Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Dear The Spectrum,

We will miss you. We will miss the sticky floors, the seats directly behind concrete pillars, the boozy tailgating before concerts, the way clouds of smoke would float above the crowd at Phish shows. We will miss minor-league hockey, indoor soccer, princesses on ice, and everything else your wonderful venue provided for us after the Comcast Center became the new home of the Sixers and Flyers.

We are going to miss you, dear Spectrum. Sure, maybe minor-league hockey, indoor soccer, and princesses on ice aren't that big of a draw these days. And sure, maybe you are parked boldly in front of progress, playing a game of chicken with the Future. And sure, maybe I personally won't miss actually being inside your venue, but I am going to miss you.

You know when I'm going to miss you? When I am eating grilled mahi mahi with mango salsa before Phillies games, shopping at Nautica and Eddie Bauer at the halftime of Birds' games, paying $8.50 for a beer because I can no longer tailgate in the parking lot, and sleeping in one of the new hotels erected on your spot because drinking and driving has become "too dangerous."

I am going to miss the way you and The Vet used to hang out together, bragging about chick stadiums you used to bang while pounding a couple warm tallboys of Busch Light. You and the Vet, spitting on opposing teams' fans, making little kids cry, refusing to wipe the cheez-whiz off your mouth, dipping Skoal and smoking cigarettes at the same time. Giving each other black eyes just for the hell of it.

You two were the shit. Now, these fancy boys are showing up. Sure the Linc is pretty intimidating, and the Bank is pretty boozy, but without you there to guide them, they are going to forget their roots. A couple of years from now, the Linc and the Bank are going to see a passed out drunk chick covered in her own vomit. They will be a little confused, thinking "Isn't there something I am supposed to be doing right now?" Then they will look in your direction for guidance, and the only thing they will see is some high-end boutiques, too-fancy "sports" bars, and a hotel with more clean linen then you, dear Spectrum, have ever laid eyes on. And instead of getting a gentle prodding from you, saying things like "Go on, take her pants off," they will instead just alert the proper authorities, and someone will come and clean her up and escort her to the game.

It's going to be a scary world without you, you king among men.

Hopefully they will give you a true and honorable send-off befitting of your majestical place in Philadelphia sports lore. I am talking, of course, about sticks of dynamite jammed into every crevice of your structure, resulting in a 6 AM implosion where you crumble to a pile of rubble and dust.

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