Season 3 – The Gang Gets Invincible
This episode basically changed sporting events forever. I wish there was a less hyperbolic way to say it, but it’s true. The Invincible-inspired episode introduced the world to Green Man. Nothing was ever the same.
Never mind how funny this episode was (extremely funny), this changed fandom. Streakers are out and spandex body suits are in. Almost all major sporting events now feature Green Man or some other spandex-clad idiot(s). The most prominent and recent example is the Vancouver Green Men. Anytime the NHL front office tells you something is a bad idea, you know it’s actually a great idea.
The episode itself is great. The entire McPoyle family shows up. Frank and Charlie trip on acid. Dennis, Mac and Dee try out for the Eagles with Dee trying to prove that women are equal to men. It’s all really just details compared to Green man saving Charlie’s life.
Season 5 – The World Series Defense
This episode takes a closer look at Philadelphia fandom, which is honestly kind of terrifying. While the gang prepares to attend the World Series, they indulge in grain alcohol because if there’s a potential riot, you have to get wasted on grain alcohol. While the Vancouver riot was years later and is completely unrelated… factor in the Green Man connection and you have to wonder if they set this trend as well.
The most confusing part of the episode while watching live was the reference to the “Philly Frenetic” and “Ollidee Inn.” I remember watching this after a dozen or so beers and being confused. Not because I didn’t know what they were talking about, but wondering if I was so drunk that I was mis-hearing things. It’s the same feeling I get whenever I see the gif of Green Man and the Philly Frenetic having a dance-off.
The main point of the episode was that Philly fans are brutal. So brutal that a secret tunnel needed to exist to protect visiting players from Philadelphia fans. This was coming from actual Philadelphia fans. There’s really nothing you need to point to besides this episode to explain how deranged and yes loyal Philadelphia fans are.
Then there’s the whole “Mac’s love letter to Chase Utley” thing.
What more can be said? I didn’t get along with my dad either.
Season 5 -The Gang Reignites The Rivalry
Much like the episode when The Gang Gets Invincible, and when Green Man changed the way we (Well, some of us at least) attended sporting events, the “Flipadelphia” episode changed the way we approached and referenced drinking games at home. In college I played a lot of flip cup but we never had anything in the lexicon that made it seem like such a sport. Flip cup these days is almost impossible without a “flip-flip-flip-a-delphia” reference.
Season 6 – Mac’s Big Break
While Dennis and Dee take an ill-advised trip into podcasting, Charlie tried to teach Mac to skate and use a hockey stick like a hockey stick. (Despite what all his training and instincts told him.) It’s the rare episode where Charlie gets to be smarter than someone, plus it’s the only episode to feature the Flyers. Mac of course dreams of becoming a Philly sports legend, but nothing goes the way he hoped…no surprise there but hilariously funny. What do you think about that, jabroni?
Season 6 – The Gang Gets Stranded In The Woods
Charlie and Dennis attend an SPCA event in Frank and Mac’s place and end up meeting Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. There’s so much going on in this episode. Especially when you consider the rest of the gang is stuck in the woods. Most of this one deals with where everyone else is stuck and how Dennis and Charlie get to Atlantic City. The payoff is totally worth it.
We learned in The World Series Defense that Mac would have killed to play catch with Chase Utley. When you think about the fragile human psyche, Dennis stealing Mac’s chance to play catch with Chase Utley might actually be one of the worst things that anyone in the gang has ever done to another. That’s really saying something.” Before Howard and Utley are gone, Charlie and Dennis are wasted. What else would you expect? I still kind of feel bad for Mac.
I can’t wait to see the new season and any and all Philly sports cameos and references.