Fightin Phils?

Okay,could they have thought of a worse name to call the local baseball team in a city with a national reputation for high crime than “Fighin’ Phils?” Those of us who have escaped being mugged or held up in the city (but not by much)and read the crime statistics have had a somewhat paradoxical chuckle at the new name, wondering if the creators thought about the double meaning of the chosen name, fighting being a seemingly daily event in the small city of Reading, Pennsylvania.

The irony is that the town was founded by the sons of Quaker and pacifist, William Penn. Couldn’t they have considered the Pacifist Phils or even better, the Quaker Phillies? Perhaps they thought no one would believe the names represented the reality of living here?

I know there are those in the tourist trade in these parts who think the image of the city as a crime ridden urban center is simply about the perceptions of natives, not the realities. If so, they might want to read the crime statistics which show residents are not wrong. I remember some years ago when Reading was classed as having the highest crime rate for a city of its size in the U.S. that someone remarked: “Well at least we’re number one in something.”

Don’t get me wrong, there are some good things about living in or near the city. We have a great art museum, a number of performing arts centers, and a network of good colleges, including one in the center of the city So, perhaps, we could have name our baseball team the “Performing Phils” or the Dancing Dudes” or something to capture that good part of the local scene?

I had a marketing idea the other idea to use the Fightin Phils motif to get more people into the city. How about one the Fourth of July every year we invite anyone with a grudge against anybody to come the baseball stadium and yell out insults and threats without actually physically inflicting harm on anyone? It could be an equal opportunity event to get rid of hostilities and anger without actually hurting anyone. And we could give out take-home punching bags so that those needing anger management training could do so at home.

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