Somehow, the owners of a soccer team in Germany have dreamed up a revenue stream that has eluded the owners of Philadelphia's sports teams. The German soccer club Hamburger SV, in the Bundesliga, has opened a cemetery within view of its stadium. The entrance to the cemetery, which is actually part of a bigger cemetery, will be marked by a concrete soccer goal. There will be room for 500 graves. They say the first funeral will take place within days.
It all makes you wonder about how that might work here. In truth, The Idle Rich has obtained a copy of top-secret plans being put together by the four local teams for just such a cemetery here. It would be placed in a corner of the old Vet parking lot, back where the Eagles used to have their practice bubble; seemed appropriate. The plans cannot be finalized, though, until the courts have ruled on a legal question raised by Flyers and Sixers chairman Ed Snider. The issue: when he built the Wachovia Center, Snider was given no money for construction by the city but was awarded the parking rights to all of the surrounding areas. And, as his attorney argued in the legal brief, "We view burial as long-term parking."
Once that question is resolved, the teams can begin. Prices have yet to be determined but a list of services has been compiled. They include:
Casket in traditional team colors. For the Eagles, kelly green would involve an extra charge, as would that yellow they wore last season against Detroit. Urns also would be available for cremation.
The deceased could be dressed in a team uniform, if desired. (For Eagles fans, only single-bar face masks allowed because of casket space limitations.) After much discussion, it seemed that the "away" jerseys make the most sense, but that is negotiable. The Flyers are currently investigating if they can find someone to make the uniform with the long black pants that they sometimes wore in the '80s, depending upon consumer demand.
Grave sites could be covered by grass from the appropriate stadium, hardwood, a replica ice surface, or a piece of artificial turf from the Vet. For Eagles fans, Vet turf would include a seam. Phillies fans would have the option of a piece of turf stained by tobacco juice from when Lenny Dykstra played centerfield (while supplies last).
Grave markers, again in team motifs, would be customized to contain the phrase, "Xxxx years, only xxxx championships."
The Eagles' pep band would be available for an additional fee. They have updated the Eagles' fight song for the occasion. The opening lines: "Bye, Eagles, bye...On the road to destiny..."
The Delta Dental Ice Team would shoot specially-personalized T-shirts into the crowd of mourners, if desired.
Dave Spadaro is available to host a live webcast of the service on philadelphiaeagles.com.
Before burial, HipHop can perform a trampoline jump over the grave site.
The Phanatic, dressed appropriately in a black suit and shoes, would be available either as a silent attendee of the service or a pall bearer. (A mourning Mrs. Phanatic would be extra, as would an entrance on his vehicle.)
Finally, the service would conclude with a recording of Harry Kalas. The script would be personalized for the deceased but would include the words "outta here."