Celtics-Sixers Mixes Basketball With History
Tonight, the Celtics will try to close out the Phila.76ers in Game 5 of their NBA Eastern Conference semifinals.If you've seen the Sixers in post-season you might be wondering "what's up with that chopped-up snake with the Liberty Bell & Ben Franklin in their logo?" I know I have--and I'm a Philly native.
It all goes back to 1754 on this date actually, May 9. Ben Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette published a political cartoon of a snake cut into 8 pieces, each labeled with the name of an American colony, with the caption "Join, or Die". Ol' Ben was pushing for colonial unification long before the Revolution. Later, that phrase was modified by some to "Unite, or Die". As explained by pennlive.com, the team came up with a marketing campaign for the playoffs called "Phila Unite" (wisely leaving out the "or die" part). They combined their throwback 1976-era Liberty Bell logo with the new features. It not only adorns their unis but their home court. It's on flags, banners and even murals around the City Of Brotherly Love.
And now that the mystery is solved, the Celtics tonight will try to make sure the snake, the bell, Ben & the Sixers are sent home for the season.