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Why I’m a Flyers fan: Hockey as a coping mechanism

To celebrate the new look and feel of our SB Nation communities, we’re sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our favorite teams. If you’d like to do the same, head over to the FanPosts to begin. Each FanPost will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Fanatics gift card [contest rules]. We’re collecting all of the stories here and featuring the best ones from around our network. Come Fan With Us!

I'll be frank and just put it out there: Hockey is how I deal with my personal demons and some of my darkest days. I go through some sort of offseason depression when I'm not able to turn on a hockey game at the end of a bad day.

I was a passionate fan since I was young. I fell in love with the sport fast. As I entered some difficult teenage years, I turned to hockey as a coping mechanism. It gave me something to focus on besides my personal issues. Now being 29, I still turn to hockey. Bad day at work, heartache, etc., I put on a game and the tension eases. I am an intense person and hockey is an intense sport. It just makes sense that I love a sport as fast-paced as my anxiety-ridden brain and as violent as my anger issues.

But why am I a Flyers fan specifically? I wish it was because they've won several Cups, but we know that's not the case. My dad's side of the family is from the Philly area, so naturally I grew up watching the Eagles and Phillies. The Frese's are mostly a football family, so me getting into hockey was a little weird, but my parents were supportive and put on games for me as a kid. It was kind of natural for me to follow another Philly team, but it's also the games that were put on for me. I must mention that I got in to hockey when the Legion of Doom was playing. It was easy to fall in love with those boys, the sport, and the team in general. When I find something I love, I stay dedicated to it, no matter how much it hurts. It's not easy loving this team sometimes, but my loyalty and craziness remains. Screw the Penguins.

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