In a stadium filled with thousands of fans,
screeching a discordant cheer that was still mellifluous to my ears.
That’s what it was like the night of Game 6 of the Sixers-Bulls playoff
series. It had been a fairly even game all night with no team deriving a
substantial lead over the other team. But with less than thirty seconds
on the clock, the Sixers down by one, and the Bulls having possession,
the Sixers winning the game seemed far-fetched.
TWEET! The ref’s whistle sounded more cacophonous than fingernails on a
chalkboard. I was in shock! How was that a foul? But nevertheless, Omer
Asik, the Bulls’ center, now had two free throws—two chances to make the
Sixers’ odds of winning shrink to what seemed like 1:1,000,000. Booing,
the crowd urged Asik to miss the free throw. Omer Asik, my current worst
enemy, shot the ball and… DOINK! Cheers erupted from the crowd, hope
restored that the Sixers may have a chance. Omer Asik, a little shaken
from his previous missed free throw, got set and shot again and… DOINK!
Cheers burst from the crowd once more as Andre Iguodala, the Sixers’
shooting guard, nabbed the rebound and became a racehorse sprinting
across the court straight to basket. He shot the layup… and it went in!
The Sixers had made their comeback! I couldn’t believe it! We won!
Or did we? Over all the cheers no one seemed to hear the ref’s whistle
blow signaling a foul. The basket… was no good. The foul was before the
shot. I was in utter disbelief! Reassuring myself, I forced myself to
believe that he would make both shots. Andre Iguodala walked
nonchalantly to the free throw as he caught the pass from the ref.
Eagerly, I sat on the edge of my seat waiting as Iguodala bent his
knees, set his arms and hands at a perfect ninety degree angle, and
released the ball into his high-flying trademark shot and… SWOOSH! Tie
Game! The entire stadium exploded with cheers. I couldn’t believe it!
The Sixers were beginning to take the upper hand with under three
seconds! But Andre Iguodala, still poised, bent his knees once more, set
his arms and hands at a perfect ninety degree angle once more, and
released the ball into his high-flying shot once more and… SWOOSH! He
made the free throw once more. I was so overwhelmingly happy! And the
crowd was overwhelmingly happy too, cheering at decibels that had never
been reached before. The Sixers had taken the lead! And the Bulls had
shot up their last half-court prayer, which had harmlessly bounced off
The Sixers had won a series they were never meant to win! A number 8
seed beating a number 1 seed in six games! A team that had barely
squeezed into the playoffs! Thousands of fans cheering for their love of
the Sixers along with me. These people still cheering their discordant
yet mellifluous cheer.