With the Phillies closing in on a pennant and with it being their first championship appearance in 13 years, Philadelphia is getting ready for what may be a huge celebration by fans.
Fans are already making watch party plans, bars and restaurants are bursting at the seams with business, retail stores are selling out of Phillies gear, and city officials are greasing the light poles.
Light poles were greased up in Philadelphia as a public safety measure on Saturday, October 22, as the Phillies moved ever closer to the World Series.
Coating the lamp posts with grease is a time-honored tradition when Philadelphia sports teams are in the running for a huge win. It happened in 2009 when the Phillies made their most recent World Series run. It became a viral meme in 2018 leading up to the Eagle’s Super Bowl victory. And now, Philadelphia is preparing again.
“You’ve been warned, Phillies fans,” local news station NBC10 said in a tweet about the measures.
City spokesman Kevin Lessard told the Philadelphia Inquirer the poles were greased up as a safety measure ahead of expected fan celebrations, as the Phillies remained ahead in the National League Championship Series.
Lessard explained ‘it’s just part of the plan.’
— Tracy Buchholz (@TLBTB) October 22, 2022
“As is protocol, the city is putting into motion initial preparations and precautions in the event of the Phillies potentially winning the NLCS,” Lessard said. He added that the action is a public safety measure “based on prior experience in these situations.”
Lessard said as far as general safety goes, Philadelphia police departments are in contact with local businesses, spreading the word about ways they can protect their properties in case of rowdy celebrations.
In 2018, they started out using actual Crisco. The company actually sent cookies to the Philadelphia Police Department as a thank-you. However, they reportedly switched to something more effective, possibly gear oil, like what’s used in cars.
Though precautions have been taken, the slippery stuff hasn’t fully stopped some from conquering the climb up the streetlight shafts last time around. During the celebration in the streets after the Eagle’s Super Bowl victory, several undaunted climbers scrambled up the poles.
As one observer noted on Twitter,
They do realize at this point they’re just setting the fans a challenge? https://t.co/G4tmLiJLJM
— Emma Jacobs (@ecjacobs) October 22, 2022
City officials have not responded to questions on how many poles were greased and where.
However, previously the concentration has been up and down South Broad Street, as well as at the intersection of Frankford and Cottman avenues in the Northeast.
Barricades have also been placed at “key locations,” per spokesperson Lessard, and “other type[s] of public safety measures for this weekend are still being discussed.”