Tuesday, February 05, 2008

"Yes we are world champions. If they had won, they would have been world champions. We beat the hell out of a machine."

As the Spectrum's days are numbered, the Sixers are going to play one last game there. I wish I could make it, though, as some real tribute. I saw my first concert there, and attended my first professional sporting event. I saw an elephant take a shit that dwarfed the clown nearest it and then take a piss that actually endangered the crowd. Man, I love the circus.
I saw a Harlem Globetrotter pants a toddler, who proceeded to cry like the world was coming down on him. I saw not one, but two friends of mine get caught trying to steal a case of beer from a vendor at a professional wrestling event. I saw Bruce Springsteen, by myself, for about twenty minutes before getting ejected myself.
I met people at the Kate Smith statue while barely capable of standing. I did whippets with bikers in the parking lot and saw a guy fall face first into a filthy puddle with broken glass in it. I saw a friend's mom's car get keyed. I saw Charles Barkley at the height of his career there, and Dr. J at the end of his. I got to see Moses Malone. I only wish I'd gotten to witness the batshit insanity of one Chocolate Thunder*. To be honest, I don't think I've ever looked fondly on the place until now, and I'm still almost certain that I can smell the urine stench of the upper levels.
I know I'm not the only one who has fond memories of a giant, borderline awful stadium. and I'm not even that much of a sports guy. But it's one more place that exists only in the minds of people who can recite Clarence Weatherspoon stats, or look upon Dave Brown with anything but the scorn normally reserved for rabid badgers and Amway reps. It was also the site of several of the greatest dunks in history, namely this one.
Shit, there were several major championships won there (including those by the greatest Ice Hockey team that has ever existed) and countless minor ones (go Wings). They beat the Red Army there! in 1976! How fucking classic is that? Bobby Clarke lost like 7 lives worth of teeth in that building. Christian Laettner... I probably wouldn't even know who that was if he hadn't pulled off that famous shot over Kentucky in the Spectrum. I'm just saying it was a stink-ridden piss hole. But it was ours. and for that alone I guess I'll miss the dump.

oh, it also has an Elvis jumpsuit named after it** and was the site of the genesis for "Comfortably Numb". No shit!

* As a fan of insane sports personalities, you really can't beat Darryl Dawkins. The proof? umm:

Dawkins named the backboard-breaking dunk "Chocolate Thunder Flying, Glass Flying, Robinzine Crying, Babies Crying, Glass Still Flying, Catch Crap, Rump Roasting, Bun Toasting, Thank You, Wham, Bam, I Am Jam."

He named other dunks as well: the Rim Wrecker, the Go-Rilla, the Look Out Below, the In-Your-Face Disgrace, the Cover Your Head, the Yo-Mama, and the Spine-Chiller Supreme. The 76ers also kept a separate column on the stat sheet for Dawkins’s self-created nicknames: "Sir Slam," "Double D," and "Chocolate Thunder."

Also, he claimed to be an alien from planet Lovetron where he spent off-season practicing "interplanetary funkmanship" and where his girlfriend Juicy Lucy still lived.

**Elvis fans are fucking crazy. I was going to mention how insane it is that fans would pay such close attention to jumpsuitage, but in thinking about this I'm forced to recall a writeup of a Grateful Dead show in Vegas or something in the early nineties, the healine of which read (I wish I was kidding) "Jerry wore shorts!". That still makes me laugh.

as I type this, there are 21.5 tons of butter on the Northeast extension. Which means it's probably moving faster than it ever has before.

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