhh!!!" and then another guy would do a Jackknife or something and they'd all go, "OHHHHHHH!" and then another guy would do some sort of Swizzle Shift and I don't even know what that means, but that's seriously the only way to describe what this young man was doing with his body. At the moment this photograph was taken, two of the dudes were doing the Kid and Play dance. They had one kind of candy in the arena, folks. Twizzlers. Just the Twizz.

The Flight Squad's gametime performance was a whole 'nother story. End to end explosiveness (with even more clapping and head-nodding and pump-up-the-crowd action). The dude in front of me (pictured above) was so into it that he actually filmed their dunks. He was probably 24 years old.

Later, when the Sixers cracked the century mark, he asked me how to redeem his free Big Mac coupon. I told him he had to go to section 101 to exchange his ticket for the coupon and when I finished explaining this to him, he repeated everything I said just to make sure he knew what to do. I found this very endearing. He was very excited to get his Big Mac. I was excited for him too.

See that cotton candy dude? Probably a very nice person. Well, he had the audacity to ask a little kid if he wanted strawberry cotton candy or blueberry. I wanted to be like, "Dude, it's blue and pink. There's no difference in flavor. Cotton Candy is the flavor," but instead I actually kept my mouth shut for the first time in my life. I didn't catch the little kid's response, but I'm guessing it was something like, "You're an idiot, right?"

Also, if you had to call them different flavors, the blue would obviously be blue raspberry!

This is who greets you when you enter the bathroom. The poster boy for Horizon Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning. I don't know about you, but no plumber, heating guy or air conditioning dude has ever entered my house looking that presentable.

Before allowing any blue-collar worker into our home, my wife will lay down a giant tarp at the front door just so they don't track in any dirt, mud, or some sort of dead animal that might be attached to the bottom of their boots. Also, that guy and that lady are TOTALLY gonna pork. The sexual tension is PALPABLE. Look how he's making eye contact with her HARD. I feel sad for that lady's husband. If I was a stay at home mom, I would have sex with every person who came to my front door. FACT.

The team store didn't have any Michael Carter Williams jerseys (they were being delivered the following Wednesday, because WHY HAVE THEM READY FOR OPENING NIGHT?), but they did have TWO different key chains: a $7 version with the Sixers logo on it and an $8 SPENCER HAWES JAWN with an imitation human torso.

I've never understood why people need key chains in the first place. They're so bulky and annoying to carry and now that jeans have gotten considerably skinnier, they dig into your thighs and omg am I really talking about key chains let's just end this post immediately.

The Evster writes the blog TV My Wife Watches where he writes about TV his wife watches. You can follow him on Twitter @TVMWW or you can follow his wife @DianeSawyer.

Andre Blake the Union's first MLS Best XI team member since 2010

Andre Blake the Union's first MLS Best XI team member since 2010

Andre Blake continues to rack up the accolades.

A couple of weeks after being named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, the rising Philadelphia Union star was named to the MLS Best XI team as one of the league’s top players in 2016.

The rest of the team included:

• Forwards Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), David Villa (New York City FC) and Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls)
• Midfielders Ignacio Piatti (Montreal Impact), Sacha Kljestan (Red Bulls), Mauro Diaz (FC Dallas) and Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy)
• Defenders Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Axel Sjoberg (Colorado Rapids) and Jelle Van Damme (Galaxy)

Blake’s inclusion on the Best XI is not a surprise considering he already took home top goalkeeper honors. Even though he didn’t have the best numbers in the league, he made the spectacular look ordinary in his first full season as an MLS starter.

But it is unique for the Union, who haven’t had a player make the Best XI since Sebastien Le Toux was included for his 14-goal, 11-assist effort in Philly's 2010 expansion season.

Union winger Chris Pontius, who recently won the 2016 MLS Breakout Player of the Year award, made Best XI while with D.C. United in 2012. Former Union players to be honored on the prestigious list were Bakary Soumare with Chicago in 2008 and Justin Mapp with Chicago in 2006.

Another big honor like this will likely only increase the chatter that Blake could be sold to a big team in Europe soon. But a couple of weeks ago, the Union goalkeeper insisted his only focus for 2017 is on Philadelphia.

“From a personal standpoint, I’m hoping to have an even better season than 2016,” he said at the time. “To be able to go in and be consistent and do everything I can for the Union — and maybe be the goalkeeper to get them their first [MLS] Cup.”

Steve Mason named NHL's 1st star after strong week

Steve Mason named NHL's 1st star after strong week

There’s a number of reasons why the Flyers have a five-game winning streak, why they’re playing better hockey, and why they own the No. 1 wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
 
Perhaps the biggest reason of all is goaltender Steve Mason, who has won four of those games, compiling a 1.71 goals against average and .945 save percentage during that span.
 
Mason was named the NHL’s first “Star of the Week” on Monday. St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko and San Jose Sharks goalie Martin Jones were second and third stars.
 
“The team is on a roll right now and I’m a benefactor of that,” said Mason, who needs a win Tuesday against Florida to tie his career-high streak of five set Dec. 17-30 in 2013, during his first, full season as a Flyer.
 
“There’s strong play in front of me. The team is playing a little tighter in our defensive zone of late and making the goaltender reads that much more simple. 
 
“Right now, there’s a comfort level with the guys in front of me … Winning five in a row is nice and we’d like to keep making ground in the standings.”
 
His four victories last week were tops in the NHL. Among them, he had a season-high 45 saves in a 3-2 shootout win against Boston. 
 
Like many goalies, Mason prefers action. Games such as the 3-2 overtime win at Ottawa last week when the Senators only fired 21 shots, bother him.
 
“Those games, when you are not getting a lot of shots, the ones you do get will be a high-grade scoring chance,” he said. “And when you’re sitting around a few minutes not seeing the puck and all of a sudden see a chance like that …
 
“It’s more difficult to play [those games] than the games where there is a constant workload and you’re not thinking, but just playing. For myself personally, those are the games I enjoy the most. When I see a lot of pucks.”
 
The Flyers have seen dramatic improvement over the past month in their overall defensive play, from both their defensemen in down-low coverage in the slow and with their forwards on the backcheck.
 
Mason said the team has gone through “growing pains” with trying to integrate some younger bodies to the lineup this season – Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny, and Nick Cousins  come to mind.
 
“You have to familiar with everybody,” he said. “Have a constant lineup where guys go out  shift after shift and night after night, you know what to expect from one another. When you have that kind of confidence in guys, it makes playing easier.” 
 
Mason’s 4-2 victory at Nashville on Sunday saw him go over .500 for the first time this season with a 9-8-3 record. 
 
His GAA is coming down at 2.76 while his save percentage has risen to .904.
 
“I was aware of it obviously, just because of the way the year started,” he said. “It’s taken a lot of work to get it above the .900 level.
 
“We’re obviously going to continue to work at getting it even better. The way the team’s playing right now and the way everybody’s clicking, we’re going at a good pace right now.”