One of the events we lost during the COVID-19 pandemic was the 97.5 the Fanatic “Fantasy Fest”. That was the original branding, and then it was changed to “Fan Fest” somewhere along the way.
It was a huge, annual event that took place outside of Xfinity Live down by the sports complex, and this year it’s back baby! The station announced today that the 2021 iteration of the event will take place on September 18th, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. That’s the Saturday before the Eagles play Trey Lance and the San Francisco 49ers at home. Still can’t believe they drafted Lance.
Anyway, the event is always free, but it’s ticketed, so you need to listen to the Fanatic and follow along for the chance to win admission. You can’t just buy your way in. It ain’t like that, which is coincidentally the name of an underrated AIC song.
In prior years, the Fanatic has had special guests show up, like Ben Simmons, D Jax, and Brent Celek. Who will it be this year? DeVonta Smith? Jalen Hurts? Carson Wentz?
We’ll have to wait to find out. But in the meantime, here are seven suggestions to make the event even more exciting:
1) Put Ingy in the dunk tank
The least imaginative and most over-exposed caller on either station, Ingy is the perfect candidate for the dunk tank.
We’ll put him up there, he’ll start sharing one of the dumbest opinions you will ever hear, and then you get three chances to dunk him. If you miss all three, your punishment is that you have to listen to him finish his point, which will probably result in 3-4 more minutes of excruciating torture.
2) Bagster toss
We will lay out a variety of items that nobody wants. Dallas Cowboys gear. A New York Yankees hat. A tomato pie.
Then, participants take turns trying to throw these items into a bagster, which has been set up on the miniature football field outside of Xfinity Live. If you hit the target, you win free tickets to a Flyers game next season (a $5 value). If you fail, however, then Anthony Gargano puts you in the bagster.
3) A live performance from Go Go Gadjet
Reading’s Go Go Gadjet will be on hand (shout out Berks County). They will perform their high-energy remix of “No One Likes Us / Fly Eagles Fly,” and the crowd will go wild. Then I’ll call Pierre Robert on Monday morning and request a “Workforce Block” of Go Go Gadjet tunes:
VOLUME UP EAGLES FANS!!! (Full video link in bio) We are STOKED to give you this high-energy remix of “No One Likes Us / Fly Eagles Fly”! We can’t wait to watch the @philadelphiaeagles defend the crown this season with all of our Philly friends. 🦅🦅🦅 pic.twitter.com/svgzNKWAKn
— Go Go Gadjet (@GoGoGadjetBand) August 29, 2018
4) Panel discussion: unpaid internships
We’ll break from the fun and relaxed nature of the event for an important discussion on unpaid internships in sports media.
The panel will feature Mike Missanelli, Tyrone Johnson, Fanatic alumna Natalie Egenolf, special guest Kevin Kinkead (of Crossing Broad), and Jane Slater, from the NFL Network.
5) Selfie station, with Jose from Norristown
What up Bruno?
What up Mayes?
What up Younes?
Jose from Norristown will be a featured guest at Fantasy Fest. He’ll have his own station, in front of 97.5 backdrop, where you can take selfies with him, and then he’ll drop one of his famous lines, like “we’ve got hockey action, yo!” This service is free, but we would ask that you consider donating $5 to a charity of Jose’s choosing.
6) Scott O’Neil book signing
Former Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil will sign copies of his new book, “Be Where Your Feet Are.” Angry Sam Hinkie supporters will confront him at the event, claiming that he ruined The Process. The signing will unfortunately have to be abandoned.
7) Dwayne from Swedesboro autograph session
Dwayne will sign autographs at the Paul B. Moyer and Sons tent at the corner of 11th and Pattison. Time is TBD, as we’re still trying to confirm with Dwayne.
(On a serious note, I kind of like Fantasy Fest. It’s just a bunch of people from the 97.5 and Philly sports community coming out to have a good time, connect some names to faces, etc. Totally harmless. It gets ripped for some reason, and carries the “Frankfurter Fest” nickname because it’s 99% dudes showing up, but I dunno, seems like the people who go always enjoy it. Maybe we should not “knock it until we try it,” as they say.)