TRAVEL BLOG, GAME 4: PHILADELPHIA

PHILADELPHIA – And we thought it was cold in Cleveland.

It was not long after the Clippers arrived in the early morning from Ohio’s second most populous city that the blizzard started.

Ralph Lawler, who broadcast 76ers games when the Clippers were still the Braves, called it a “beautiful morning.” He was right. The entire city was blanketed, including a statue of Dr. J near Wells Fargo Center a few miles down Broad St. from the team hotel.

A number of players intended to go to the Eagles game that afternoon, but after the loss to the Cavaliers they instead went to nearby Temple University to get up some extra shots on their day off. It was probably for the best, in two regards. They got extra work and also were not walking in 8-10 inches of snow to get inside Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles won of course, which certainly did not make the few Cowboys fans (DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul, among others) in the traveling party very happy.

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The next day four of us went to Ishkabibble’s, a cheesesteak place named after comedian and cornet player and native Philadelphian Ish Kabbible. The debate when it comes to cheesesteaks in Philly is also heated. There is Jim’s, Lalwer’s favorite. There’s the most well-known pair, Geno’s and Pat’s, and I’m sure there are plenty that I’m omitting.

At Ishkabibble’s you can get a chicken cheesesteak sandwich or the traditional beef. The specialty sandwich comes with beef, provolone, pizza sauce and red peppers. I opted for no pizza sauce and added cheese wiz. It was delicious.

A couple of hours later, despite heavy traffic on some of the road ways due to the storm, the team bus made it to the arena in plenty of time. The snow had turned to rain at that point so it was wet and miserable outside. There was also quite a draft in the arena tunnel. The coldest I’ve ever experienced.

One oddity on the way to the arena was that the bus driver had the air conditioning on. A few people noticed after the bus drove a few blocks and requested to have it shut off. The people who didn’t notice, like me, probably were too bundled up.

After the game there are always soft pretzels in the locker room for the players and coaches, another Philadelphia specialty. A few people grabbed some, made their way to the bus and were off to Boston. Well, after about an hour on the tarmac, de-icing.

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