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Grease the poles: City begins preparations for a possible Phillies pennant

Based on jubilant Philly fans raucous history, “light poles are being greased as a preliminary public safety measure,” city spokesman Kevin Lessard said.

In this January 2018 file photo, a greased pole stands near the intersection of Broad and Shunk Streets in South Philadelphia amid Eagles fever. Officials have begun greasing light poles in anticipation of a potential Phillies NLCS victory.
In this January 2018 file photo, a greased pole stands near the intersection of Broad and Shunk Streets in South Philadelphia amid Eagles fever. Officials have begun greasing light poles in anticipation of a potential Phillies NLCS victory.Read moreTim Tai

With the Phillies ahead in the National League Championship Series, city officials are bracing for the spontaneous celebrations that will surely follow.

That is: They’re greasing the poles.

Based on jubilant Philly fans raucous history, “light poles are being greased as a preliminary public safety measure,” city spokesperson Kevin Lessard said in a statement. Barricades have also been erected at “key locations,” and “any other type of public safety measures for this weekend are still being discussed at this time.”

» READ MORE: Philadelphia police prep for potential fan celebrations if Phillies win NLCS and go to World Series

After winning 10-6 Saturday night, the Phillies are up 3-1 in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series, and could clinch a World Series berth on Sunday, setting off a rash of overzealous fans who, city officials fear, could be so overcome with glee that they might attempt to shimmy up a light pole. (It’s definitely happened before.)

City police are evaluating patrols, Lessard said, and across Philadelphia officials “remain in ongoing contact with local business stakeholders to advise them on how to prepare for potential events in their corridors.”

Police had already been barred from taking time off through Tuesday in preparation for fan celebrations, and officials had warned that they will be enforcing open container laws if a celebration spills into the streets.