Bob Kelly, the traffic reporter for Fox 29 in Philadelphia, has a few questions about some Philadelphia traffic plans for this weekend.
Now, you might think that because Bob is the traffic reporter, and he has questions about traffic, he could do some… uhh… hmm…. reporting? You would be wrong. He doesn’t have time for that crap because he’s busy buying socks after a hard day’s work at the Scarecrow Festival.
Hey, we’re all doing the best we can these days, so let’s help Bob by doing his job for him.
FIrst of all, Bob notes that streets in South Philadelphia “will be blocked off Sunday to prevent Tailgaters from gathering outdoors. What about the businesses in the area? SYSCO Foods? Jetro? Maglio Sausage?”
Sysco, a wholesale restaurant supplier, is closed on Sunday. So is Maglio Sausage, which is on 3rd Street and not even in the area covered by street closures on the map Bob posted. Jetro, a wholesale grocer, lists its Sunday hours as 7 am until noon — an hour before kickoff of Eagles-Rams. A 30-second phone call from Deadspin confirmed that they will be open and that customers can get through to their parking lot so long as they have their Jetro card.
Alright, so that’s settled. What else does Bob have?
Ah, some good information here: “Homeless Encampment Protest still has Parkway Blocked outer Drive at 22nd Street.”
Wait, this isn’t news, it’s just something that’s been the case for months, but it’s happening in an area of the city where rich people are inconvenienced by being reminded that homelessness exists. Activists are asking that vacant properties all over the city be converted to low-income housing, as Philadelphia has plenty of space to do that and end homelessness, but it’s not happening and the city just keeps pleading with the encampment to disperse.
Back to Bob, who’s got one more question that puts it together: “I’m Confused…We cannot Tailgate Outside of the Linc on Sunday to watch the Eagles Game BUT we can set up an encampment on the Parkway, live in tents and disregard all City regulations, warnings and deadlines. Asking for a friend.”
Bob, we all know the friend is you. Also, seriously, work on learning what letters need to be capitalized. But, okay, since you asked…
So, no, you cannot “Tailgate Outside of the Linc on Sunday to watch the Eagles Game” because the entire theory of tailgating is that people gather in the parking lot and have a cookout before going into the football game. Obviously, that’s not what it really is, because people often bring enough of a power supply to hook up a TV and watch the game in the parking lot while continuing to eat various cookout foods and get drunk on cheap beer and whatever that one guy (at least) has in his flask — there’s always that one guy (at least) with a flask.
What was that Inquirer headline about the homeless from August, again? Ah, yes, “Neighbors recognize plight of Parkway homeless, but are fed up with trash, needles, nudity, and human waste.” Maybe replace “needles” with “piles of still-burning charcoal” and you’d pretty much be describing an Eagles tailgate.
The difference is that tailgating is a choice, one made by Bob and other people with the means to load up a car full of goodies and head on down to the vast expanse of parking lots surrounding the stadia of South Philly. Homelessness is not voluntary, and while there are options on the table to solve it, the city isn’t taking those up.
Those people do not want to be gathered together on Benjamin Franklin Parkway in close quarters at all, let alone in the middle of a pandemic. It’s the situation that they’ve been pushed into by a broken society.
Maybe Bob can give that a thought when he’s sitting comfortably in his nice warm home this Sunday with a nice cold beer in front of his nice big TV. Maybe he can, but he’ll probably be too busy feeling sorry for himself for not being able to tailgate.