Thursday, October 30, 2008

Things I've Learned about the Phillies Since They Won the World Series

First, growing up in Western PA, I always thought the "phillies" were somehow related to horses (fillys), so I was always confused by their mascot (the green monster dude...he doesn't really look like a horse, not too much, anyway).

But, after living in SW PA for more than a year, I've come to understand that "phillies" are not related to horses at all. It just means "people from Philly".

That's it!?!?!?! What's the history here, Ralph? Couldn't they come up with something more creative than the Phillies? At least the Brooklyn Dodgers meant "trolley dodgers" (before they moved to LA).

Geez, I feel deflated now. It's like I always say: It would be better if animals were involved.

Really, it has to be one of the weakest nicknames in sports, no wonder World Series Championships are so few and far between. God is punishing them for being so uncreative.

Second, what are the real Phillies team colors? I always thought the colors were read and white (with red and gray travel uniforms), but I've seen blue Phillie hats and green Phillie hats, in addition to red, here on the KU campus. It was explained to me that the blue is legit, as the Phillies have always had some blue in their uniforms; however, the green hats are designed exclusively to encourage people to buy their favorite team's hat in a different color (that's just corrupt).

Now remember, I lived in Pittsburgh for 13 years and all of their sports teams have the same colors (black and gold). Makes it real simple, which suits me just fine.

Anyway, I'm learning about this Phillies team, little by little. It's been fun to watch all of the local fans having so much vacarious fun, just like I did when the Celtics won the NBA World Championship in June 2008. Woooohooooo!!!!

Still, I want to learn more about how the Phillies were named. I know the Pirates got their nickname when they allegedly stole some players from another team (was it the Phils?), and the Steelers has obvious origins.

I won't even comment on the 76ers, who are now just the Sixers...that's another lame name.

I need access to a sports editor, pronto!


1 comment:

Ralph said...


I haven't read your second post yet, so maybe some of this is addressed there. (I was working on a project yesterday and never got back to the blog.)

The Phillies are a really old team (like 100 years). And old teams often have byzantine histories that we couldn't begin to understand in today's mindframe.

First off, they didn't really choose their own nicknames. Usually sportswriters came up with several and the one that stuck became their unofficial nickname, which eventually became official. I want to say that the Phillies were named after a cigar company - yes, the makers of the infamous Blunt, which I think is kind of cool.

Perhaps the cigar makers sponsored them or something early on. The Packers got their name in that fashion.

As for the colors, yes, while I agree the "alternate" uniform and hat sales are cheesy, team colors have often evolved and changed over long periods of time.

According to the really cool baseball Hall of Fame site "Dressed to the Nines," the Pirates didn't pick up the black-and-gold scheme until 1948. Until that, they used some forms of red, white & blue. So, if they wanted to make money (and maybe afford some decent players), perhaps the Pirates could leverage their old uniform colors to sell more merchandize. Of course, would anyone buy it? Pittsburgh, even moreseo than Philly (which I saw called this yesterday) is a football-first town.