One thing Philadelphia fans are particularly skilled at (besides booing) is making signs, banners, etc. to display during a game. Lots of cities hurled vitriol at Barry Bonds during the past few steroid-tainted seasons, but few could top the 100-foot banner that greeted him in Philly in 2006:
|Ruth did it on hot dogs & beer, Aaron did it with class, how did YOU* do it?|
One thing I miss from the final few seasons at Veterans Stadium are the fan groups—the Wolf Pack, the Duck Pond, Padilla's Flotilla, etc. They have kind of petered out since moving to the new ballpark. It's hard to do a themed group when the ballpark is sold out so often.
At World Series Game Four Sunday night, the stadium camera crews took nearly two hours showing all the fans' signs and banners on the scoreboard jumbo screen. Here are some of my favorites.
|Comments on the Rays' venue:|
Real Men Play Ball Outside
Perfect irony: Two games in the dome in St. Petersburg—no problem. Three games in the open stadium in Philly—90 minute delay on Saturday, and Monday's game suspended after six innings (three of them in a Nor'easter.)
|Comments on the Rays' hairstyle fad:|
Mohawks? We don't need no stinking mohawks!
There were a couple variants on this one. I thought mohawks went out of style when The A-Team stopped airing (See "T, Mr.")
|Comments on the Rays' noisemakers:|
We don't need any more cowbell!
The last one, of course, compared their puny cowbells to the ringing, flashing, fireworks-spewing Liberty Bell in center field in Citizens' Bank Park.
|Comments on Current Politics:|
We've got Joe the Pitcher!
Referring of course to John McCain's Joe the Plumber. Not only did Joe Blanton pitch a very good game, he also slammed a line-drive home run.
Manuel for President
Howard for President
Utley for President
Hamels for President
In fact, name any Phillie (besides Tom Gordon and Adam Eaton) and there was probably a "...for President" sign somewhere in the park.
Do it for Steve! Payback time! Beat the Rays!
Accompanied by a picture of "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin. Get it? Tragically killed by a stingray spike through the heart? Yeah, it's morbid and has nothing to do with baseball...but A+ for the obscure reference.
I drove all the way from Alaska, but it's Werth it!
We want a Victory-ino!
Chase-ing a Championship!
Phillies have the Manuel for winning!
There were dozens of Chase/Victor(y)ino/Werth/Manuel signs—this was clearly the most popular theme.
Champs in 08/80!
The last time the Phillies won the World Series was, of course 1980. Those who see magic in numbers had fun with this one. My favorite was a reversible sign with "08" in the center, "Champs" on top, and "Champs" on the bottom, upside down. When rotated, this sign reads, alternately, "Champs 80" and "Champs 08".
I spent $xxxx for World Series tickets!
Where's your fat checkbook when your local food bank needs help? Seriously, there are better things to spend that kind of dough on, people.
Today's my 80th birthday! World Series win = Best Birthday Ever!
Seriously, you have to love cute little old ladies at the ballpark. Way to go, granny in the front row!
All in all, it's fun to see such enthusiasm and creativity. Some folks clearly put a lot of effort into showing their support, and it adds a little something that you just cannot get from watching on television.