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Mike Scott Is Having the Best Summer Ever

If Not, Pick Will Convey As Two Second-Rounders

This is where Ricky people write.

Mike Scott Is Having the Best Summer Ever

Brett Eskin

[photo:  @sixers ]

[photo: @sixers]

Andrew Unterberger is a famous writer who invented the nickname 'Sauce Castillo' and is now writing for The Rights To Ricky Sanchez, as part of the 'If Not, Pick Will Convey As Two Second-Rounders' section of the site. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AUGetoffmygold and can also read him at Billboard. 

Andrew's writing is brought to you by Kinetic Skateboarding! Not only the Ricky's approved skate shop, but the best place to get Chucks, Vans, any apparel. Use code "DAVESILVER" for 9.1% off your order.

If you’re ever given the choice between star immortality and role player immortality, go role player immortality every time. You’ll make less money, you won’t be as famous, and LeBron probably won’t invite you to his Space Jam remake unless he needs a couple extra bodies for his on-set pickup games. But local love for you will be unconditional in a way that it just won’t ever be for your star teammates. When you’re a beloved star player, nothing is guaranteed and the stakes are always changing -- every season, every series, every game is just another test for you to prove yourself all over again. When you’re a beloved star player, you have to be everything to everyone. When you’re a beloved role player, all you ever have to be is yourself. 

Mike Scott is very, very good at being himself. Mike Scott was arguably better at being himself than anyone else on last year’s Sixers team, which would put him high in the running for best sports-wide. And Mike Scott understands that to be a beloved role player in Philadelphia, you don’t really need much: You need a distinctive look, either a distinctive name or a distinctive catchphrase, and one signature play. The look part was easy, particularly once Matthew Del Rio immortalized his signature fashion item in tattoo form. The name wasn’t totally there, even with the fun-but-incongruous Office parallels, so he made sure the catchphrase was. And then, with the last part of his role player resume on the line in Game Four of the Nets series, he loaded up from the corner and cashed out. Immortality secured.

Now, Mike Scott feasts. While some of his Sixers teammates are having some pretty goddamn good summers -- James Ennis III is testing the Jimmy Rollins waters, Ben Simmons is flambéeing Devin Booker and anyone else who steps into the Grainy Footage Gym with him, Tobias Harris and Al Horford are probably having the Vetri tasting menu for their midnight snacks after signing for over $300 mil combined -- no one is having a better summer than Mike Scott. He’s eating cheesesteaks. He’s drinking Jack’s (no ice). He’s getting into sports jerseys if all varieties. He is out there living life, enjoying a well-earned victory lap -- one which should now culminate with his appearance this September 27 at the Rights to Ricky Sanchez live event at the not-Electric Factory. 

And of course, a critical part of Mike Scott lording over his new domain this summer is his engagement with the Mike Scott Hive, led by RTRS’ own Zainab Javed. Faced with a mini-fanbase started in their honor, most athletes would give a golf clap and half-hearted wave, and approach them with caution, flattered and intrigued but wary and insecure. Mike Scott says fuck that and jumps in with both feet -- engaging with fans on a daily basis, promoting and big-upping Hive-related events, even making the bee emoji a signature part fo the Hive experience. Hell, when a self-described Hive member went rogue earlier this week and took shots at the Queen, Mike Scott even cackled about the dude getting subsequently swarmed. We’re probably only about a month away from a “Yea u kno lickface lol {tongue emoji} {tongue emoji}” tweet.

Will things ever get better for Mike Scott than this summer? Maybe not, but they probably won’t get significantly worse, either. The only thing you can really do as a beloved role player to fuck things up with your fanbase is to sign a contract that you can’t possibly live up to -- and after re-signing for two years and under $10 million, that should be a pretty easy bar to clear. His stats could dip, but his stats weren’t that extraordinary to begin with, and once you get to a certain level of commitment with a fan-favorite athlete, the stats almost become irrelevant anyway. Failing absolute catastrophe from here, the guy Mike Scott is right now to Philly sports fans is the guy he will always be. 

Take Matt Stairs, for instance -- a comp made by me and other Philly commentators before, but one who feels more on the nose by the day. Is Matt Stairs the guy who was a career .208 hitter for the Phillies in the regular season? Is Matt Stairs the guy who went a combined 2-14 for us in the playoffs, including 1-8 in the ‘09 series against the Yankees? Is Matt Stairs the guy who served as hitting coach for 2017, a year in which the team went 66-96 and ranked 12th of 15 NL teams in offense? Of course not: Matt Stairs is the guy who hit the pinch-hit moonshot off Jonathan Broxton in Game Four the 2008 NLCS to give the Phillies the lead. Matt Stairs is the guy who, whenever you say his name, the other guy guys, “Oh Matt Stairs, he’ll never have to buy a beer in this city again.” And he probably hasn’t: 11 years of showing up to bars with an empty wallet -- just stroking his facial hair, mimicking a home-run swing and sitting down to enjoy his bottomless Yuengling.

And that’s Mike Scott, too. This summer is as fresh and exciting as it’ll ever feel for the dude and his Hive, but he’s gonna be Mike Scott here forever. Hopefully there’s plenty more memories to be had -- championships, viral quotes, bizarre midgame interactions with opposing fans in the stand. But even if not, he’ll always be the guy who hit the three in the corner in Game Four against the Nets, and was more than ready to properly commemorate the moment when asked about it post-game. And he certainly won’t have to buy his own Jack-no-ices at the Franklin Music Hall on Sept. 27.