It’s been some time since we checked in with Philadelphia’s most beloved sports mascots, so let’s quickly catch up: Gritty, the Philadelphia Flyer’s venerated anthropomorphic Koosh ball, was recently cleared of an accusation that he punched a child. Good for Gritty! And the Phillie’s Phillie Phanatic, in an apparent effort to win back some of the thirst he ceded to Gritty, got a makeover. (Also probably because of a lawsuit—more on that in a minute!)
As you well remember, back in spring 2018, Jezebel declared the Phanatic more or less fuckable. That was several months before we were introduced to Gritty’s decidedly more enticing chaotic energy, and I can’t help but feel that the Phanatic’s since been a bit ignored. But now he’s got a whole new look, according to several NBC Philadelphia reporters, and once again it’s his time to shine:
I will admit the changes are mostly too subtle for my eyes. The lighter green is a nice touch, but it also looks like the Phanatic lost a couple of pounds in the reboot, which is disappointing. Still, both the Phanatic’s old and new looks firmly root him in my personal “Would” column, which is maybe not a compliment to the Phanatic if you sift through my dating history.
Though it hasn’t been explicitly stated, it appears the Phanatic’s new look is actually the result of a lawsuit the Phillies filed against Phanatic creators Bonnie Erickson and Wayde Harrison, who sent a notice of termination to the team in 2018 alleging they still had the copyright to the mascot and wanted to renegotiate, according to the Philly Voice.
The Phillies sued the creators this past summer and seemed to have tweaked the Phanatic to avoid any contract renegotiation, so, sadly, it seems the new Phanatic is merely yet another a reminder that artists will always get screwed out of money. Still, you know, I would.