Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A full Spectrum of memories

In a world of Citizens Bank Parks, Lincoln Financial Fields and Wachovia Center, the little brick building known simply as The Spectrum no longer as a place in our sports and entertainment complex.

It sits like a trailer on the Main Line. You can almost hear the audible “Ewwwww.” From everyone except those who love the place.

That would be those legions of fans who forever will remember it as the place where the Flyers won their first Stanley Cup, in the process shaking off the image that hung around our necks for more than a generation, the entitlement of every Philly fan as a gruff, loveable loser.

It’s the place where the city enjoyed its last championship run, back when the Dr. J., Moses, and Mo led the Sixers to a title in 1983.

And it’s the place where so many of us saw our first big-time concert. Everyone from Elvis to Bruce Springsteen played the joint, and it only seemed like Foghat opened the show for all of them.

Times change. Hell, they’re even tearing down Yankee Stadium.

So it’s not hard to believe that the Spectrum will make way for a glitzy entertainment and retail complex to be known as “Philly Live.”

Comcast-Spectacor, the folks who own the joint, say a hotel will likely anchor the complex at the corner of Broad and Pattison. It will have to be a big one to house all the memories oozing out of the place.

Much like Veterans Stadium, the Spectrum will be just a memory after next season.

Everywhere except in the hearts of the fans who loved the old place.

Buildings obviously age almost as fast as the athletes who play in them.

The Spectrum is but 40 years old. But the memories will live forever.

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