When it comes to baseball, especially on the minor league circuit, teams often rely on unique themes to increase publicity and attract spectators to the ballpark. For the Allentown, Pa. Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, that gimmick has revolved around bacon.
With uniforms and merchandise fitting in with the theme and a slogan calling on fans to “smell the change,” the embrace of the pork product has so far been quite successful in drawing attention to the Philadelphia Phillies farm team. Of course, all of that notoriety has not been supportive.
One group in particular, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, has set its sights on the franchise with a campaign aimed at preventing the Iron Pigs from using bacon as a promotional tool. The organization is behind a local billboard featuring a depiction of bacon in what appears to be a cigarette pack along with the message “Keep Kids Safe: Ban Bacon from Ballparks.”
Outrageously, the comparison to cigarettes does not end there. The group sent a letter to Mayor Ed Pawlowski imploring him to intervene by asking the team to “stop glorifying bacon” and suggesting the meat is as dangerous as smoking.
“The team would never pass out free cartons of cigarettes to the children of the LeHigh Valley,” the letter claims; “yet they are providing open access to bacon crumbles and turning a family-friendly event into a public health crisis.”
The organization also sent a letter to team owners in which they conclude that bacon “can be as deadly as smoking” and suggesting that by offering it at the ballpark, they are “glorifying cancer.”
The Iron Pigs have invested significant capital into its new theme, which was unveiled earlier this year. No direct response to the manufactured controversy was included on the team’s website or its Facebook page, though the Iron Pigs did publicize an “All-You-Can-Eat package” for its June 3 home game.
Judging from the responses, it seems most fans are not joining the anti-bacon bandwagon.
“I hope it’s bacon with a side of bacon,” one Facebook fan wrote.
Another declared, “Bacon better be part of it.”
Photo Credit: Geoff (Creative Commons)
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom