It’s no great secret that the Union – a team
which sold out nearly every game at PPL Park during its first few seasons
– has a few more empty seats so far this spring.
The direction of this team is still a slight unknown,
and its consistency is somewhere north of maddening. It’s also been
relatively cold for the first three home games, kids are still in school,
etc. And while there were a few pockets of empty seats, 17,000 in a
stadium that holds just north of 18,000 is not embarrassing by any measure.
When the sun comes out – and, most importantly, if the team scores
more goals – people will come back to PPL. There really is no finer
place around to spend a warm summer Saturday.
With the next home game coming on May 4 (that becomes
important in a second), season ticket holders received an email on Wednesday
with the hilarious Photoshop job seen above (I sure hope it’s Photoshop,
and Jeff Parke, Jack McInerney and Sheanon Williams didn’t actually
have to dress like that). The subject line read, “May the Fourth be
Now, I am tired of the whole “DOOP” thing,
to be honest. It was Peter Nowak’s idea, and he’s long gone. The
team has driven it into the ground.
But a Star Wars
Theme Night? With t-shirts, a costume contest, and
Harrison Ford (*not guaranteed to appear). Who wouldn’t like that?
Turns out, more than a few people who either take
life too seriously, take their soccer fandom too seriously, or just
don’t like Star Wars (who are you?).
A small Twitter revolt came out over the last 24 hours
claiming Star Wars Night makes the team look amateur-ish and minor league.
Look, do I wish the team was in first place with big-name
stars and people were falling all over themselves for tickets? Of course
I do. But just because a few people in the marketing department use
a play on words and some Photoshop to sell a few tickets, that doesn’t
mean the front office isn’t focused on winning (whether they actually
are or not is another issue for another day).
I understand some people love soccer. I love soccer.
But so do lots of families with little kids, who either come to games
regularly or attend a few games a year. You know what else those kids
love? Star Wars.
I’m not saying you have to dress up like Princess Leia on May 4 (most of you, please don’t do that), but what is the
harm in a few gimmicks. The Phillies have 70s night, 80s night, Jewish
Heritage Night and a birthday celebration for a monster born in the
Galapagos Islands. And they’re never accused of being amateur-ish
(except at the plate).
Enjoy the game, but for the safety of others, leave
your lightsabers at home.
For more on the "May the 4th be with You" promo, check out the Union's website here.
Enrico note: As both a casual Union and Star Wars fan, I kind of love it. I just hope they invite Patton Oswalt to get involved somehow. Dude has great ideas on at least one of the subject matters. Video from "Parks and Rec Let Patton Oswalt Ramble On for Eight Minutes Straight About Whatever and the Result is Pure Magic."
One thing about the costume contest which is kind of a bummer:
No weapons or fake weapons are allowed at PPL Park (including
lightsabers). All masks must be removed for inspection at entry gates.
What is a Jedi without his/her lightsaber?!?
Harrison Ford cussing out Chewbacca last night on Kimmel is worth your time as well..