Been to a Sixers Game Lately?

OK, didn't think so. Here's how the team can make the mediocrity a little more tolerable

Just got back from a Sixers game.

You remember the Sixers.

Chet Walker. Darryl Dawkins. Andrew Toney. The Doc. A.I.

Right, they play basketball.

They play a lot of basketball.

In fact, it sometimes seems that every time you pick up the remote to see what’s on, there they are, running the floor, hearts a beating, a live reminder that the game is still being played in our town.

Maybe you stop for a second.

Honey, look, it’s pro basketball.

The sport Charles Barkley played.

The Sixers could be down a dozen. Or up a couple buckets.[SIGNUP]

Losing, winning, it doesn’t matter.

You’re not going to watch long.

With no players to hold your attention and a rerun of Californication a couple of clicks away, why would you?

Watching on TV, you don’t even get to experience the Kiss-Cam.

At tonight’s game, one woman refused to pucker up. Three times.

Poor guy. It’s not fair. Maybe it was his sister.

The perfect metaphor, come to think of it. Watching the Sixers is a lot like kissing your sister. No thrills.

The Sixers were playing the Washington Wizards.

The Wizards are not good either.

One of the guys I was with, a hard-core NBA fan, asked if I could name three Wizards.

I could barely name three Sixers.

Is Caldwell Jones still on the roster?

Why was I here?

One of the guys I was with scored free tickets. Reason enough?

Parking was fifteen bucks, a sandwich eight bucks and a bottle of water four bucks.

I could have bought that Mark Twain autobiography and a latte from Starbucks for that.

While paying for my rip-off edibles, I looked up and saw some sort of minor all-star football game playing on the TV.

No one was watching that either.

In our section, by my count, six of ten people spent most of the game texting or taking pictures of each other with their phones.

It was easy to count. There were only ten people in our section.

I exaggerate. Actually, I don’t.

These are hard times for pro hoops in Philadelphia.

We’ve been here before, plenty.

But now, with real winning sports franchises in town and people clutching their money, the times are a harder.

It’s going to take time for the Sixers to have a meaningful enough role in town for us to want to spring for a game on a cold January night.

We get that.

In the meantime, though, why not make the experience a bit more tolerable?

Start by lowering the volume. Kill the pyrotechnics for the team introductions. This is not the Miami Heat we’re watching. Let the players chest bump in relative quiet. We don’t need our ears ringing.

Make the food better, or bring down the prices—maybe both. The people selling the stuff are embarrassed. They are, really. They’ll tell you.

Kill Hip-Hop. Burn the costume at center court. He looks like a bad economy and he scares kids. It’ll be the best promotion you’ll have all year.

Pro hoops will return to Philadelphia. It always does.

Just don’t insult us while we wait for it.

Tim Whitaker (, is the executive director of Mighty Writers, a nonprofit program that inspires city kids to write.