Friday, December 15, 2006

Doing Stuff: Rittenhouse Square Allen Iverson Interlude

A couple of days ago, I was strolling around Rittenhouse Square area. A guy with rusty teeth in a Starter jacket ran across the street yelling at me.

"Yo my man. Yo my man. You like a Sixers fan." The drifter then started in with his spiel about Sixers tickets.

I nodded. At one point, I was a huge Sixers fan. The night before, Allen Iverson was sent home from the team after he asked for a trade request, effectively putting the final nail in professional basketball in one of the best hoops towns in the world for a while. Woman's roller derby has more buzz about the Sixers at this point, even though it was only a half-decade ago when the Sixers and AI owned this town like Jabba the Hut ruled Tatooine.

"I'd be interested, by they're getting rid of AI," I said about the tickets.

"Aww, AI's a punk-ass man."

Nearly everyone I know has a AI run-in story: from seeing his Bentley parked across four handicapped parking lanes outside the TGI Friday's on City Line Avenue (where he has apparently eaten every meal for the past 11 years) to watching posse members of his roll up blunts in downtown parking garages. It's not every decade an athlete that outrageously talented plays for one of your teams. It's even rarer when a player that good makes news headlines for flashing his handgun in a ghetto West Philly apartment complex to drag his wife back to their house after a domestic.

I can't believe this era is coming to an end.

"I got $40 tickets but I'm selling them for $20, man. You want in? You want in?"

I inquired as to the game he was selling the tickets for.

"The Knicks. "

I just shook my head. As much morbid curiosity as I have to see a Knicks/76ers basketball game, there is no way I would pay to see something like that. In fact, I don't think I would go even if I was paid. And I let the guy know that.

He started following me down Walnut Street, telling everyone within earshot that I was a punk-ass, too.


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