What has Santa Claus ever done to Philadelphia?
From our Crossing Broad brethren, via The Inquirer:
Most of the mayoral candidates went down to Kensington to be grilled by a couple fifth-graders at Gloria Casarez Elementary. … [A] pastor named Warren Bloom who is running for mayor for the seventh time decided to deliver a message. The message was that Santa isn’t real: “[Bloom] also revealed a truth that left some of the grown-ups raising their eyebrows. ‘There’s no Santa Claus,’ Bloom said. ‘You can’t put your faith and hope in politicians.’”
First, they assaulted and booed Santa. And now they are denying his existence while speaking to children. A lot more than I-95 separates us from them, folks. A lot more. It almost makes us feel bad for Ben Simmons. Almost.
And before the nasty emails start coming: Yes, we know this entire thing has been (somewhat) blown out of proportion. It is all in good fun. Calm down, take a breath and get back to worrying about the Eagles. We’ll even provide this “clarification” that is on the city’s tourism website:
On December 15, 1968, the Eagles met the Vikings at home at Franklin Field. It had been a tough season—the Birds were 2-11, nearly the exact opposite of their current record—and the team had just lost its first-round draft pick. The game’s first half ended with a Vikings interception and a 57-yard touchdown run. When the “real” Santa Claus didn’t show for the halftime show, a spectator wearing a red corduroy suit was pulled from the stands to replace him. Philadelphia’s passionate yet downtrodden fans—54,535 of them had braved temperatures in the low 20s and a snowstorm to make it to the game—weren’t having it. They booed. They pelted Santa’s sub with snowballs. It wasn’t right. But it wasn’t that big of a deal—until sportscaster Howard Cosell broadcast the incident on his weekend report.
Fun fact: Even the substitute Santa, the late Frank Olivo, understood his fellow Philadelphians’ bad behavior. In a December 15, 2008 ESPN interview, he said, “I understood what was going on. I knew what it was all about. … The Philadelphia fans are the best fans in the world. I don’t care what anybody says, they live and die with their teams.”
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James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.