In just over a week from now, the Apostate Red Phanatic* will make his annual preseason appearance in Philadelphia, which the Phillies would have you believe is a good thing.
Don't be fooled. Despite the discomfiting and breathless promotional instruction to "follow" him with a "hashtag," it behooves us all to reflect on what is really going on here. Just a cursory glance of his career with the Phillies since 2006 reveals these disturbing facts:
- His very genesis required men of fire and smoke.
- He encourages younger fans to expose themselves in public.
- He is escorted by a harem, and quickly urges his followers to engage in mindless idolatry.
- He wipes his butt with the hats of Phillies fans.
Granted, Apostate Red Phanatic may have enjoyed heady times during his time in Philadelphia. At this stage of his career, however, any alternative/objective mascot evaluation system pegs his value barely over that of the laughable, Rocky Mountain high, marijuana-smoke-encircled horns of Dinger. He has limited appeal, is only used for about one week per season, and with each appearance in 2013 is becoming an embarrassment to the team: a bloated, smelly off-color joke, a bad omen, and a likely root cause of this once-mighty baseball team's sad exile to the Land of Mediocrity. Whatever success the team might have enjoyed as a result of his coincident presence can only be ascribed to some force of discord, sadness, and ruination. Now who might that be?
The action required is plain, and overdue:
"If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, 'Let us follow other gods' (gods you have not known) 'and let us worship them,' you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer...You must purge the evil from among you" (Deuteronomy 13:1-5 NIV)
*h/t to Peter Lyons** for coining this one.
**h/t to WholeCamels for coining that one.