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October 03, 2017

Flyers hockey returns this week, but Philly is much more excited for Sixers preseason

Flyers Sixers
100317_Sixers-Flyers_AP AP/File

Sixers center Joel Embiid, left, and Flyers center Claude Giroux.

Wednesday is a big day for Philly sports – specifically the two teams that both call the Wells Fargo Center home. 

For one of the teams, the Flyers, Wednesday marks the beginning of the regular season, their third under head coach Dave Hakstol. For the other, the Sixers, it marks the start of their preseason schedule, and the first time we'll see former No. 1 overall picks Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz on the court together.

Luckily for fans, they won't have to decide between one game or the other – the Sixers tip off against the Grizzlies at 7 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Center, while the Flyers open their season on the road in San Jose with a 10:30 p.m. start time.

Still, I couldn't help but wonder which game had Philly fans more excited.

It's been a while since the Sixers were playoff contenders, but they certainly showed flashes last season when Joel Embiid was healthy. And although he and Dario Saric are out for Wednesday's game, the debuts of Simmons, Fultz and veteran free agent acquisition J.J. Redick should be enough to get fans excited.

I mean, Sixers fever has even apparently taken over Oktoberfest in Germany.


The Flyers, on the other hand, have been the more successful team in recent years, but it just doesn't seem like they're able to drum up the same kind of interest and mass support as their roommates. They missed the postseason last season after squeaking into the playoffs in Year 1 of the Hakstol era. 

Still, excitement seems limited to the diehard Flyers fans – the ones who go to games no matter what the team's record is – whereas the Sixers fan base seems to be growing exponentially. 

So I took to Twitter for an informal poll and asked a simple question: 

As of 6 p.m. on Tuesday, about five and half hours after I first sent out the tweet, over 1,400 people had responded. That's not a huge sample size, but the results remained fairly consistent throughout the day, which makes me think it's a pretty representative one.

100317_Sixers-Flyers-Poll_Results

Those results may be surprising to some, but they're actually right around what I thought they would be. Then again, I know how much traffic each of those sports drives, so I had a bit of an unfair advantage.

And because some things in life can't be answered in multiple choice, here's a look at some of the best responses... 




Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin

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