Sometimes, a forest fire can be a good thing. National Parks will fence off a certain section of the usually-protected land, chock full of frolicking rabbits and snoozing baby birds, and burn it to the ground. It revitalizes the soil or something. The point is, in a controlled setting, what is usually a complete disaster on the five o’clock news is actually helpful, in both the long and the short term (as long as the mother of those sleeping birdies gets home in time).
Some disasters are just not going to be okay, even when they are announced, scheduled, and have a monetary entry fee. A Philadelphian sports riot is one of these disasters.
And the Wachovia Spectrum has arranged for just that.
Not to retrace our steps through clearly trampled territory, but we’ve all learned a thing or two about Phillies fans this season (and every season before this one). That thing or two is that Philadelphia people are scratchy-voiced, sewer-dwelling murderers who happen to be wearing sports jerseys and be at sporting events. Isn’t that right, everyone not from the city?
When Wells Fargo says that instead of a garage sale that devolves into a riot, they are just going to skip the garage sale portion, you know they have embraced the local culture. But that’s an unfair assumption in and of itself; to think that just because they are going to let the soon-to-be-demolished Wachovia Spectrum be gutted by any fans with $25, it will morph into something less pleasant than a mere stroll through history, with perhaps a stop to grab an old TV monitor along the way.
Deadspin presents the theory that this goes beyond Philadelphians–collectors can be dangerous people. Why do you think there are so many comic book characters and fictional serial killers named after them? Now, obviously, there are plenty of sane people out there with baseball card collections and other sports memorabilia. But they have amounted such enviable prizes through purchases and lucky finds over the years; historic free-for-all’s just aren’t as common.
Throwing the gates of the Spectrum open and yelling “HAVE AT IT!” could very well send all notions of human decency blasting right out the window; and the next thing you know, a middle aged man is braining his wife of 20 years with a folding chair because it has the name of a bank on it.
You hope this is just a chance for fans to walk home with a piece of history tucked under their arms, but you can’t ignore that nagging sense of “Hrrmmm…” that’s brewing.
Perhaps any notions of violence will be quelled by the appeasing news that Milt Thompson could be employed!