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Foul fowl mural plucked before Padres, Phillies NLCS game

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Jacob Aere
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KPBS
The controversial San Diego Chicken and Phillies Phanatic mural painted over outside Tivoli Bar and Grill. San Diego, Calif. Oct. 18, 2022.

Just as quickly as a chicken mural in downtown San Diego stirred up controversy, it’s painted over.

The mural showed the “Famous San Diego Chicken” kicking down the Phillies’ mascot, the Phillie Phanatic. The Chicken originated in 1974 as a radio station mascot but over the years became an iconic sports personality.

The mural was painted on the wall outside Tivoli Bar and Grill by Ground Floor Murals. Tivoli office general manager Jessica McPartlin said the mural was taken down Tuesday, after it had been finished late afternoon Monday.

“At first it was just going to be the Phillies mascot, but then they got word that they had to take down the chicken as well,” McPartlin said.

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Courtesy of Twitter user @pablosandiego22
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Twitter
The Famous San Diego Chicken mural on the wall near Tivoli Bar and Grill in San Diego, Calif. Oct. 18, 2022.

The mural brought out superstitions among fans. Users sounded off on Ground Floor Murals’ Instagram profile. “Not only is this bad karma but this is ridiculously arrogant and that stuff comes full circle in baseball of all sports,” someone wrote. “Great piece, I love (your) work. Only problem for us fans who believe in superstitions, the timing is terrible!” someone else said.

“We wanted it to stay up, the building owner wanted it to stay up, the people who commissioned it wanted it to stay up, but someone else made the final call,” Paul Jimenez of Ground Floor Murals said. “Nowadays Twitter will reign supreme and if you can’t take the comments, you have to do what you have to do to save face.”

Jimenez wouldn’t say who ordered the mural to be painted over but he said Ground Floor plans on painting the Chicken again soon.

“Our intentions were of course to instill San Diego pride,” Jimenez said. “Our intentions were never to jinx or mess with the juju of San Diego. We were a bit misunderstood.”

Ground Floor Murals was sponsored by the Downtown San Diego Partnership and the owner of the building to paint the chicken mural. Other Padres-related murals by Ground Floor include a portrait of the “San Diego goose” and Padres player Jorge Alfaro.

“I was honestly hoping to just see Tony Gwynn's face up there. But hey, they went with the chicken and unfortunately didn't last too long,” McPartlin said. “We're just proud to be here supporting our Padres in any way that we can. So chicken or no chicken, we're ready for (Tuesday’s) game.”

  • The Phillies clinched the National League Championship Series and ended the Padres’ World Series dreams, at least for this year. Because for Padres fans — the people who nearly rocked Petco Park off its foundation last week — and the millions of others who felt united in celebrating the home team's victories, there is always next year.

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