If you've been following the Padres since the opening of Petco Park in 2004, then you probably know about the secret acrostic message written by PETA on a commemorative brick in Palm Plaza.
PETA was upset that the Padres sold the naming rights of their new ballpark to PETCO, a company they believe has caused needless animal deaths. In order to gain some publicity for themselves... and to a lesser extent bring their message to the masses they purchased a small brick with a message on it.
The message reads, "Break Open Your Cold Ones! Toast The Padres! Enjoy This Championship Organization!" The first letter of every word spells "BOYCOTT PETCO."
But that's not what the brick actually says. You can see in the picture above that the brick really reads:
BREAK OPEN YOUR
There is no punctuation and it says "champion" instead of "championship". This may be the Miller-Coors products talking, but that's a pretty good secret by itself, but there is more!
Did you know that this wasn't the first message that PETA attempted to place on a brick? Do you know the secret of the two previous messages? No? Then behold the first failed message attempt.
"In memory of all the animals that suffered and died in PETCO stores nationwide"
PETA's PETCO coordinator told snopes.com that the first message was rejected. So they made another attempt that simply said:
It too was rejected!
Finally they settled on the acrostic coded message and it passed through the Padres censors with ease. You would have thought that the censors would have known something was afoot when they called the Padres a championship organization. Only a bunch of PETA people who don't follow baseball would write that.
Even when the Padres found out about the coded message they didn't care. Most people would never read it because it was placed in a sea of other bricks and no one would take the time to decode it. PETA did get it's publicity though by bringing their secret to light by contacting ESPN and thus won the secret battle, but not the secret war.