The Lehigh Valley IronPigs love food, and the Lehigh Valley IronPigs love Philadelphia. So what do you get when you combine the two?
No, not a Liberty Bell replica made of bacon or a William Penn statue carved out of ham. You get this: A “Salute to Philadelphia” promotion in which the Triple-A Phillies affiliate will change its name to the “Cheesesteaks.” Finally, the northeast has it’s own version of “Fresno Tacos.” It happens on June 10.
“Steaks” is splashed across the front of the jersey, using a font I’ll call “Cheez Whiz yellow.” (Update: the IronPigs are already calling this font “Cheez Whiz yellow.” Great minds think alike.)
The team also notes that the chest patch, “complete with the appearance of dripping cheese, was specifically designed to emulate the characteristics of hot cheese on a steak sandwich.”
Similar to their bacon-centric “Smell the Change” campaign of 2014, the IronPigs have launched a website dedicated to the Cheesesteaks identity. (And, yes, merch is already available). They are also asking fans to determine a key element of said identity:
“Wit” onions? Or “Witout”?
As the IronPigs note in their press release:
“There is much consternation over the proper way to eat these sandwiches — either ‘wit’ or ‘witout’ onions….Fans are encouraged to pick a side by using #TeamWit or #TeamWitout on social media, LVCheesesteaks.com or through the Uber app to decide whether the “Wit” or the “Witout” cap is worn on-field for “Salute to Philadelphia Night” on June 10.
Speaking as someone who grew up in the Philly area — Ambler! — I’d say that there is “much consternation” regarding just about everything cheesesteak-related. And come to think of it, there is much consternation regarding just about every topic in Philly. Philly is the consternation capital of the country.
But back to onions.
IronPigs general manager Kurt Landes, who is rarely, if ever, quoted in a press release without using some sort of food pun, states the following:
“Today, we’ve officially raised the Steaks. As a Phillies affiliate, we can’t wait to celebrate all things Philadelphia, including the iconic cheesesteak on ‘Salute to Philadelphia Night.’”
If Landes needs more cheesesteak puns, I won’t stand Pat or say I can’t take Geno more. I’ll provolone him a few, gra-cheese, as they’re Amoroso funny and, of course, display ample “wit.” Stop me, I’m on a roll!
Other “things Philadelphia” that the IronPigs plan on celebrating during their “Salute to Philly Night” include a Phillie Phanatic appearance and, uh, “post game Friday Night Fireworks presented by Brown Daub Kia.” I’m holding out for a pregame concert by a Hooters cover band, a Buddy Ryan lookalike contest and a roundtable discussion on the lasting cultural impact of WMMR’s “Morning Zoo.” I’d also suggest gauging the popularity of the city’s sports radio landscape by starting a #WIP or #WIPout social media contest.
But, look, it all comes down to visuals in this biz and, thus, it all comes down to cheesesteaks. Here’s two more photos, and then I’m outta here.