“Phanatic Around Town” Review #1: Citizens Bank


Let’s face some realities.  The Phillie Phanatic, while the single most fucking hilarious mascot to exist in the history of humanity, is a giant muppet from the Galapagos Islands with a lamp shade for a nose and is meant to represent a baseball team.

It makes sense to start with the guys who are paying for all this madness, sort of.  Old Citizens Bank.  Here we see what is probably the most traditionally shaded of the Phanatics, decorated with what appear to be finger painting from a roving pack of outlaw kindergarteners.

But upon closer inspection, we find that this particular Phanatic is a monument to all players who have worn these hallowed red pinstripes.  The idea is that this particular six-foot, googly-eyed monster reaching out desperately for an embrace is the embodiment of not just the Phillies as a team, but each individual facet who has at some point populated anywhere from the outfield grass to the infield dirt in a Phillies uniform.

Forever will the blooping singles of Raul Ibanez sit next to the skewering precision of Richie Ashburn.  Which is.  Uh, nice.

Things get a little weird as you move down to the crotchal region.  Covering the Phanatic in Phillies memories sounds pretty procedural, but he kind of looks like he tripped and fell in some paint and is now admiring the mess.  And if the idea is to use the Phillie Phanatic as the medium through which various themes are portrayed, than this one does not actually stray too far from reality.

I mean, he’s green.  He’s wearing a Phillies jersey.  He wants a hug.  At any second, he looks like he is about to come to life and start firing hotdogs at people at a dangerous velocity.  But as we’ll see with some of these other statues, some artists were interested in a total departure from the norm.  Or maybe they were totally unfamiliar with what the Phanatic looks like.  Either way, this Citizens Bank Phanatic is a little too close to his real life counterpart to really be considered and interesting piece of art.

Somebody’s got to look normal so everybody else looks weird, though.  And with the high foot traffic in the area, this is going to probably be one of those spots where squealing children and buzzed college girls clamor all over the guy in hopes of making it into the next Facebook album.