The Philadelphia Sports Fan is a fickle character. Full of passion and heart, but prone to wildly unpredictable mood swings and fits of aimless anger. And while the second bit of that description makes us easy targets for the fans of other markets and sports media alike, it’s that first bit that makes us the absolute best.
With the Eagles and Phillies in their respective offseasons and the Sixers doing... well, you know... not great, my fellow PSFs may be wondering where to direct all their sports feelings.
Welcome to the 2020 Philadelphia Flyers bandwagon, friends.
Now you may have forgotten that the Flyers even exist. Easy to do, given that their last five seasons have been the precise kind of boring failures that make every major media outlet ignore them completely. And, if you get most of your Sports News™ from local sports radio or news programs, you may not have heard that this year’s Flyers are good. Not just middle-of-the-pack good. Not skate-to-a-boring-one-goal-win good. We are talking competing for the top of the division good. Big-time star players good. Really fucking FUN good.
We’re pulling up the wagon, fueled by seven straight wins, and we want you on. So, before you join us, here are the five essential things you’ll need to survive as a fan of the Philadelphia Flyers.
A strong sense of fatalism
Did we just tell you about how the Flyers are winning games and having fun and everything is good? We sure did. But if you’re going to be a Flyers fan, you have to know in your heart that the house of cards could come falling down at any moment. In some ways, this is true of all hockey fans — an injury to a key player or a cold streak from your goalie could lead to the complete collapse of your team’s whole season. But Flyers fans do it a little bit better. Did Carter Hart let in a weak goal in the third period of a game that the Flyers are winning 5-2? EVERYTHING IS BAD AND WE’RE ALL DYING. It’s something that has been ingrained into our very beings over the course of a fandom that has almost always seen a team be good, but just not good enough; always letting us down at the very end.
The ability to get over it
So all of those things above? To be a Flyers fan is to have your heart broken and forget about it ten minutes later. I know, I know... that sounds hard. But this year’s team is making it easy for you. They’re having such a good time out there that even when things go bad, you move on to the next shift or period or game pretty quickly. You’ll hone this skill over the course of your first few games on the bandwagon, and then you can apply it to your everyday life! Soon you’ll have zero fucks to give about any of the stressors in your life. You’ll be happier, chiller, your friends and family will love you more, your teenaged children will stop telling you they hate you, the cat will stop peeing in the corner of the living room — being a hockey fan improves everything!
Some orange stuff to place on your body
Flyers fans like to think of ourselves as a tribe. You’re walking down Chestnut Street on a sunny March day and you see a fellow fan in a Gritty sweatshirt. They see your Flyers hat. You share a knowing look, exchange a friendly nod, and there, without words, a connection is made with your fellow man. Everyone is an Eagles fan. Being a Flyers fan is something special, so you want to show it off. So everyone knows how cool you are.
Acceptance of Gritty into your heart
If you do not accept Gritty into your heart, he will find you. Gritty is your god now. Just allow it to happen, you’ll thank us later.
A sense of humor
The very best thing about this year’s team is that it is, at its core, a bunch of dudes being pals and having fun out there on the ice. Travis Konecny is going to call someone a nerd.
Kevin Hayes is going to tell everyone he sucks before scoring yet another short-handed goal. We told you that this team is fun and we meant it. Look at these guys. Legends. Having a blast out there.
As a Flyers fan you’ll have to deal a lot with no one respecting your team. They were bad for a long time and are just now clawing their way back to relevance. But you’ll be able to laugh it off when Mike Milbury discounts the skills of Sean Couturier. Or when the NHL releases a list of top centers in the league that doesn’t include Claude Giroux. “Fools,” you’ll say with a chuckle, taking a sip of your cold bev. And then you’ll laugh even harder the next time you see Travis Konecny undress an opposition’s defense, score a highlight-reel goal, and then chirp the hell out of everyone on the ice.
Jumping onto a bandwagon can be scary. You’re the new kid, you don’t know all the stuff, people may think less of you for not riding all along — but not us, fam. We want this whole damn city decked in orange, sharing cold ones, and cheering the best Philadelphia Flyers team in over a decade together. So get in, losers. We’re going to the playoffs.