People in Philadelphia are nervous today. It’s not just about tonight’s NFC title game against the Minnesota Vikings. They’re nervous what might happen if the Eagles actually win and advance to the Super Bowl.
Earlier this week, Philadelphia Police warned businesses around a popular gathering place in Northeast Philly to take inside anything they didn’t want destroyed in the wake of an Eagles victory. The city has also banned parking on South Broad Street.
And, today, they’ve greased some light poles.
Minneapolis’ Fox 9 news reports that the men greasing up a pole at 13th and Walnut in Philadelphia’s Gayborhood section called themselves the “Crisco Cops.”
The pole-greasing isn’t unprecedented. The city did it before the Phillies won the 2008 World Series and again before the Phils clinched the 2009 NL pennant. Grease didn’t stop people from climbing light poles after the World Series victory, but maybe they’ll think twice about doing it again if the Eagles win today.
After all, this was the defining video of the post-World Series win celebrations:
I took a walk around Center City earlier today, and Crisco Cops had greased up poles along 13th Street between Market and Walnut streets, down Market Street, as well as on Broad between Lombard and South streets. There’s even a tree greased up in that area.
That still leaves plenty of poles left greaseless. But maybe city workers realize they can’t do much to stop Philadelphians from climbing a pole. After all, the city hosts an annual greased-pole climbing competition at the Italian Market festival. Held between 1973 and 1997 and again since 2016, the Albero della Cuccagna challenges Philadelphians to climb a grease pole to capture a meat-related prize at the top.
“They’re telling me no one has ever been injured,” festival organizer Michelle Gambino told the Inquirer when the greased-pole competition returned two years ago.
The city can grease all the poles it wants. Philadelphians will find a way up them.