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FanSince09's Lunch with Sixers CEO Adam Aron: A Troll's Remorse

FanSince09's Lunch with Sixers CEO Adam Aron: A Troll's Remorse

Special guest post by FanSince09

Back in February,  I decided I was fed up with Sixers CEO Adam Aron on Twitter, and launched into what would forever be known as "The Rant." (*) Angry Sixers fans praised me, the lamestream Sixers apologist media rushed to try to shoot holes in my arguments, but one thing was made clear by everyone: Adam Aron couldn't just ignore me. But for days, it seemed like he'd be content with just ignoring the issue.  There was no direct response to me,  even after another assault known as The Rant 2. (**)

(*) nobody calls it this
(**) nobody called it this

Fast forward to March 2nd. I was in Vegas fighting with a certain hotel's sports book because they wouldn't let me bet on how many games Hammels would lose in 2013 (***), when I got a very special twitter notification: @SixersCEOAdam is now following you. Within minutes, I got the DM: "You say you care about the Sixers. Why don't you join me for lunch one day in the next week or two and we can talk about your views in person"

(***) "All of them" is the safe bet

A few thoughts immediately raced through my mind. Is it a trap? Is a Philly sports team going to have me whacked? Then the trolls remorse set in. I was pretty vicious, I may have even legitimately hurt this guy's feelings. This sat heavily on my mind for the duration of my trip. Do I take him up on this offer? Do I break bread with a guy who I spent days viciously tearing apart? But then I realized that all of my doubts were stupid. You can't say no to a free lunch.

The meeting was set, and would go down in history as "The Summit."  For the first time, a Philly sports team was willing to sit down with the man who had established himself as the true voice of the fan base   I couldn't risk meeting Aron at the WFC, because that was his home turf.  In fact, I heard that they had one of those old style toilets like in the Godfather.   The meeting had to be on neutral ground, and I had just the place in mind.  

On March 20th, I found myself sitting on the 101 in Los Angeles in the worst traffic I'd ever experienced. Nobody had warned me that there was bad traffic in LA, and now here I was, late for my lunch with Adam Aron. Sure, this gave me some advantage. Adam was sweating,  would I show up? Was I an actual person? Was the entire Sixers fan base going to walk into the door? Was I just some a-hole who sucked at time management? (****)

(****) Yes

I walked into the restaurant 35 minutes late, but Adam was still there. Though he'd never seen a photo of me, he recognized me immediately. I was rocking my favorite ill shirt, along with my Mitchell and Ness Sixers throwback hoodie, and it was clear that stories of my swass preceded me. I greeted him formally.

"Sup, Ock?"

"You must be FanSince09."  

When getting a rich dude to buy you a free lunch, there are a lot of ways to play it.  You can order the most expensive thing on the menu, sure, but that's a rookie move. You could order the least expensive thing on the menu, or a salad, but then you risk insulting your host.  I had memorized the menu the night before. The moment I sat down, I ordered a turkey burger with sweet potato fries.  This was a pure power move that clearly impressed Adam. I was a man who knew exactly what he wanted. The turkey burger was awesome, too. Seasoned nicely without trying to make it taste like beef. The bun had the right amount of grill to it, and the sweet potato fries were crispy, but not too crispy. I completely housed that thing in about 10 minutes, washed down with a couple DCs. Totally satisfying lunch.

The end.

Oh right, the actual conversation. So anyway, for the next 45 minutes, we went over The Rant. Adam remembered all of it and then some. There was some refuting, some agreeing, some outright scolding. I learned a lot about Adam Aron. He knows what people are saying. He gets the anger and the frustration with the season. He claimed over and over that the goal was to build a winning team. We discussed the pros and cons of tanking, and he asked me what I'd do. I gave him all of my best ideas, and if the Sixers go on to build a championship team, you are welcome.

I didn't promise that I would change my tune or change my opinion, but what I did assure Adam is that ultimately, I wanted to see the Sixers build a winner. I wanted to see my fellow fans rally around the Sixers. The troll's remorse set back in. This guy reads every single tweet that is sent to him. He doesn't coordinate with the marketing department, he doesn't have a list of social media talking points, he's not working in tandem with the official Sixers social media team. This somewhat explains the disconnect there seems to be with the Sixers when it comes to social media, but it also made me realize how strange twitter can be. When you're not looking at someone face to face, you have a chance to go too far. I kept my rant based on basketball alone, but there are people who tweet at Adam every day with the worst personal attacks, threats and insults. When it's some "social media guru" running the account, they know it just comes with the territory and ignore it, but in the case of Adam Aron, he sees it all and takes it to heart (especially the threat from The Iron Sheik). If there was a lesson to be learned from all of this, it's to consider the target of future rants and realize that they do see it.

Our discussion continued all the way to the Staples Center, where Adam had secured some tickets to the Sixers-Clippers game for me. I told Adam what I expected from the Sixers that night: They would lose by less than 30. The Sixers went on to play like hot garbage while I located celebrities sitting court side -- Bruce Jenner looks like he drank from the wrong grail (*****) -- but sensing that I was in the stands, they were able to rally and only lose by 29.

(*****) Khloe looks less like Godzilla in person

Adam and I spoke again after the game, then parted ways. He said some things I agreed with, like the fact that there's no guarantee that tanking would help the team. He asked me if I really thought the fan base wanted to suffer through another 5 years of unwatchable basketball on the off chance that they would get the next Durant in the draft.  He also said some things I completely disagreed with, like Spencer Hawes being a somewhat OK basketball player. There was no epic changing of opinions, nobody's heart grew three sizes. While the team continues to stink, and the Sixers presence on Social Media continues to be an absolute disaster, I feel that Adam and I at least got a sense of where the other was coming from. He knew I'd continue to be the voice of are fanbase, while I knew he'd continue doing what he felt was best for the Sixers.

During the ride home, I thought about the night. Should I be easier on the Sixers? Should I be calmer on twitter? I don't know, and I still don't.

But one thing was completely obvious: that was an awesome turkey burger, and more teams need to buy me lunch.

*

Follow @FanSince09 on Twitter

Watch him on Lunch Break here:Your browser does not support iframes.

10 facts about Jake Elliott's unbelievable walk-off field goal

10 facts about Jake Elliott's unbelievable walk-off field goal

Reuben Frank has 10 facts you may not have known about Jake Elliott’s 61-yard walk-off field goal.

1. Jake Elliott’s 61-yard game-winning field goal Sunday broke the Eagles’ franchise record of 59 yards set on Nov. 12, 1979, by Tony Franklin against the Cowboys at Texas Stadium. 

2. It was the longest walk-off field goal by an Eagles kicker by far, breaking the record of 50 yards set by David Akers on Oct. 24, 2004, in overtime in Cleveland.

3. It was the third-longest walk-off game-winner in NFL history and the longest in 10 years — since a kick Eagles fans remember well. The longest game-winner ever is Tom Dempsey’s 63-yarder as time expired on Nov. 8, 1970, that gave the Saints a 19-17 win over the Lions at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans. The only other longer game-winner was Matt Bryant’s 62-yarder in Tampa against the Eagles on Oct. 22, 2006.

4. It was the longest field goal in NFL history by a rookie. The previous record was 60 yards set by Greg Zuerlein of the Rams, who made a 60-yarder against Seattle in a 19-13 win on Sept. 30, 2012. 

5. Elliott’s kick was also the longest field goal ever against the Giants. The previous record belonged to Mason Crosby of the Packers, who made a 57-yarder in a loss to the Giants in 2013.

6. Elliott is the first kicker in NFL history to make a kick from 60 or more yards before making a kick from 50 or more yards. Elliott’s previous long field goal was a 46-yarder moments earlier. Zuerlein and Dempsey each had one 50-yarder before their 60-yarder.

7. The kickers who made the longest and fourth-longest field goals in Eagles history are both currently on the roster. Franklin’s 59-yarder is now second-longest, David Akers’ 57-yarder in 2003 against the Patriots is No. 3 and Caleb Sturgis’ 55-yarder last October in Dallas is now fourth-longest. Sturgis is currently on injured reserve. Elliott was signed to replace him.

8. Believe it or not, Elliott is the first kicker in Eagles history to make two field goals of 46 yards or more in a fourth quarter.

9. Elliott’s kick was not the longest attempt ever by an Eagles kicker. Alex Henery missed a 63-yarder in the Georgia Dome against the Falcons in 2011, Tony Franklin missed a 62-yarder against the Colts in 1983 and Tom Dempsey missed a 61-yarder against the Cards in 1974.

10. Finally, this: Elliott, whose 46-yarder with 51 seconds left tied the game at 24, is the first kicker in 23 years to make two field goals from any distance in the final minute of a fourth quarter. On Christmas Eve in 1994 at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Doug Pelfrey of the Bengals made a game-tying 22-yard field goal against the Eagles with three seconds left in the fourth quarter. Eagles fullback Brian O’Neal fumbled the ensuing kickoff and it was recovered by Adrian Hardy of the Bengals at the Eagles’ 35-yard line. Pelfrey ran back on the field and made a 54-yarder to win the game. Eagles head coach Rich Kotite was fired the next day. 

Watch Joel Embiid go crazy for Eagles' game-winning field goal

joel-embiid-celebrates.jpg

Watch Joel Embiid go crazy for Eagles' game-winning field goal

Be honest, when Jake Elliott lined up for a 61-yard field goal, after missing earlier in the game from 52 yards out, did you think he was going to make it?

Well, he did and we all went crazy (see story). Even Joel Embiid, who was at the game with many of his teammates, went nuts.

In addition to the people in the stands going nuts, the folks across the street at Xfinity Live went wild.

Here’s the play again, in case you just want to see it again.

Here are the best of the rest and social reaction from Elliott’s amazing kick.