Me, My Dad, and The Flyers

In a season of bad and weird things happening, I remembered one of the worst Flyers seasons in recent memory, and how I spent it with my Dad.

I don’t often write about sports, other than my own opinion on things. I like looking at the stats, interpreting them, and trying to see the game within the game, but there are people better than I to analyze those facets. However, one thing I can write about proficiently is what sports mean to me, and how they’ve changed me. In particular, the relationship with my dad, and my beloved Flyers.

My dad was 13 when the Flyers first became a franchise in 1967, and was a season ticket holder throughout the glory days, and up until the 80s. He was even part of the contingent that stormed the ice when they won their first cup, (supposedly saving my aunt from falling, though stories differ) and was more than eager to pass down his passion to me.

To preface, my parents divorced when I was a little kid, and when I moved to the DC area from Philly, I stayed with my dad during the week, went to my mom’s on the weekends, all while my brother was a sophomore at a boarding school. So, throughout the week, it was just me and dad. This was in the mid aughts, when DVR was just becoming a thing, and out-of-market sports packages were just coming onto the scene. I was 12 going on 13 when I first started getting into sports, and made a deal with my dad: if I made all A’s my first quarter of school, he’d get a DVR and the NHL Center Ice package so we could watch all the Flyers’ games together. Sure enough I followed through, and so did he. What we didn’t know about the 2006-2007 season was just how God-awful the Flyers would be that year.

They would go 22-48-12, and to put even more salt in the wound, they missed on the draft lottery, and subsequently Patrick Kane. That season, my dad and I watched every single game, gritting our teeth, but finding enjoyment in watching hockey together. To make matters worse, due to Comcast’s restrictions or something, we only got the other team’s announcers, never the dulcet tones of Jim Jackson. Laughing through it all and embracing the suck, the two of us nightly enjoyed sitting down and wallowing in the misery, but it wasn’t so much about the hockey. That was the season I learned the game, and saw how much passion my dad had. Enjoying the few wins, and the occasional TV remote thrown across the room. The Flyers took away some pride, but they couldn’t take away the time spent together.

The next season was much better, resulting in the Flyers losing in the Eastern Conference semis, but it was the last full season I watched every game with my dad. I went on to the same boarding school as my brother, and he moved back up to Pennsylvania with his girlfriend.To this day, we still recap each game in the morning, and he’s even getting into the advanced stats! Whether or not my straight A’s in 7th grade actually spurred him to get the NHL package, or if he planned it all along, it was that abysmal Flyers season that brought us together. How fitting.

Stemming from his early introduction into hockey when the Flyers came into existence, my dad has seen it all, and I’ve only shared a fraction of it. We talked after the Stanley Cup loss in 2010, and have continually expressed frustration at this season, but we’re keeping in touch nonetheless. Growing up as a kid of divorced parents, you never know how things will turn out with your relationship to each parent. You may take the blame, you may favor one parent over the other, or any of the psychological events that can occur from such a situation. I’m glad I got to share those seasons with my dad, and we’re better for it. He’s expressed excitement for the future of the franchise, considering all the young talent, and I can’t wait for the moments we can share down the road

This item was written by a member of this community and is not necessarily endorsed by <em>Broad Street Hockey</em>.