While most Philadelphians took the usual souvenirs like t-shirts and coffee mugs from the Phillies' World Series win, Ted Passon got something else entirely — his car was flipped and totaled on Broad Street during the postgame celebrations.
Because he couldn't afford an insurance policy that covered vandalism, it appeared as if Philadelphia's first sports title in 25 years might be a costly one for the videographer. But Passon quickly had a plan, launching Philly Fix My Car, a website soliciting donations to help him recover from a night of "fun." So far the campaign has been successful, earning television coverage and raising almost enough from kind-hearted Philadelphians to put Passon in a new set of wheels. Better yet, if he raises more money than necessary, he plans to divert the money to other Philadelphians who had their lives — or at least their cars — turned upside down.
I contacted Passon via email and asked him a few questions about what it's like to be on one of the only losing ends when your team wins a championship:
Big League Stew: First off — out of a strong personal curiosity — exactly what comes out of someone's mouth when they see their car demolished and flipped over in the middle of the street?
Ted Passon: A loud exhale sound.
BLS: That's it?
Ted Passon:I think lots of people have kind of an antagonistic relationship with their car — that's kind of how me and my car got along. It seemed like my car always knew the worst time to need money from me and when I saw it flipped I just thought of it as just another move in the game of me and my car. Just like the final checkmate. I didn't get mad, though. I just got to work trying to figure out how the hell to handle it.
BLS: What were the circumstances that led to you leaving your car on Broad Street? Where were you when the car was getting flipped?
Ted Passon: I live two doors down from Broad on Ellsworth Street. I park there every day. I parked there the day before the last game and had hadn't driven it since and wasn't thinking about it. My mind was focused on work and I didn't even get to watch the game. After it was over and everyone was partying on Broad Street I walked over and reveled in the joy of the win for a minute before being whisked away by a bunch of friends who were going to party farther south. I went with them and hung out for a while. I was down at Broad and Shunk when things started getting a little more rowdy and suddenly there were riot police. As soon as I saw the riot gear it dawned on me, "Oh my God! I think I left my car on Broad!" I started walking back to Ellsworth and Broad with my buddy Nick. We ran into some friends outside the Dolphin and they were like "Dude! This car got flipped! It was crazy!" Nick was like "Wouldn't it be funny if it was yours?" We walked back to Ellsworth and saw lots of unflipped cars on the way and the ONE flipped car (in South Philly) was my car.
BLS: How much money have you raised so far? What kind of car do you plan on buying? What will you do with any leftover cash?
Ted Passon: So far we're at $3,200, which is amazing!! The best offer I could find so far was a 2001 Saturn that seems like a good deal but I'm going to check it out this coming weekend. If there's any money left over I've already committed to giving it to Erika Miliaresis. Her car was parked on Walnut near Broad that night and was flipped (it was the red car on Youtube). Her insurance won't cover it either. She's a school teacher who just had to take a leave from school for a knee surgery.
BLS: What has the response from the public been like? Has this whole episode made you feel better or worse about Philadelphia?
Ted Passon: The response from the public has been huge and humbling. It's not a fun thing to get attention for and I'll be really happy when it's over but it's really affirming to see everyone's generosity. I've always loved Philly and this just reaffirms the optimism that I already had about this city and it's people.
BLS: Are you still a Phillies fan?
Ted Passon: I'm a total fairweather sports fan. I think the last time I knew a Phillies player's name was John Kruk, and only because of his uni-ball. I never follow sports unless a Philly team is winning big. I'm just a fan of Philly. I like it when everyone in Philly gets really psyched. My favorite time in living here was when the Sixers were in the playoffs in 2001. The attitude of the whole city changes and people get happy and are kinder and happier and that's what I'm excited about. So to answer your question... yes!