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.
Believe me, Philly Phans, I pheel ya. As a Cardinals phan and White Sox supporter, I know phirst-hand what exuberance and exaltation comes with celebrating a World Series championship. Indeed, it’s so ecstatically mind-blowing that one can easily phathom losing all sense of grammatic aptitude and phonetic inpherence.
I’m just sayin’… enouph is enouph.
Because, yeah, we get it.
We understand that the Philly “Ph” is phun to insert into newspaper headlines and crawler teasers phrom the major news organizations. We understand that, phor Philly phans who have had nothing to cheer phor during the last twenty some odd years, that this is a big phriggin’ deal and you want to make some noise. We understand that up until that last out was recorded, yours was as phormidable a task as you could possibly phathom and that phear of being unable to phinish would always be phound in the back of your mind.
We’re just tired of it.
Jump up and down. Knock a few back. Celebrate to your hearts’ content.
Just cool it with the dumb bastardization of the English language, please.
And make sure you get all the partying in before Tuesday, November 4th; because on that day my city, my home, my people will be the center of the world.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Earlier this week, Senator Hillary Clinton, while feeling immense pressure to get out of the democratic race that she can’t possibly win without tearing apart the party, again proved her desperateness and questionable rationality during a speech in Pennsylvania. It was there that the former first lady likened herself to the hardened fighter from the Rocky film franchise:
“Could you imagine if Rocky Balboa had gotten halfway up those art
museum stairs and said, ‘Well, I guess that’s about far enough’? That’s
not the way it works… Let me tell you something. When it comes to finishing the fight, Rocky and I have a lot in common. I never quit.”
This quote (and the subsequent authoritative tone with which she gave it) is disturbing on many levels. First of all, Rocky may not have quit, but he still lost the damn fight. And while that was entertaining in itself, it didn’t work out well for him, especially since Apollo Creed turned his face into mush. Secondly, while it was a great film that reached all audiences, the sequels went on ad nauseum, quite like the Clinton campaign. By the time the fifth movie came out, people were uninterested in the tired underdog plot lines that never seemed to change from one film to the next. Only with the death of Apollo Creed in Rocky IV were audiences buzzing about the Rocky series again, which was heightened when Rocky had to face a Soviet robot while we were still in a cold war, so you can see how easy it was for us to be hypnotized by that.
But the third, and most important point, is the simple fact that Rocky Balboa wasn’t real. He was a fictional character in a fictional world that had fictional problems which gave him a fictional reason not to quit. The sad part is many U.S. Americans probably haven’t made this connection — and probably never will because they don’t care.
If I were a Clinton speech writer, I would’ve advised her to use a much more prevalent and tangible analogy — one questioning what would’ve happened had the 2007 Philadelphia Phillies decided to quit before September. What if, seeing how far back in the standings they were behind the Mets with a only a few precious weeks left, J-Rol, R-How and C-Ut decided it was no use to keep fighting? What if Jamie Moyer would’ve hung it up? What if the Phanatic had retired his silliness?
Of course, no matter how you look at it, even this analogy wouldn’t quite ring the Liberty Bell. I mean, unless Barack Obama suddenly loses the ability to pitch in meaningful games and keep his batting average above the Mendoza line, she still doesn’t have a chance.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.