January 16, 2008 |
The Phillie Phanatic is the top mascot in sports, according to a market research group whose findings were reported yesterday on Forbes.com. The Phanatic - which edged out the modern era's pioneer figurehead, the San Diego Chicken, for No. 1 on The Marketing Arm's Davie-Brown Index - "became an instant smash when it debuted for the Phillies in 1978. " Tom Burgoyne, who has known the Phanatic inside and out since 1994, squealed with delight at the news. Then he asked: "This isn't the same Forbes list that Oprah and Bill Gates are on?"
February 18, 2004 |
The Phillie Phanatic is whole again - deep sigh of relief - and an Allentown-area man is facing charges in connection with the Feb. 6 theft of the mascot's head from the Wachovia Center. Bernard Bechtel, 37, of Whitehall, Lehigh County, was taken into custody yesterday, shortly after he brought the distinctive furry, googly-eyed, round-beaked headpiece into the Independence Mall studios of radio station WYSP-FM (94.1). Tommy Conwell, the station's midday host, said Bechtel had called Monday, seeking the $5,000 reward offered by syndicated radio host Howard Stern for the head's safe return.
December 15, 1993 |
Dave Raymond, who for 16 years has animated the happy green fuzz known as the Phillie Phanatic, said yesterday that he is hanging up his costume to start a sports mascot and marketing company of his own. "It was inevitable; I just couldn't keep on doing it the rest of my life," said Raymond, 37, who, after weekend reports of his impending departure, formally announced yesterday that he is retiring as the full-time Phillies mascot. Raymond's Phanatic, along with the famed San Diego Chicken, inspired a host of imitators, and costumed mascots proliferated at sporting events across the country beginning in the late 1970s.
October 30, 2008 |
After 25 years of drought and two days of too much rain, Philadelphia has its championship. It felt like a dream, but it wasn't. You are wide awake and the Phillies really are World Series champions. They beat the weather and the Tampa Bay Rays, 4-3, to earn just the second title in franchise history. Philadelphia's quarter-century without a major sports championship is over - outta here - thanks to a gritty, talented team that won two games in one day and one game that took three nights.
May 25, 2010 |
Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders is on tour, but it's not rock. It's an anti-McDonald's campaign for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. At noon Thursday, she'll be outside the McD's at 40th and Walnut Streets in University City for an "i'm hatin' it" blitz, which will include billboards contending that McDonald's U.S. operation has not adopted the less cruel slaughter standards that it uses in Europe. She'll hand out PETA's "Unhappy Meals," which include a Ronald McDonald cutout, a mangled plastic chicken, and a "blood"-filled packet that urges McDonald's to "Ketchup With the Times.
November 22, 1997 |
The Phillie Phanatic, perhaps a little green around the gills to match the rest of his fuzzy self, is back in action after an alter-ego got nailed for driving under the influence. Matthew Mehler, 32, of Churchville, Bucks County, faces a charge of driving under the influence, police said, after he flipped and apparently totalled a Phanatic Bandwagon near his home early Thursday. He was unhurt. Mehler couldn't be contacted yesterday because, his mother Mary said, he was "at an appearance," although she had no details.
June 4, 2009 |
Impressed by rookie Antonio Bastardo's major-league debut Tuesday, manager Charlie Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee said the lefthander most likely would start Sunday's nationally televised game in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. "We need a starter," Manuel said. "I'm not saying it's him definitely, but I'd say it's real close, unless something happens. I like the way he pitched. " Dubee, asked later whether Bastardo would start Sunday, said, "Yes, as far as I know. " The 23-year-old Dominican earned the win by going six innings and allowing only one run - a home run by Adrian Gonzalez, who leads the major leagues in homers.
October 26, 2008 |
Over the years, the number of high school mascots seems to have gradually dwindled. One has to search high and low for a decent cartwheeling bear or a push-up-savvy jaguar. However, there are still some schools that hold the tradition of the mascot sacred. One is St. Joseph's Prep. Each year at 1733 Girard Ave., a raucous competition is held in a packed gymnasium to crown a new mascot. To earn the privilege of wearing the eye-catching Hawk costume and continuously flapping the wings through every game, even during time-outs and halftime, three Prep seniors recently battled on the hardwood in front of classmates and teachers.
February 2, 2011 |
The greatest skill of any talk show host is the ability to think on his feet. Even the most snooze-worthy guest can turn into an uproarious interview with some massaging from the man behind the desk. Tony Braithwaite doesn't have much experience hosting a talk show, but that doesn't mean he hasn't developed his foot muscles. "As an unathletic fat kid with acne, I developed that skill set to survive," the local comic actor said. Good thing, too, seeing as Braithwaite will take up residency behind the desk of "Heeere's Tony!"
September 21, 2010 |
Penn State and Temple, two schools with big local fan bases, went head-to-head on Saturday, and the Lions easily carried the day over the Owls in TV ratings. Penn State's 24-0 blanking of Kent State, seen locally on ESPN2, notched a 3.0 Nielsen household rating, which translates to 81,000 households. ESPN says it was the highest-rated locally shown ESPN2 game since Oct. 21, 2006, when State topped Illinois. The game was broadcast opposite Temple-Connecticut. While the Owls beat the Huskies, the game on 6ABC locally recorded a 1.3 household rating, or about 35,100 households.