Is there anything less controversial and devoid of any deeper meaning than a sports mascot? They're basically very niche performative clowns whose sole purpose is to help hype the crowd up in between period and commercial breaks, and provide for some hilarious, if not staged, interactions between audience members.
Which is kind of weird that so many people are having such strong reactions to the new Phillie Phanatic mascot.
A frumpy, green, and furry creature with Birdo's mouth and a rotund lower abdomen, the Phanatic is probably one of Major League Baseball's weirdest, off-beat characters, maybe in all of sports (not counting Gritty.)
Which is probably why so many people started freaking out over the Phanatic's redesign. But you're going to have to squint to tell the difference, unless you're a die-hard Phanatic ... um, fanatic.
Here's the Phanatic's new digs.
There are some slight differences. He appears to be less rotund. And he finally has actual hands, and it looks like whoever designed the new costume put some feathers beneath his arms.
So this basically solidifies that the Phanatic is a bird.
Even if there are others who believe the mascot to be some other worldly dimension being with a dark past.
It turns out, the reason for the Phanatic redesign is kinda shady.
The original creator of the Philly Phanatic got into some legal disputes with the Philadelphia Phillies and the MLB. So, instead of placating or working with the Phanatic's original creator, the Phillies decided to just re-vamp what the beloved mascot looks like.
While the changes are slight enough to (potentially) legally make a difference...
Fans weren't really having the green monster's new look.
Deep thought pieces were spawned.
People hated everything about changing the look and a lot of it had to do with the legal issues surrounding the Phillies' redesign of the mascot and not just the altered aesthetics.
Pretty soon, the memes started rolling in.
I think they should've just made Green Man the Phillies' official mascot, It's Always Sunny would need their cut though.
Some just didn't like the new look.
While others used it as an opportunity to roast MLB upper management.
Others brought Gritty into it.
Follks didn't really take to the Phanatic like people did for the Flyers', Gritty. A fight between the two would be pretty darn epic.
Some actually like the new Phanatic.
But mostly because he's got some extra green cushioning where it counts.
Some were pretty blunt with their criticisms.
To be fair, the Phanatic always looked like an unholy creature.
The fact that he has hands now freaked some people out.
I also want to say I don't understand the "grabbing random old women in the crowd" reference.
This is basically my aesthetic.
I got no problem working out ... But once 11pm hits, I start going on a pantry prowl.
A green gritty?!
Maybe every Philly-based mascot should just be the G-Man.
This is actually his least terrifying photo.
Then again I'm not that well versed in the horrors of the Phanatic.
Gritty would definitely win.
But that goes without saying. Always bet on Gritty.
I just don't get it.
It's not that much of a difference. But nostalgia is a powerful drug.
Yes, he has feathers.
It's kinda nuts how passionate people get over Snuffleupagus' green cousin.
Some see the Phanatic as an inspirational figure.
If he can engage in healthier habits, then anyone can!
He's just not getting that warm of a welcome.
What do you think? Are you disheartened by the new Phanatic design? Or could you care less because baseball is boring anyway?