Broad Street Billy, who bleeds red pinstripes like all Fightin's die-hards, felt as if he got smacked in the head by a foul ball when he read that Mr. Met beat out the Phillie Phanatic in a national popularity poll.
A company called the Marketing Arm just announced that the 1,000 people polled nationally in its Celebrity Davie Brown Index were more aware of Mr. Met than the Phillie Phanatic, and found Mr. Met more likable.
"That's blasphemy!" said Francis Winkey, Aramark merchandise manager at Citizens Bank Park, where the wildly popular Phanatic has two stores of his own stuff — the Phanatic Attic and All Things Phanatic.
"Who took this poll — New Yorkers?" Winkey fumed. "Did they just ask people in Queens? I don't even know what Mr. Met does. Does he have a shtick? Does he have a dangle hat?"
Dangle hats — you wear the Phanatic's face on your head while green fur thingies dangle over your ears — have gone viral at the ballpark since the home opener. "Kids, college guys, good-looking girls are wearing them," Winkey said. "Is there a Mr. Met dangle hat? I don't think so."
Mr. Met is nothing but a huge baseball head on a guy in a Mets uniform. No shooting tongue that could take your eye out, no beer belly, no Delilah's Den pelvic thrusts, no Michael Jackson moves, no green fur — nothing.
Tom Burgoyne, the Phillie Phanatic's closest pal, took the shocking news with the Phanatic's trademark grace.
"The Phanatic wants to congratulate Mr. Met," Burgoyne told Broad Street Billy. "I hope he doesn't get a big head over this. But it might be too late."
Daily News Facebook readers were less kind. "Are they on crack?" asked Mike Lanzalotti about the people polled.
Ryan Smith wrote: "It's like those people who put Redman above Jay-Z, Biggie and Tupac on a list of best rappers. You know they don't truly believe it."
Joe Mason replied that Redman's "How High" was "a great song."
"Redman belongs in the top 5 or 10," Smith admitted. "But he's certainly not the Phillie Phanatic of rappers." And Mr. Met will never be the Phillie Phanatic of mascots.