Philadelphia Tries to Thwart Exuberant Eagles Fans With New Substance

Eagles fans celebrate along Broad Street in Philadelphia on Sunday night.

Eagles fans celebrate along Broad Street in Philadelphia on Sunday night. Matt Rourke / AP Photo

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The city hasn't been able to control sports fans with Crisco previously, so crowd-control planners tried this instead.

When Philadelphia city crews applied Crisco to utility poles in Center City in attempt to keep Eagles fans from climbing them after the team’s victory over the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship game on Jan. 21, that substance wasn’t able to keep every Philly football enthusiast from ascending to potentially dangerous perches above streets and sidewalks in celebration.

It was the third time the city used Crisco to prepare for an onslaught of celebratory sports fans, according to the New York Daily News.

In advance of Sunday’s Super Bowl LII, crowd-control planners in Philadelphia decided to try out a different substance to keep Eagles fans from pole-climbing: hydraulic fluid.

In the hours leading to kick-off on Sunday, WPVI-TV reported that the “Pole Patrol” was spotted along Broad Street, the city’s traditional thoroughfare for parades and celebrations, applying hydraulic fluid to utility poles.

While the city may have slicked up the utility poles along Broad Street, thousands of other poles were left unprotected and vulnerable to the spirited whims of victorious Eagles fans when their team defeated the New England Patriots 41-33. That included this pole.

And the ones that were greased up didn't stop some from climbing.

As reported, celebrants "were getting rowdy early Monday, with pole climbers, fighting, trashing, smashed windows and toppled awnings." 

This post has been updated with developments from the celebrations in Philadelphia.

Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.

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