The recent flash mob attacks around Center City Philadelphia understandably get under people's skin. It's understandable that any mention of the word "mob" will frighten people a bit.
But today's reported "mob" of Flyers fans that plan to follow the Blackhawks bus from their hotel to Wachovia Center prior to Game 4 shouldn't really be considered a threat.
From the Facebook page of the "Orange and Black Bike Mob!":
We will show the Blackhawks that this isn't Nashville or San Jose they're playing. This is PHILADELPHIA! The FLYERS are OUR TEAM in OUR TOWN playing for OUR CUP!
We will meet at 5pm on Friday at the corner of 19th and the Benjamin Frankin Parkway in Logan Circle on our bikes, wearing orange. The Blackhawks bus is scheduled to leave the Four Seasons Hotel at around 5:25 at which point, we'll follow the bus on our bikes, and escort it down to the Wachovia Center in a sea of orange. Everywhere they look, they will see Flyers fans on bikes reminding them of how great it's going to be when they CHOKE! GO FLYERS!!!
IT'S VERY IMPORTANT THAT WE DO THIS IN A WAY THAT'S PEACEFUL AND RESPECTFUL TO THE DRIVERS OF THE BUSSES AND EMPLOYEES OF THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL. WE DON'T WANT TO TAKE AWAY FROM THE LOCAL BUSINESSES THAT ARE SERVING THE TEAM AND WE DON'T WANT TO CAUSE ANY PROBLEMS WITH POLICE. WHILE WE WILL RIDE ALONG WITH THE BUS IN TRAFFIC, WE WON'T MAKE PHYSICAL CONTACT WITH, IMPEED OR BLOCK IT FROM GETTING TO WHERE IT NEEDS TO GO. WE'RE JUST DOING THIS TO MAKE OURSELVES VISIBLE AND PSYCH OUT THE HAWKS WITH THE SHEER NUMBER AND PASSION OF OUR FANBASE. DON'T BE AN IDIOT!
Note the giant message of warning not to act out of line. The creators of this idea simply want to show the Blackhawks that Flyers fans support their team by displaying strength in numbers. But apparently, that's not going to work out so well. As of this writing, only 14 people have confirmed attendance, while 28 have responded that they might attend. 70 people, meanwhile, declined attendance.
This mob isn't so mobby. It sounds more like a couple of dudes trying to catch a bus that travels faster down Broad Street than they can possibly pedal. The rather benign nature of this thing didn't stop it from getting negative press, however.
FOX 29 first picked up the story, simply reporting it as fans planning "to follow the bus to the Wachovia Center, using their bicycles." No harm done there.
The Daily News then followed up, however, and they took the event a bit more seriously.
The Flyers, Blackhawks and Philadelphia Police are prepared for the worst.
But they’re hoping it doesn’t come to that.
FOX 29 reported a notice brewing on Facebook and Twitter today about Flyers fans preparing for a flash mob this afternoon in Center City to attack the Blackhawks’ bus as it leaves for the Wachovia Center.
The group allegedly plans to arrive at the Four Seasons, at Logan Square on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, to cause havoc. A group of bikers – though it was not clear whether bicyclists or motorcyclers would take part – are to follow Chicago’s bus on its route to South Philadelphia.
The Flyers will not comment on the issue, other than to say that the Blackhawks’ bus will have a full police escort to the arena.
Similarly, the Philadelphia Police have acknowledged the threat but will not comment on specific deterrents, as per department policy. They are prepared to take action.
I'm not sure where the overreaction came from, but in any event, this "mob" looks to be a little idea by friends without much steam behind it. It's not a concern.
If you happen to be in or near Logan Square at 5:25ish, let us know if anything goes down. We won't be waiting by the inbox.