Sixers Finally Admit They Killed Rabbit Mascot Hip-Hop

nas-hiphop Thanks to The 700 Level’s Nick Menta for watching the last Sixers home game of the season and getting important mascot news: The 76ers are promising fans the team will have a mascot next year! Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil says the team is considering “five or six designs.”

Yes, after several years without a mascot, the team will be adding one sometime next season. Or maybe even before! O’Neil added that finding a mascot is a challenging endeavor. The Sixers have an uphill battle: There’s no “easy” solution as the team name is more of an abstract concept — or, really, just a clever-sounding name — rather than a person. I wish him the best.

But, there’s more! O’Neil also added this key fact:

“Sadly, Hip Hop is dead and buried and will not be coming back.”

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Phillies Weekend in GIFs: Chase Utley Starts the Season 20-for-40, Jimmy Rollins Shuts up Heckler

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We’re 12 games into the season, and the Phillies are 6-6. In their first homestand of the year, they were swept by the Brewers — who are out to a 10-2 start, the best in baseball — but rebounded to sweep in the Marlins in turn. The Phillies have been outscored by 6 runs, and the team’s no longer a hot ticket: On April 11th, the Phillies drew just 22,483 fans, the lowest since July 31, 2006.

But there are reasons to be optimistic about the 2014 season. While the pitching’s shaky, the offense is humming along: Second in the NL in hitting, first in on-base-percentage, sixth in slugging. And a big reason for that is the work of Chase Utley.

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Temple: Eagles Want Big Rent Increase for Linc

The NCAA has been in the news a lot recently: Players want to unionize, the basketball tournament’s Most Outstanding Player sometimes went to bed hungry and the NCAA takes in a ton of money.

I guess the Eagles saw a lot of stories about that money, because the Inquirer’ John Mitchell reports the Eagles want a lot more money from Temple for the right to play at Lincoln Financial Field.

Temple says the Eagles currently want double what they’re getting from the University in rent for the handful of dates the school plays at the Linc each season. The school says the team has not given a reason for the increase. Temple is so upset they’re talking again about building an on-campus stadium! So perhaps this whole thing is just a way to get a government-built stadium in North Philly, who knows.

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Check Out the Cool Patch of William Penn the Phillies Used to Have on Their Jerseys

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Last night, I attended a talk at Fleischer Art Memorial about “The Art and Design of Sports Uniforms.” It was done by Peter Capolino, the man who turned Mitchell & Ness form a sporting goods manufacturer into the retro jersey fashion behemoth it is today.

It was pretty cool! Did you know the team didn’t always have a ‘P’ on its cap? Or that baseball jerseys were so baggy because they were wool flannel and would shrink over the course of a season? Well, maybe you did, but I didn’t. What most intrigued me was the above logo, which the Phillies wore on the sleeve of their jerseys in the 1938 season. Though the Phillies wore a blue and yellow jersey to celebrate the tricentennial of the founding of New Sweden and lost 105 games, they did have this patch. Per Sportslogos.net, this patch was once the primary logo of the team!

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The Joy of a Phillies Game, Even When They Stink

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One of my favorite memories of attending a Phillies game was on September 4, 1999. I was a senior in high school, and a group of us traveled down I-95 to the game. It was a Saturday night. I probably had a cross country meet that morning. This was a chance to relax.

More than 14 years on, I’ve forgotten many of the details. I just remember being so excited. School must have just started, and I was finally coming into my own senior year. Or, well, at least I thought I was. I was eager for my final year of high school. That night at the Phillies, my friends and I goofed around in a mostly-empty 700 Level. We went to a friend’s house in Oxford Circle afterward and hung in her basement. I probably stayed out too late for a cross-country runner. You know, high school stuff. It is just a fond memory.

The Phillies did not have their best day. The Reds set a still-standing National League record for most home runs in a game (9!) in a 22-3 thrashing of the Fightins. (After the first inning, the Phillies were ahead 2-0.) When the Reds’ 9-run fifth inning finally ended, the fans erupted in a standing Bronx cheer.

It didn’t matter that the Phillies were 17 games back after the game. We had a good time. We had all grown up in Philadelphia, so we were used to the Phillies stinking. The Phillies were 68-67 after that 22-3 loss. That’s not so bad!

What’s nice about baseball is it’s a picnic. The Phillies may have given up three home runs to Ryan Braun in a 10-4 loss in their home opener, but I still had a good time at the game yesterday. I tailgated with friends in the parking lot beforehand. I met my uncle, a man who’s taken me to scores of Phillies games in my life, and we sat in his season ticket seats. I listened to him wax nostalgic on Phillies teams in games past — ”Since the Vet opened, I’ve only missed about three home openers,” he bragged — and we drank beers and sighed as the Brewers scored another run. I ran into friends I hadn’t seen in forever. I updated an old boss on my life. I actually walked back to downtown up 10th Street because it was nice out, and a friend suggested we walk. Why has no one asked me to do this before? I wondered aloud.

The Phillies lost, 10-4. Nothing especially notable happened; most of the things I did yesterday weren’t new. They were routines I’d done before and will do again. But it was just so great to do them all again. The Phillies don’t look like they’ll be very good this year. But trips to the ballpark seem like they’ll be just as good as ever.

Follow @dhm on Twitter.

Citizens Bank Park: A Decade in the Stadium We Didn’t Want

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Out at home? CBP attendance dropped last season. Photograph: Aero-Imaging, Inc./Newscom

The first 10 years of Citizens Bank Park, I think we can all agree, have been pretty great. Five division titles. Eight winning seasons. One magical night in October 2008. Many fans will claim 11th and Pattison as hallowed ground long after global warming turns it into a beach.

But do you remember when the decision to build in South Philly seemed like not just a defeat — but a complete failure of civic imagination? In the early days of the debate on replacing Veterans Stadium, folks were hot for a Camden Yards-style retro park smack-dab in the middle of downtown. Fans whimsically debated putting a new park at the old Schmidt’s brewery, near 30th Street Station, even on the waterfront. Politicians talked more realistically about two locations: North Broad at Spring Garden, and in Chinatown at 12th and Vine.

But each proposed site was eventually sunk by some combination of community or political NIMBYism and logistical or infrastructural clusterfuckery. So the new stadium arose in the shadow of the old one, in the expanse of parking lots and nothingness we call, as if it were an affliction, the “sports complex.”

When the Phils were the best team in town, it didn’t much matter where their stadium was. But last year, attendance dropped by half a million fans. And we may face another dismal August in South Philly. It’s worth asking: Did we blow it?

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Roy Halladay Suggests Someone Start a ‘Zoo with Kyle’ Website

Retired ex-Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay has a Twitter account, and he’s finally letting on that he knows about a certain delightfully strange Philly sports website.

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