Howard struck out three times with runners in scoring position? Bummer. But you were sitting with The Asche Trays when Cody Asche drove in the go-ahead runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. #phanclubsareback #losingcanbefun
For three out of the four years from 2000 to 2003, the Phillies had as good a chance of winning the National League East as the Jamaican bobsled team had of winning gold in the Sochi Olympics.
Despite the fact that these teams lost more frequently than they won, my friends and I ventured out to the games anyway to root on our favorite baseball team and to take in the ambiance of ‘America’s Pastime.’
An added draw of going to a game at the Vet during these lean years was the opportunity to sit with a Phan Club. Phan Clubs were a group of rowdy Phils’ fans who sat in the upper deck with a sign and cheered for the Phillies team as a whole, making particular noise for that game’s starting pitcher or a hitter. For example, we sat with Randy Wolf’s Wolf Pack a few times, Brandon Duckworth’s Duck Pond a few times, the Vicente Padilla Flotilla, Robert Person’s People and, of course, Paul Byrd’s Bird Nest. As the seasons wore on and the Phils sunk in the standings, these Phan Clubs were more audible during the TV broadcasts and more prominent on the stadium’s Phanavision – the latter being a good way for us to get ourselves some intra-stadium recognition, which really appealed to us 20-something youths.
If the Phillies are going to be as bad as some are predicting them to be, like this writer and this one, maybe updated Phan Clubs will help get fans back into Citizens Bank Park. Maybe for a couple of seasons, fans can just relish the camaraderie that Phan Clubs offer with no thought to the end result of the game. What are the chances this could happen in Philadelphia? Likely as good as seeing an actual wolf on Wall Street.
Phillies Regular Season record from 2000 – 2003:
2000: 65 – 97 30 games back
2001: 86 – 76 2 games back
2002: 80 – 81 21.5 games back
2003: 86 – 76 15 games back
Total: 317 – 330
.490 winning percentage
Though now might be a good time to start trying out new Phan Clubs. After all, the Phillies do have three position players (Jimmy Rollins, Bobby Abreu, Marlon Byrd) and a former manager (Larry Bowa) in Clearwater from that 2002 team that finished below .500.
Here are a few Phan Clubs I thought of:
Cole’s Moles (replacing Hamels’ Camels)
The Asche Trays
What do YOU think? What would be some good Phan Clubs for the 2014 Phillies? I’d love to hear your suggestions.