While Philadelphians aren’t exactly familiar with it, sometimes, government can be effective.
At least when it comes to hot dogs.
The overlapping section of the Venn diagram of Phillies fans and mystery meat aficionados probably already knows this, but currently, the Phils’ beloved Dollar Dog Nights are already over for the season (for the uninitiated, that’s when glizzies go on sale for a buck) . The last one was May 3, reportedly marking the final of just two scheduled for 2022.
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That is, until now.
According to Associated Press sports writer Dan Gelstonthe Phillies and food service provider Aramark are working on adding another Dollar Dog Night to the 2022 lineup.
“The Phillies and Aramark work together on the dates,” an Aramark representative told Gelston. “We are planning for another Dollar Dog Night, and we will be announcing that in the near future.”
And it’s likely all thanks to Sen. Bob Casey and Crossing Broad reporter Kyle Pagan.
Okay, so we don’t know when this new Dollar Dog Night is coming or why, as neither Aramark nor the Phils’ communications staff returned requests for comment.
But, as best we can tell, the sausage got made after Pagan called up Casey’s office earlier this week and asked to speak with the senator. Last week, Pagan posted a story on Crossing Broad noting that having only two Dollar Dog Nights this year is “a disgrace,” and suggested publicly shaming the Phillies into adding another one to the schedule.
So that’s what he did.
“Usually, they have three to four a year,” Pagan tells an attentive staffer named Regina, which he posted to Twitter. “This year, when they’re actually good, and [Phillies’ owner] John Middleton went over the luxury tax for the first time ever, they only have two, and they’re already gone by May.”
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Regina tells Pagan that she’ll pass the message on to Casey — which she appears to have actually done.
On Thursday, just over an hour after Crossing Broad tweeted a video of Pagan’s call, Casey’s Twitter account sent a frank message in support of Dollar Dog Night, writing “Let’s do this.” A few hours after that, Gelston sent out his reply from Aramark noting more Dollar Dog Nights are on the horizon.
But why, of all things, did a senator get behind such a minor, yet meaty, issue?
“Who doesn’t love dollar dogs?” said Casey’s communications director Mairead Lynn. On issues big and small, Sen. Casey delivers for his constituents.”
But despite showing his support, Lynn said that it’s not likely that Casey forced a change with the Phils and Aramark.
“Obviously, there is no federal jurisdiction over Dollar Dog Night,” she said. “But that doesn’t mean that Sen. Casey couldn’t show his support.”
Casey, Lynn added, is also focusing on more serious issues, such as the ongoing baby formula shortage and abortion. But helping out Philadelphians with more cheap ballpark hot dogs was an opportunity to show that Casey’s office “can walk and chew gum at the same time.”
This, of course, is just the latest example of government pandering to aggressively devoted Philly sports fans. On Thursday, Philadelphia City Council voted unanimously to name Sixers star Joel Embiid “Most Valuable Philadelphian.”
This situation, though, is at least beneficial to the average Phils fan. At least we can get a cheap meal out of it.