The Sixers' new ownership decided pretty early on that HipHop was going to be no more. That was backed up by overwhelmingly negative reaction from fans.
The team announced the move two weeks ago, saying it had hired Jim Henson's Creature Shop and Raymond Entertainment Group, founded by Dave Raymond, the former Phillie Phanatic.
The owners wanted to go with a colonial theme, but realized there is not an obvious tie-in with the 76ers name. They also wanted to stress an element of Ben Franklin.
The owners reviewed drawings and have selected three finalists. Voting is beginning today at SixersMascotFanVote.com.
You can see the drawings and vote by clicking the link.
The three finalists are:
* A 7-foot tall rendition of Ben Franklin, named "Big Ben."
* B. Franklin Dogg, the All-American pet, adapted from artist drawings from the day nestled under the table beside Franklin.
* Phil E. Moose, a 7-foot tall adaption of a basketball player; the moose being "one of the most regal animals to roam the wild."
“A new era is beginning for the Philadelphia 76ers under new ownership and we welcome Philadelphia sports fans helping us to select the new Sixers mascot,” CEO Adam Aron said. “Jim Henson’s Creature Shop has done an outstanding job in giving Philadelphia fans three heart-warming characters to embrace.”
Aron continued, “It’s un-American not to like B. Franklin Dogg, who after all is man’s best friend. With his great height, Phil E. Moose is a natural who can stand tall defending and cheering the Sixers as they take on all comers. And then there is lovable, venerable Big Ben, perhaps the greatest Philadelphian of all time.”
Once selected, Raymond will help bring the new mascot to life. The new mascot is expected to be unveiled early in the season.