With the season ending tonight, this seems as good a time as any to write something that I've been meaning to for awhile.
First off, I should say I'm not from Philadelphia. My Dad is, while I was raised in Alabama. But way back in '67, my family decided to check out the new hockey team in town, the Flyers. They eventually wound up loving it so much that the next year they had season tickets right behind the penalty box, in those days you can imagine how ridiculous that got. They were all there when that legendary team won it all in '74. In fact, that's my family in a still that was used in the Broadstreet Bullies documentary a couple years ago.
And there's my Grandmother apparently threatening a Minnesota Northstars player (in the bottom right corner of the picture) as my Grandfather desperately pulls her away from this man. (This is truly, by far the greatest picture I'll ever see in my life).
Anyway, the point is- I grew up idolizing these guys. My grandfather would tell me bedtime stories about the team, line brawls, and cup wins. When we would visit their house, my brother and I would go downstairs in the basement and play with broken sticks that my grandparent's had acquired over the years from guys like Bob Clarke, Bernie Parent, Bill Baber, and Ed Van Impe. I remember my show and tell in grade school being brining my "Full Spectrum" book to class and telling my classmates about how the Flyers were the ONLY NHL team to beat the Soviet Union when they came to play in America in the 70s. I thought that was the coolest thing that had ever happened, my Alabama classmates however, mostly didn't.
So time went by and I grew up, gained interests in other things and mostly lost track of the Flyers. I would pay attention every now and then but they became a side note in my life.
It all changed during that Boston series in '10. I was suddenly right back into it and completely riveted. It was during that Cup run that I found this site and discovered this amazing world where people were as passionate about this team as I used to be. I've been a huge fan of this site ever since and can now no longer miss a game. I can't wait to tell my kids old stories about the Flyers and even the new ones that I can recount personally.
Tonight's loss hurts, and it was sad to see this team go out with a whimper instead of a bang, but it's nice to know that there's a community of people who will be here throughout the entire summer debating over if we should resign that @piece of shit@ Matt Carle, or if G can make a serious run at the Hart next year. It's silly and mostly superfluous because what we say and think has mostly no impact on the game we love. But it matters because that's what family is about and the Flyers will always be part of my family.
Thanks for a great season to the Flyers and Broadstreet Hockey.