Visitors to the Phillies community on Reddit, known to users as /r/Phillies, are in for a (probably pleasant) surprise. Usually a place to discuss news, articles, and opinions about the Phillies, the site has become a place for users to comfort one another through the shared experience of the Philly region’s most revered cultural entity: Wawa.
The idea was first proposed in a post by a user named Jayyburdd, who moderates the forum. His or her original intention was for the subreddit to keep its Wawa-inspired theme only until the team’s next winning streak but, more than a week later, the Phillies have shown no sign of that happening.
It’s unclear whether the abysmal showing from the Phils is the result of downing too many hoagies or not, but the team is 1-7 since the post was made and has been outscored 21-48 in that run.
The posts on the newly-minted “unofficial official Wawa subreddit” range from the completely inane – asking if Wawa’s turkey gobbler should be an everyday player or photoshopping Odubel Herrera into a picture of a Wawa store – to actual Wawa news. One thing remains the same in both approaches: they’re not about the Phillies, which is perhaps enough to help fans suffer through a rough patch in a long season. It’s a cheap laugh atop a thinly-veiled criticism of the franchise.
The gimmick is a testament to how challenging it becomes to be excited about a team that has, in the month of May, given so little reason for it. Eventually, even serious fans run out of things to say or grow tired of rehashing the same motifs: a struggling rotation, a dumpster fire bullpen, regression, lack of development, coaching choices.
The best use of the Wawa theme would be as a subliminal conspiracy to lure New Jersey native Mike Trout over to the Phillies by reminding him of the spoils of the area. Acquiring Trout, after all, is the only Phillies-related topic fans never tire of even though his preferred Wawa order was revealed to be a bit … unexpected.
While the transition certainly hasn’t made the Phillies any better, it’s done some good. Readers are reminded that there are still plenty of reasons to be hopeful and excited, and most of those reasons are sandwich-sized and available 24 hours a day.