The Inquirer’s Frank Fitpatrick has blown the lid off the story of the decade: The Phillies want to sell you merchandise.
On break from his job as “Guy on Broad Street in Plastic Bicycle Helmet with Sad-Looking Dog and Sign Warning of Apocalypse,” Fitzpatrick has done Philadelphia another service by letting us know we’ve been duped.
That Cliff Lee shirsey you’re wearing? Yeah. You’re only wearing it because the Phillies wanted you to. Open your eyes man.
I say “shirsey” instead of “jersey” because I am a particularly impoverished sheep, having to whore out my family for constant, premature sheerings that leave them bloody and raw.
Teams are savvy. They’ve learned to squeeze into that intimate space between a fan and his favorite team. They’ve learned to pander to them, to play on their emotions. From there, it’s easy to convince them they’re an integral part of the ball club.
“And since you’re really our 10th man,” these teams say, “you really ought to dress like us, take part in our events, buy our sponsors’ products.”
–Frank Fitzpatrick, Philadelphia Inquirer
Get out of my space, Phillies! Who knows what I could be squeezing in there if you weren’t wedged between me and my team! Get out of my head! GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!!
In all seriousness, this is a pretty solid, innovative point raised by Fitzpatrick. What if the Phillies find out that we like them?
How quickly savvy spectators can surrender their individuality. How thoroughly this city’s once-proudly cynical sports fans have turned into St. Louisans.
–Frank Fitzpatrick, still writing about this
Whoa! Maybe Frank’s words aren’t meant as a warning, but as an… insult…?
A Philadelphia journalist insulting the city’s sports fans? But… but how?! I thought we were all on the same side!
It’s happening, though, isn’t it? Yes. Yes, I can feel my individuality slipping away… an intense desire to move to Missouri and stare upwards at the great Arches of the Gateway to the West. I can only wonder, as my identity disintegrates into the fibers of this blood-red merchandise, why other fanbases haven’t realized this at all? How entire stadiums full (and not full) of fans wearing their team’s apparel can’t realize that they are under the spell of the Collective, and their team is merely a vicious conglomerate of jackals, feasting on all of the dollars they can procure from unwitting fans.
No. No, Frank Fitpatrick is right. I think we all know how seriously we should take the words of a columnist who for some reason includes a limerick in his latest “article.” Phillies and Cardinals fans are the only ones who go to games wearing team merchandise. And because of that, we are fools.