Phillies Win! Thunderdome
It was all great until around 12.30a when people started to really get out of hand. Well after the happy people were through having their fun popping champagne, hugging, chanting "Let's go Phill-ieees" and "Fuck the Mets!" - the other set of revelers took control of Broad St from City Hall to Locust St. The shot above is from Sansom St after 100 or so uniformed cops moved in up at Chestnut St to cordon of the block. You can see them as a mass of black at the center of the photo. About 30 cops on bikes are gathered at right ready to deploy where necessary.
I saw 3 fires lit within 2 blocks. One down at Locust St by Robinson Luggage. I forget whether it was before or after the store was looted and a car overturned right by it. 2 more fires set at Sansom St with the second one right behind the West Elm loading dock. The second fire raged up to the height of the streetlamp right beside it. There was an overturned car a half a block east from there as well. Streetlamps were torn down, honor boxes thrown all over the pace and a few bus shelters trampled as well from a combination of people standing on top of them and actively trying to destroy them. The shot above is the leftover of the first fire at Sansom St with the Union League as a backdrop.
Here's the scene down Sansom St just east of Broad behind West Elm. You can see the overturned car as well as several overturned dumpsters. A fire engine roared down the block to put down the fire around 1a. All of those cardboard boxes and wooden delivery palettes served as kindling for the mob and it was a mob.
And here are 10 mounted state cops rolling in with a few cops on Harleys as well for extra crowd control. When the cops on horses roll into the scene, that's my cue to get the fuck out of there.
At first, it was an extra rowdy few who started to ruin it for everyone else. The fireworks were dangerous, but nobody was throwing them into the crowd. Just your everyday thunderbombs and jumping jacks (at least that's what we called them growing up in NY) which were little more than loud noise. Bottle rockets streamed up from Broad St and were later joined by bigger missles and cakes which launched some pretty hefty colors around Walnut and Sansom Sts. It was when people started throwing honor boxes through windows, looting and throwing full bottles of alcohol at cops when things got ugly. Then the happy people left and the ratio of idiots to riot gear cops leveled out and the scene got ugly.
The cops did an incredible job handling about 100 real idiots who were screaming at them and hurling traffic cones, bottles, cans, rocks, tree branches, shoes and anything else that wasn't bolted down to the ground. Yes, some people got beat down. Guess what - when you throw a bottle at a cop with a baton, you're gonna get your ass beat down. Sorry if you didn't get the memo.
The cops all up and down Broad St from City Hall to Washington Ave were in an incredibly jovial mood. I'm sure tons of them were life long Philly residents and Iggles/Phillies fans to boot. They were sporting toothy grins with revelers and posing for photos all night long. Until things got ugly. It was unfortunate, but it didn't seem to be as bad as other cities post championships. Boston after the Sox won, LA just about whenever and UConn are particularly bad examples I can think of off the top of my head. Yes, it was a time to celebrate a momentous occasion that might not happen for another while to come, but not an excuse to go wilding up in the streets.
There's a phrase used in football when you score a touchdown - "Act like you've been there before." It means that if you celebrate like a retard like you've never been there before, you just look more like a fool. Philly sure didn't act like it had been there before. Granted, the people out in the streets in Center City were mostly 20 somethings who hadn't been there before. The lifers were probably at home with their families or in the neighborhood bars celebrating with their friends with whom they've watched the Phils play for the last 30 years.
The parade is tomorrow and the Mayor has already sent a warning to would-be idiots: if you act up, you will be put down with force. Memo served.
I'll be out there snapping away at my first championship parade. Coming from NY, I can say there have been more than a few I could've gone to in NYC down Hero's Alley, but I never went. I think this win is different. I'm glad I have the day off.
Still time to get your hands on one of the 1M or so copies of the DN/Inky which were printed today. The Inky/DN has a daily circulation of about 400k and they printed an extra 350k to start and another 300k for 5p delivery to newsstands and stores.
More photos here.