Apr 13 2018

Aussies: Go see Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers

2-76ers Playoffs Ben Simmons Australia fans

Add a 76ers game to your USA itinerary

Australians have been excited about Ben Simmons for years – even before he put together one of the most compelling and accomplished Rookie seasons in NBA history. On the court he has shown that he could progress into being a great NBA player – a few steps beyond the loveable hustle player role most Aussies hold in the league. Simmons also spent more time growing up in Australia than some of our past claimed-Aussies. (Remember when we convinced ourselves that Kyrie Irving might play for the Boomers because he was born in Melbourne?)

So we have rightfully gone nuts for the Fresh Prince. We’re even discussing him in Australian Parliament:

So with the young Sixers progressing faster than many predicted, now is the time for Australians to add a Philly game to their itinerary, and here’s why.

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The Philly-Australia connection

Philadelphia aren’t the only NBA team to have an Australian player – there are many scattered around the league. There are even a handful of other teams in the league who could have a better claim to being ‘Australia’s underdog/bandwagon team’ (see: Utah Jazz).

Let’s discuss the 76ers-Australia connection, though:

They sell Four N Twenty meat pies at home games. The 76ers added these AFL fan favourites to the Wells Fargo Center menu to coincide with Ben Simmons’ first season playing with the team – because Ben Simmons is from Melbourne, the home of the AFL. Maybe this is the equivalent of drinking Fosters while you travel – does anyone actually do it? – but it is certainly a nice touch.

They had an Australian Heritage Night during the season. Everyone in attendance at the Australian Heritage Night game in January got a boxing Kangaroo t-shirt to take home (see below):

76ers Head Coach Brett Brown coached the Australian national team. Remember that year when the Australian team challenged the all-conquering USA team in the Olympics? Brett Brown coached that all heart, all hustle team (it was in 2012, by the way)!

If that isn’t enough for you, have a look at a section of this story about Brown’s path to being an NBA coach:

Brett Brown started coaching in Australia after cold-calling the legendary Lindsay Gaze?! 🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺!!!!

Philadelphia Eagles fans tried Vegemite – and the Eagles haven’t lost a game since. Yes, it was only two games… but one of them was THE SUPER BOWL.

Philadelphia is only a short train ride from NYC

Most Australians heading to the USA start planning their trip around New York City or Los Angeles, with a vague plan to skip around to other nearby cities if the opportunity arises. Then they find out that there are endless things to do in those cities, and the travel itinerary gets filled pretty quickly. Many overlook how easy it is to make the journey to Philadelphia from NYC even though it’s just a short train ride away!

For example, Sarah and Juice jumped on a train on a Sunday morning for a 1pm Eagles game last year and got there early enough to check out the city as well as the full pre-game tailgate atmosphere. Similarly, Carlton FC’s Sam Docherty caught the train from NYC to Philly to see the Sixers during his own recent USA Sports Tour:

From @sportswhereiam Instagram story

It’s not far from your current itinerary.

Philly sports fans are happier people (…now)

If you only saw the Vegemite video above, you’d assume that all Philadelphia sports fans were as happy, cheerful and welcoming as EROCK and the other ‘4th and Jawn’ legends that Sarah and Juice have met during their travels.

This… isn’t the case.

Go a bit further back into Sarah’s USA Sports Tour videos and you’ll find her first impressions of many Philly fans: brutal and “Danny DeVito-like“. Sarah was told to sit the f–k down more than a few times whilst trying to film at Lincoln Financial Field. Apparently Philadelphia fans have even been known to throw batteries onto the field.

Winning a Super Bowl changes things, though! There is a positive buzz around the city right now and everyone is all smiles and excitement. Now’s the time to visit.

There’s plenty more to see in Philly

Non-#PROCESS drawcards to Philadelphia include the Rocky steps, the Liberty BellReading Terminal Market (video below) as well as a variety of sports on at the moment including Soccer, Baseball and Hockey. Plenty to justify adding Philadelphia to your travel itinerary.

Do it – add Philadelphia to your itinerary.

This is all of us right now:

🇦🇺

A post shared by Sam Docherty (@dochertysam) on

… and it should be you, too. Get behind the Fresh Prince and the 76ers. Find your tickets here.

What do you think?

Let us know your thoughts – or tell us why we’re bandwagoners – on our Facebook page.

Categories: NBA, Sports travel guides, tourism, tourist

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