It’s tough being a performer of any kind in Philadelphia. If you succeed, adoration ensues. When you fail, the fans never forget. This is especially true in Philly sports where the recipe for fandom combines a special cocktail of drunkeness, fanaticism and sadism. But of all Philly performers, is anyone more at risk than the Philly Phanatic?
This man not only serves as a face of the franchise, he also puts himself in harms way on a daily basis. How many times has he been punched, had someone throw up on him or just generally been groped and manhandled? Willingly wading into the sea of Philly fans for 81 regular season home games demonstrates a level of risk-acceptance the general population could never hope to appreciate.
Maybe that’s why it’s ironic that the Phanatic suffered his most recent injury off the end of a minor league bat rather than at the hands of one of the team’s notoriously drunken rabble-rousers.
To all the mascots out there, we salute your willingness to put yourself in the line of fire day in and day out. But Mr. Phanatic, your dedication sets you apart. Be careful out there.