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The celebratory feel surrounding the the Phillies' return trip to the World Series has been dampened today by reports of an ugly incident in which the Phillie Phanatic, the team's mascot, told a young fan to "phuck oph," "die in a phucking phire," and challenged the child to a "phight."
"We are investigating the alleged incident," Phillies president Dave Montgomery said in a statement, "and will not comment phurther until all the phacts are known. However, if true, I will commend the Phanatic for using a 'Ph' in all 'F' words, which supports the team's brand and makes for a phan-phriendly atmosphere."
A source within the team's phront office was willing to comment oph the record: "If it's true, this kid needs to suck it up. The Phanatic used 'Ph' words, no? People love that crap around here."
According to eyewitnesses, the Phanatic was seen taking drinks from a bottle of Phinlandia vodka that he had hidden in his costume throughout the game and became very drunk by the phiphth inning, phalling down several times.
After the phinal out of the eighth inning, the Phanatic tripped and phell into a young boy and then suddenly began berating the child.
"Phuck oph!" the Phanatic yelled. "I will phucking destroy you, you phat phaggot!"
The reactions of those closest to the incident were mixed.
"I was just excited to hear the Phanatic talk," said Doug Mexler, who sat two rows up from the child. "Me and my buddies have had a bet for years about whether or not he can talk. I won phiphty dollars. Which I hope is the same as fifty."
"It was the most ophensive thing I have ever seen," said Linda Grassley, a phriend of Mexler's. "But if it's true that the Phanatic was using the 'Ph' form of the words, well maybe it was awesome. I'm not sure."
The Phanatic was unavailable for comment on the story and was being treated for alcohol poisoning this morning at a Philadelphia-area phree clinic.