The Phillies’ social media presence is like a sophomore with an overactive pituitary gland at a high school dance. Sure, he’s impressively-sized and a man amongst literal boys, but it’s just impossible for the girls to notice because he’s so. goddamn. awkward. What do I do with my hands? Should I just snap when they play the rap songs? Do we tweet out the contest rules when we’re only giving away a t-shirt?
Like our hypothetical student, the Phillies, thanks to their consecutive postseason runs – which just happened to coincide with the rise of Twitter – have the most dominant local following on the social network. But they don’t know what to do with it. The guy or girl or people who run their account should be fired or at least relieved of those specific duties. It’s that bad.
Today, though, their account actually showed a glimpse of personality when it retweeted a Tweet for National Jersey Day (which they’ve been overly hyping instead of, say, reminiscing about the fifth anniversary of Roy Halladay’s perfect game) containing a who wore it better? request from a fan who sent along two pictures: one of himself and one of a girl in a black bikini wearing an unbuttoned Phillies jersey. The winner was obvious.
Some, like (@FanSince09), who sometimes hates everything, thought the Phils’ response was in poor taste. I thought it was funny, even if it did open the kid up to the nearly one million mongrels who follow the Phillies (and now the mongrels in our comments). You be the judge:
For once, they showed some actual wit. But, like everything else they do besides handing out ludicrously big contracts, the Phils were risk adverse and didn’t want to open themselves up to any scrutiny… so they deleted the Tweet, because the organization has the collective personality of your weird aunt who repurposes shuttlecocks for use as Christmas tree toppers. Oh no, the flaming pile of garbage we assemble on the field every night is one thing, but this Tweet, which dared to show the personality of warm-blooded human, will not stand. Fun police assemble! Would the LA Kings’ Twitter guy have deleted it? Absolutely not. Dude would’ve owned it. Doubled-down, even. That’s what all sports social media people should ask themselves– what would the LA Kings do? WWTLAKD? Or, hell, what would the Flyers or Sixers do? Their Twitter people kill it.
Any comedian will tell you that you can push the line, or even cross it, if you’re confident in what you’re saying [see Louis C.K. on SNL], but the minute you show weakness, then you just look like a creep or a bigot. In the case of our lanky high school kid, this is akin to walking up to the hot girl and grabbing her arm when Next’s Too Close comes on while stuttering in her ear, “Girl… you… know I… like… you… it! I like it!” He won’t get away with that. “EW!” will be the response. But if the jock did it, he’d own the comment, and Next thing he knows, he would be getting yelled at by some nun to “LEAVE ROOM FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT!”* The Phillies would never get that far– they’d just get slapped for being so damn awkward.
*I attended way too many Catholic school dances when I was young.