If Ray scores, we riot.
At its core, this statement couldn’t be more Philly as we love the underdog and Philly fans have got a rep for, shall we say, over-exuberant celebrations.
The phrase was made popular on social media by Kevin Casey, the PA announcer for the Philadelphia Union.
We need a @PhilaUnion “If Ray Scores We Riot!!” T-shirt. Let’s get this thing retweeted and convince @VetShirtium to print one. Check out some of their stuff at https://t.co/oy5js5akGp @SonsofBen #DOOP— Kevin Casey (@kcasey395) May 30, 2019
Casey had been trying to get Joe Pekula, owner of Veterans Shirtium, to make some soccer inspired t-shirts for a while now.
“He put the pressure on when he brought that to the public on Twitter. Up for a little fun, I wanted to see how the public would perceive his bid for the ‘Ray’ tees,” said Pekula.
Thanks to @kcasey395, the Philadelphia Union fans have been heard loud and clear! Ray shirts are coming!— Veterans Shirtium (@VetShirtium) June 1, 2019
We're keeping our promise - "When Ray Scores - We Riot!" tees are up now at https://t.co/VMh2r56nwI! #DOOP pic.twitter.com/JMS18b3q1H
The t-shirt is beautiful, a navy shirt with a gold Union snake in the background and the bold white letters, WHEN RAY SCORES WE RIOT. (You can place your order here.)
Pekula said that the reaction from Union fans surpassed his expectations with preorders being one of the company’s largest ever.
“I’ve had Philly tees featured on ESPN.com and SportsIllustrated.com that had great feedback. However, the Union faithful surpassed all of that,” said Pekula.
But why this focus on Ray Gaddis?
Playing for the Union since 2012, Gaddis is one of Philadelphia’s longest-tenured athletes. Claude Giroux (Flyers, 2007) and Jason Peters (Eagles, 2009) lead their respective teams with service. We love guys that stick around, guys that punch the clock day in and day out. Gaddis has put in shifts and is the Union’s all-time leader with 190 games played.
Historically, Union defenders don’t score. With over 4,000 game appearances and 100,000-plus minutes played, Union defenders have only scored 32 goals. And every Union defender who has made over 60 appearances has scored at least one goal in their professional career.
Everyone except Ray Gaddis.
Gaddis doesn’t score. At all. With over 15,000 minutes played for the Union, another all-time team record, Gaddis has not scored one goal. Even in his college career at West Virginia, where he played 73 games, Gaddis never scored. A defender’s defender, if you will.
That’s okay because in Philadelphia we love the underdog.
And we’re ready to riot.