The Eagles tailgate scene rules the South Philadelphia Sports Complex. Eight times per year (well, 10 times during the magical 2017 season), a desolate wasteland of empty parking lots and post-industrialization real estate turns into a party that lies somewhere between barbaric chaos and a feast for the Norse gods.
Wild tailgating does not need to be, nor should it be, limited to the Birds.
It’s a different animal entirely when it comes to scheduling for the NBA, MLB and NHL, sure. Home games aren’t guaranteed every weekend and sometimes the biggest matchups of the season fall on weeknights. Still. When the opportunity is ripe, getting rowdy for a Sixers tailgate can give you the same rush as pulling up to Jetro.
Let’s use this game for an example: Saturday, December 11. The Warriors come to Philly for an 8:30 p.m. national television game that will air on ABC. Golden State is 10-1 as of the time I’m writing this. The Warriors used to play in Philly. It’s Curry brother vs. Curry brother. This is the battle for which team gets to claim Wilt Chamberlain. The Wells Fargo Center parking lot better be lit up like it’s a 4:05 p.m. Eagles-Giants game.
(Maybe we actually need a Kenwood tailgate for that game?)
I’m getting increasingly amped as I type this. It’s mid-afternoon and I’m attending a Sixers game tonight. Yeah, I’m about to crack open a Kenny and then bang out the rest of this article.
Okay, I’m good now and have the mojo flowing.
You know the “I can’t wait until it gets colder so I can really start dressing” meme? That’s more true for basketball than any other spectator sport. A basketball jersey over a hoodie? That’s an all-time undefeated cold weather look. Go to Mitchell & Ness and grab a windbreaker. Go to your parents’ house and dig out your older brother’s Sixers Starter jacket in their basement. Stock up on all the Sixers City Edition Spectrum merch you possibly can. For Eagles games, you’re usually dressing for warmth. For Sixers games, you’re dressing for maximalist late-fall/winter vibes.
People aren’t going to be breaking out the grill like they usually do for Eagles tailgates for Sixers pregame festivities. Who cares? Grab a hoagie tray from Fink’s, carb load and start throwing those Kennys back.
You also need to find my dude Collin in the parking lot. That’s the guy who walks around selling koozies. He has every koozie imaginable. Jason Kelce Super Bowl speech koozies. Joel Embiid pumping up the crowd koozies. Tom Brady dropping a wide-open pass koozies. Allen Iverson rookie year jersey koozies. He even has X-Men and Avengers koozies. My three favorite things in this world are Marvel comics, Philly sports and slugging Kennys. It’s the Avengers: Endgame portal scene convergence of all my brands.
Here are five Sixers tailgate rules to live by:
1. No Ben Simmons gear.
2. No drunk driving. You’re allowed to leave your car in a Sports Complex parking lot overnight. Uber or take the subway down the next day and grab it.
3. Throw on a tailgate playlist that appeals to everyone. For every new track you have from Expensive Pain, you need a ‘90s alt-rock jam like “Graduate” by Third Eye Blind.
4. No multinational conglomerate light beers. It’s Kenwood or GTFO.
5. Bring your favorite people. Sports are the ultimate communal experience for Philadelphians. LIVE IT UP!