Here we see a man who has lost control of his faculties, puppeteered by a level of ecstasy none of us will ever know. Somewhere further south of him, a city of Phillies fans were raiding their poor vocabularies to scratch out death threats to Mitch Williams while others merely whistled with each spurt of the gas canister before reaching into their pocket for the matches.
It's been 22 years since "Joe Carter," a moment probably replayed and relived more often by self-pitying Philadelphians than actual Blue Jay fans. Since then, the act of villainy against the drinking, farting, possibly-juicing '93 Phillies has been watered down by the Phillies becoming good and finally winning their World Series and the fact that Williams turned out to not be the most likable guy anyway (unlike Joe Carter).
Still, Carter worked his way into the recap of the Phillies' 2008 championship from the former Inquirer scribe Phil Sheridan:
"Remember 1964 and Black Friday and Joe Carter, because they're all just a little further away and a little less menacing than they were a week ago."
Well, Joe's about to get a little closer again, as the Blue Jays' playoff run necessitates the viewing of this archival footage to commemorate the last time they got this far (Cito Gaston is throwing out the first pitch of Game One). This solidifies an ongoing trend in this noticeably Phillies-less post season: The Phillies are pretty relevant.
Already during the NL Wild Card were the Phillies consistently invoked as the last team to truly defeat Jake Arrieta. Now, they'll appear in game breaks every time David Price stops to fix his cup, after a flash of graphics and a Dick Stockton intro.
"I think we can all recall the Blue Jays' last trip to the post season, made memorable by Joe Carter," he'll say, or something. And we'll sit there and watch, and once again the ball will go over the fence instead of hitting a literal blue jay in mid-flight, causing an explosion of sapphire plumage and serving as a jarring, bird blood-soaked turning point for the series.
By this point, people are probably far more affected by the image of Ryan Howard's achilles snapping while attempting to run out the last out of the 2011 NLDS, against a team for whom I have far more ire than the Blue Jays. In fact, if Josh Donaldson could "Joe Carter" the Cardinals, that would be very good, I think. Except it of course means the Cardinals would have paved over the Cubs on their way to another World Series, so, I don't know. Something bad should happen to the Cardinals. The generational bitterness it creates within their subculture can vary.
I was very young during Joe Carter; in fact, I may have been put to bed before it even happened. Not being a self-aware adult at the time may be contributing to the indifference, and perhaps those who were watching in bars or living rooms or Sky Domes tell a different tale. But the endless suffering of Phillies fans, citing decades-old moments and hexes and curses as the reason that they're so miserable all the time, should be over. Things have changed, and an image like Joe Carter leaping around first base doesn't spear the guts as sharply as it used to. So bring it on, TBS and FOX producers; queue up that footage all you want, because we have ironclad feelings now!
Okay stop it.