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October 19, 2023

Professional ultimate frisbee team temporarily changes name to support Phillies' playoff run

The Philadelphia Phoenix does not want to be associated with the Diamondbacks during the National League Championship Series

Recreation Frisbee
Philadelphia Phoenix name change Gators @PhiladelphiaPhoenix/Facebook

In a bid of support for the Phillies in their postseason run against the Diamondbacks, an ultimate frisbee team has changed its name from the Phoenix to the Gators. The rebrand is a nod to Wally, the emotional support alligator that was denied entry into a Phillies game in September.

In the middle of Red October, no Philadelphian wants anything to do with Arizona — which puts a team called the Phoenix in a tough position.

The professional ultimate frisbee team, which reps Philadelphia in the American Ultimate Disc League, has been known as the Phoenix, or Nix, for the past decade. But for the duration of the Phillies' playoff series against the Diamondbacks, it'll go by a different name: the Gators.

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"In solidarity with the @phillies we've decided to take the Phoenix out of our name until the end of this playoff series," the team wrote on its social media channels Wednesday. "We will heretofore be known as the Philadelphia Gators. Once the series ends, we will revert to our previous name."

The announcement was accompanied by a new logo, drawn in green marker by the 9-year-old son of team investor and quizzo host Johnny "Goodtimes" Nottingham.

"This is Philly. So we got to show love for our accompanying partner sports teams," Nottingham told BillyPenn.

The new name is a nod to Wally, the emotional support alligator (and emerging Philadelphia folk hero) that was denied entry into a Phillies game on Sept. 27. The Phoenix had previously sworn to change its name to the Gators if a post about Wally on X, formerly Twitter, got 5,000 likes. The post was over 4,000 likes away from its goal as of Thursday afternoon.

As for the team formerly known as the Phoenix, it finished its last season 6-6, ranking fourth in the AUDL East Division.

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