Fanbase Friday Vol. 2: The Phanatic is Simply Vibing

Welcome to the second edition of Fanbase Friday. This week, we are going to take a peek inside Phillies twitter. We will be very careful not to let it leak onto anything. Here to tell us about it is my internet friend @TangoGolfKilo.

Trident Deck: How long have you been active in Phillies twitter?

TGK: Back in the day when I was just getting into baseball, I decided to follow all the writers from The Good Phight and Crashburn Alley (RIP) on Twitter, and things rapidly snowballed from there. I was a lurker for a while but really got deep into it… I think around 2014? You know, at the Phillies’ absolute Post-2008 nadir. Ever since, I’ve gotten more and more embedded into Phillies Twitter specifically and Baseball Twitter more generally.

Trident Deck: In my limited interaction, Phillies twitter seems to have that vibe of irreverence/cynicism that we all associate with Philly sports. Is that true? What’s the community/culture like on the inside?

TGK: Oh yeah that’s pretty accurate. The vibe of Phillies/Philly Twitter could pretty succinctly be summed up by this Tweet. We’re a fan base that loves deeply and perhaps stupidly, but is not accustomed to success and even less so to respect. As Philadelphians, we have a powerful inferiority complex that we, for better or worse, like to work out through sports.

Our fandom, like all fandom, is irrational, and makes us defensive and aggressive when challenged. But we embrace all the weird ways we’ve been heartbroken with an unusual amount of enthusiasm and joy. When we’re not being hilariously over the top with our cynicism, we’re pretending (or are we?) to be confident as hell and ready to fight God with our bare hands. We have an entire podcast specifically dedicated to digging into the worst innings/losses in team history. 
And yeah, we can be pretty abrasive. But – at least the circles I run in – we also feature some of the smartest, kindest people I’ve met online. I wouldn’t be as big of a baseball fan today if the Phillies Twitter community hadn’t been so accepting and open. 

Trident Deck: What’s one of your favorite memes or running jokes in Phillies twitter?

TGK: So we would all lay down our lives in defense of the Phanatic (aka the best mascot in organized sports). HOWEVER, there is an imposter that must be denied at all costs: the eldritch horror that is the Apostate Red Phanatic. If you see him…abandon all hope and repent for your sins. Pray to whatever deity you believe in that your immortal soul will be spared. 

Trident Deck: What was it like online the day that Bryce Harper signed?

TGK: A lot of delirious key smashing. You must recall how absolutely unhinged the entirety of Baseball Twitter was getting the Winter of the Harper/Machado Sweepstakes. Now combine that with Phillies Twitter’s simultaneous unearned swagger / over the top nihilism and the fact that both players were linked to our team the entire time. It felt like emerging from being underwater for too long and taking a deep breath.

Trident Deck: If Gritty (NHL) is leading a revolution for the working class, what is the Phanatic doing?

TGK: The Phanatic is simply vibing.

Trident Deck: What are your thoughts on the team’s official twitter account?

TGK: It’s pretty decent. The person who runs it clearly understands us and occasionally has some good-for-a-brand-account tweets. They’re also a noted ally to the gay community. 

Trident Deck: Which NL East fanbase is the most insufferable online?

TGK: Braves, without question. Their mean-spirited shit talk and arrogance carries an additional veneer of racism, which makes interacting with them exhausting. I love fun rivalries, but this definitely isn’t one of them. Nats are pretty bad with their recent Championship and working out their collective insecurities and complexes re: the Bryce Harper situation. But at the end of the day, they’re pretty harmless. It pains me to say it but Nats Twitter is one of the better Twitter fan bases. We also obviously all Stan Sean Doolittle.  Mets fans are too nihilistic to be insufferable and Marlins fans don’t exist.

Trident Deck: Which player on the current roster is the most despised by the fanbase?

TGK: Uhhh…. good question. Probably Andrew Knapp? But we don’t so much despise him as we are tired of seeing him because he’s terrible. Oh wait actually it’s Jake Arrieta. We’re exhausted with him. If you’re accepting non-players, we are all frothing at the mouth to give Matt Klentak an atomic wedgie.

Trident Deck: Who’s a player that’s maybe not a star but is widely loved?

TGK: We all love Rhys. I guess he’s like… a cusp/borderline star, I suppose, but he’s a good, wholesome boy with a good, wholesome dog. Please look at his dog’s Instagram.
The number one thing all Philly athletes must do is constantly stroke our fragile egos, and Rhys is very good at doing this. Bryce is very good at that, but he’s obviously an unequivocal star.I should also probably mention the fact that I am a founding member of the Scott Kingery’s Biceps Fan Club, and our membership is booming this year. 

Trident Deck: Every single player on the roster invites you over for a cookout or some type of home-cooked meal, but you can only go to one. Which one are you going to? Which player’s invite are you not accepting under any circumstances?

TGK: Going to: The McCutchen Household. Not only is Andrew McCutchen the coolest Phillie, he might be the coolest active player in MLB (see accompanying photo). He has an absolutely beautiful family and seems like a genuinely amazing person, which is not a given when discussing the personal lives of professional athletes. Have you seen his instagram stories? I would want to hang with him even if the food were terrible, but I sincerely doubt that man is anything other than incredible at cooking. I wanna grill with Uncle Larry

Never going to: The Harper Household. Look, I love Bryce as an incredibly talented, committed ballplayer, but oh honey my gay ass ain’t going near that Mormon household. I wish them nothing but love and the best, but nah. 

Trident Deck: And finally, give us five accounts that are must-follow on Phillies twitter:

TGK: I hate this question because it forces me to pick favorites. I decided to go with a list of good friends who most embody the mood/vibe/character of Phillies Twitter as a whole. 

  1. @justin_klugh
  2. @lizroscher
  3. @historiancole
  4. @Phylan
  5. @AH_Pod 

Trident Deck: That’s it for this week on Fanbase Friday. Thanks again to @TangoGolfKilo for sharing with us. See you next week!

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