Oh, wait, no. That was just a silly opening to tell you the Phillie Phanatic is the best mascot of 2008. The Phils won the World Series, the Phanatic annoyed a bunch of fans, etc., etc. Right?
Well, no, but you already knew this since you read the headline. Forbes named Mr. Met the best mascot in sports, once and for all proving that we shouldn’t assign any weight to the rankings put out by Forbes in an attempt to get Internet traffic. Jesus. Mr. Met?! Ranking the sports mascots and putting Mr. Met first is like ranking the Awesome Things About the Universe and putting “the sun will eventually turn into a red giant, killing us all” first.
The Phanatic finished second. Forbes actually claims that there was actual research and science in this report, too:
To see which score best with the public, market research firm the Marketing Arm measured awareness, appeal and likability among sports mascots. Through its Davie Brown Index, the firm gathered data on nearly 100 mascots of professional and major college sports teams, gauging reactions from a cross section of people that demographically represent the U. S. population.
Oh, yes, the Davie Brown Index. Well, maybe it needs to be replaced with the Not So Fucking Stupid Index because the current one put Mr. Met at number one. What, there wasn’t room for this guy?
Okay, so Mr. Met isn’t as bad as Big Shot. But I know the Phillie Phanatic, and you, Mr. Met, are no Phillie Phanatic.
Update: A buddy in my fantasy league adds, “But don’t worry, Mr. Met will choke and the Phanatic will take over his spot.” A good point.
The Phillie Phanatic — dressed up like Santa Claus — will also be around to pose for photos on Saturday and Sunday. Knowing this town, there will be huge lines just to meet the Phanatic and see the ugly World Series trophy.
On Saturday at 5 p.m., there is a tree-lighting ceremony along with carolers, ballgirls and the Phanatic. The trophy will be out from 9 to 4:30 Saturday, and 9 to 2:30 Sunday.
Almost too perfect, right? But don’t think it’s not an easy mistake to make: Earlier this year, the Phanatic’s hot dog gun was absolutely launching those suckers into the upper deck. They do explode sometimes; I really should have suspected they’d be stuffed with gunpowder. But, more importantly: These hot dogs are delivered? And then fed to fans? Ew, ew, ew. (The Phillies saythey were for a commercial shoot, but I’m not convinced. The photo at right shows the Phanatic has clearly used food as a weapon before.)
“I heard a crack. It sounded like a shotgun,” said relief pitcher Chad Durbin, who was on the field warming up, standing alongside Ryan Madson when the detonation occurred. “That’s the first time anything like that ever happened to me. Better safe than sorry, but it’s a little scary. Ryan and I were discussing how the field’s the safest place to be (if a bomb goes off). You’re below ground.”
He’s right. I always go to the nearest baseball stadium in the even of any bomb scare. There, though, you risk having to deal with Reggie Jackson trying to kill the queen and other related maladies.
But consider this – the Phillie Phanatic is a d-bag. Seriously, that thing is too hyper for its own good. All that gyrating and gesturing gets a little creepy after a while. Give a couple hundred fans some of those shirt cannons and see how long the Phanatic can stay on top of the dugout. That’s mid-inning entertainment.
Let’s also talk about Rod Barajas and his success in reaching base four times on two hits and two walks. His double in the bottom of the fourth inning was the highlight of the game. Rod, chugging away as 39,000 people collectively gasped, would have been out by a mile if the throw was on the mark. You could tell that the entire city of Philadelphia was preparing to boo this man if his short legs failed to carry him to second safely.
And, most importantly, Barajas gave my crappy fantasy baseball team a nice boost – everybody wins.
Wait. What? How many fantasy teams are in his league, 40? Because there’s no other reason to have a backup catcher who’s hitting .208 in 48 at-bats on your team.
It’s been a while — since July! — that Fox 29’s Good Day Philadelphia featured Mascot Monday, and since the hosts who started it (George Mallet, Kerri-Lee Halkett, Jennaphr Frederick) are all on different shows now, it appears Mascot Monday is dead. (I think this is the seventh or eighth Mascot Monday epitaph on this website.)
The Phillie Phanatic was attacked Saturday morning by 93.3 WMMR DJ and Sixers’ PA announcer Matt Cord’s dog Scout. Cord was on air covering the line at the Wachovia Center box office, where tickets for The Police, playing this summer at Citizens Bank Park, went on sale.
The Phanatic came outside of the Wachovia Center to start giving stuff away, when the mutt lunged at the lovable green goofball, prompting a man in line to shout that the dog “must be a Mets fan.” The Phanatic retreated inside the Wachovia Center until Cord safely put Scout back in his car. Cord says that the dog is great with people and other dogs, and that he can’t say why she went after the Phanatic, who was not injured by the canine.
* Tommy Lasorda on the Phillie Phanatic: “One of the worst incidents was perpetrated by the Phillie Phanatic. The Dodgers were in town to play the Phillies and somehow, it got ahold of one of my jerseys. It took the jersey, put it on a dummy and ran over the dummy again and again. That type of a display should not be shown in ballparks, especially in front of children. It exhibits violence and disrespect.”
Hey, Philadelphia Phillies! You have a mascot beloved by all people, young and old, man and woman, Phillies fan and non-Phillies fan. Here’s an idea: How about you not ruin the Phillie Phanatic by making a giant creepy foam head!
It’s a bad business decision, too. This thing looks like, if you put it on your head, you’d immediately suffocate. Not just bad PR for the Phillies, but, once you’re dead, you can’t buy any more Phillies merchandise. (Okay, maybe an officially licensed Phillies casket.)
But if the Philliesa re going to make a suffocating giant foam head, couldn’t they at least make it not tremendously scary and ruinous to everyone’s memories of the giant green whatever-he-is that makes the fans cheer?
Of course, that’s not your only option for Phillies-related purchasing. First off, the Police reunion tour plays Citizens Bank Park on July 19 (and Hersheypark Stadium on July 20). Tickets are $9,000 each.
And, if you’re looking for a gift for a youngster — not that youngsters can’t like the Police, but, well — there’s always this Phillies-themed Memory game, which the Phils’ website helpfully notes is non-violent. I don’t know, I’ve played some games of Memory that turned pretty bloody.
Well, clearly not talking about it didn’t work. So, let’s put it forth: It’s the final week of the baseball season. The Philles are somehow in the thick of the Wild Card chase.
And even after last night’s crushing defeat to the Astros — Charlie! Charlie! Why did you call for a bunt with Bourn on first! I don’t expect you to know that a run scores from first with no outs more often than from second with one out, and so sacrifice bunts are a pretty stupid play, but IT’S ESPECIALLY A BAD PLAY WITH LIEBY AT THE PLATE AND ABE NUÑEZ COMING UP! And Lieberthal, why didn’t you PULL BACK THE BUNT WHEN BOURN WAS PRETTY MUCH ALREADY AT SECOND AND !@(*&@)*&$ (*&%R()*@(&$*!! (Sorry. I’m done.) — the Phils are still tied for first in the Wild Card.
So, the Phillies still have a good shot. Even if you’re not a fan, it’s time to root, root, root for the home team and hope that the fans of this cursed ballclub can have a chance at seeing some baseball in October for the first time since 1993.
At last night’s game, as the Phillies failed to come through with a big hit after the bullpen blew yet another save, I realized just why: We don’t have a stupid rally gimmick. The Angels had the Rally Monkey, the Red Sox had “Cowboy Up” or some other stupid curse bullshit, the White Sox had the umps making a bad call and giving them a win. What do the Phillies have? Nothing, that’s what. I didn’t even have a hat to turn inside out last night.
And so, I — ok, my friend Ed, at a Phillies game about three years ago, was the one who came up with it — present to you a gimmick so stupid, so ridiculous, so perfect that it can’t help but put the Phillies over the hump and into the playoffs.
Any time the Phillies need a big hit, just start thrusting that pelvis. It’ll produce homers in no time.