So I’m checking in from Maxi’s, which is the little student bar on campus here at Temple University. I feel like a real college student: watching the Flyers and having some beers while pretending to study the material on the table in front of me for my three finals tomorrow.
And I just watched Brian Boucher get trampled in his crease, leading to the 45th goalie switch of the season for the local hockey team. However, I didn’t realize Michael Leighton was available again, so maybe this will have a fairy tale ending. Journeyman goalie returns from injury to lead a team back from impossible deficit and all the way to a Stanley Cup?
Since the Flyboys are front and center and playing for their playoff lives, I suppose I’ll start with them. Since this is the beginning of my blogging career, I guess I should share my attitudes towards the teams to help understand my mindset. Hockey is my fourth sport and it’s not even close; I never played the sport and, like most Americans, only find it marginally interesting in comparison with the Big Three (football, baseball, basketball). That being said, I do live in an area that is one of the few true hotbeds in this country for hockey, root for the Flyers like a true homer, and truly enjoy playoff hockey for the intensity the regular season variety lacks. Also, because of my wealth of useless sports knowledge, I could tell you what team a bunch of foreign guys, whose names most people can’t pronounce, play for and whether they are good or not. By the way, Flyers 2-0, get on it now bloodsuckers…er, Disney before it’s a hot commodity.
Anyway, despite the fact that I root for the Flyers loyally, I have not and would never describe myself as a Flyers “fan”. Quite frankly, to the rest of us sports fans that aren’t puckheads in this city, it’s a bad association. Flyers fans are whiners. Whatever it may be: “The refs screwed us”, “the coach didn’t change lines fast enough”, “the ice was choppy”, Flyers fans are constantly making excuses or whining about one thing or another. My favorite is their constant whining about management and their “lack of commitment to winning” a Cup. Memo to the most spoiled fan base in the city: You root for a team that earns 100 points annually, are almost always considered contenders, are one of the few hockey franchises that had to be reigned in from spending money by the salary cap, and have an owner that is so preoccupied with his hockey team, that I’m not sure he knows where the other team he owns plays its games (hint, it’s the same building Ed). 3-0 Flyers… Michael Eisner just called Micheal Leighton’s agent.
Anyway, I would just like to offer a small piece of advice to the hockey diehards from us other loyal Philadelphia sports enthusiasts. Sometimes the other team is just better. Sometimes, maybe they just play better. Either way, the rest of us long suffering diehards of the other franchises don’t need to hear how awful it is to be a Flyers fan. Yes, the Phillies have taken the lid off the whole championship curse and are nightly sellouts. But the Eagles are going on year 50 without a title and the Sixers would just like to field a team that might be relevant enough to fill half their building. Yes I know it’s been a long time for you too, but please, look at the bigger picture and give it a rest every once in a while.
As for the series, the ironic bit about this little anti-Flyer fan blog is that I am the only person I know that honestly believes they can come back and win this series, and that was before tonight’s postive showing after two periods. I think the two teams are as evenly matched as can be, which has been reflected by nearly every game being decided by one goal with the exception being Game 3, when the Flyers actually dominated the play if not the scoreboard (hockey is so goofy that way). I think the Flyers have just gotten a bit unlucky and ended up on the wrong side of some close games, and are more than capable of winning a few of those games themselves (I sound like the Flyers fans I just lectured, making excuses). In fact, tonight’s game has been the first one to be a complete blowout, and I fully expect the Flyers faithful to rock the building and carry the boys to a Game 7 . At least I hope that’s the case, because that Game 3, nervous, sitting on our hands, waiting for the sky to fall crowd was embarassing to all Philly sports fans. However, despite my misgivings about them, Flyers fans are a loyal and rowdy bunch, so I have faith they will rebound appropriately. As we know in all sports, anything can happen in a Game 7, so I repeat the question: Why not?
I say let’s give Beantown the reality check they so desparately need. Enjoy the third period and what the hell? Let’s Go Flyers!