May 23, 2019
The Philadelphia Union are currently sitting atop Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference, tied with D.C. United at 24 points, and the team hasn't lost since mid-April. That sounds pretty good, right?
So imagine Philadelphians' confusion when they noticed Phang, the Union's recently-minted mascot, partaking in some Center City tomfoolery on Thursday afternoon.
Phang was spotted cheering on an unknown man as the man took a sledgehammer to a red car in Center City, confusing the hell out of some onlookers:
What we have here is a video of the Philadelphia Union's mascot, Phang, watching along gleefully as a man beats a car with a sledgehammer in downtown Philadelphia. Walter Wanderly's "Summer Samba" to accompany. God bless Reddit. Enjoy, everybody. #DOOP pic.twitter.com/XdkxYQ44L8— Pablo Maurer (@MLSist) May 23, 2019
People on Twitter also had questions, as you might imagine when you spot a mascot – or, as one Redditor described Phang, a "dino" – participating in this kind of activity:
Why is your mascot hitting a car with a sledge hammer in center city? Am I missing something— Daniel (@PistachioDanny) May 23, 2019
Who knew Phang was Team Ban Cars. 🤷🏻♀️ https://t.co/WZ3uHH8MZg— I Bike PHL (@BikeItPhl) May 23, 2019
Phang, for the record, invoked the Fifth Amendment:
The team's official Twitter account acknowledged the seemingly out-of-character move from Phang, with a telling reference to the color red:
He's not normally like this...it's just...red makes him angry 😬— Philadelphia Union (@PhilaUnion) May 23, 2019
Our best guess? This is probably part of a campaign leading up to the Union's rivalry game against New York Red Bulls on June 8.
A Union spokesperson told PhillyVoice the "dino" was, indeed, the real Phang.
“We got an anonymous tip of a rival’s car in the city, so we called in a few friends to take [care] of it," the team said in a tongue-in-cheek statement. "What do you expect? This is Philly.”
Between Gritty's normal hijinks, the Rita's Ice Guy going rogue earlier this week, and now Phang's antics, Philly's mascots are on a bit of a tear. Keep an eye out for Swoop.