Hello, dear Broad Street Hockey readers! My name is Joe DeMarini (yes, there are two new Joes), and I’ve been brought on as a game coverage writer for the site–mostly to spare my poor friends, family, and anyone I can corner in a bar from my crazed ravings about our beloved Philadelphia Flyers. There’s only so many times one can start a conversation with, “How ‘bout those Flyers? Man, they suck, but here’s how I could fix it,” before people tune you out completely.
Compared to others, I think I’m a relative newcomer to the Flyers fandom and hockey in general. I grew up in the Philly suburbs so the team was always in my periphery, but I was never really a “sports guy.” The most I knew about hockey was that everybody hated the Flyers, plus whatever I could glean watching my freshmen floormates at Pitt play NHL ‘09. One of those guys was a rabid San Jose Sharks fan, and he coined several gems my family still says to this day: “Sharks hockey is losing hockey. Russian goalies are made of Swiss cheese. Here comes big DAANNNN BOOOYLE!”
But yes, Pitt. As in University of Pittsburgh. It’s true: I was surrounded by Penguins fans from 2009 to 2013 as the team was taking off, and that was no place to develop a love of the Flyers. After graduating with an English writing degree, I immediately moved out of the country–first to South Korea for two years, then Australia for one, and finally Singapore for three. With those time differences, there was no way I was investing my energy in American sports of any kind.
When I moved back to the Philly area in December of 2019, Flyers hockey was one of the things my family–especially my brother, a huge Travis Konecny fan–liked to watch, and I jumped on the bandwagon and never got off. They were on a hot streak! They were gonna win the Cup in 2020! Nothing could possibly stop this ascendant team!
Unfortunately, things didn’t work out for the Flyers that year (or anyone, really), but I was hooked: my trivia team’s name has been “Fire (name omitted)” for the past several months, and my bowling league team is the Broad Street Bowlies–we even have shirts! The downside is that I’ve only really known the Flyers as a miserable team…but on the brightside, the only way they can go is up! Right? Right?! At least I’ll be able to say I bought low on the team…like, at the lowest they’ve ever been, and somehow they’re still a team I want to write about. Plus, it gives purpose to the pain of perpetual mediocrity, and will make things all the sweeter
if when they’re competitive again. For now though, it seems Flyers hockey is, like the Sharks of yore, losing hockey.
If people are still using Twitter I have one that, per my bio, “I mostly use to yell about hockey.” It’s @jfdemarini, so feel free to give me a follow while the platform’s still operating. I don’t post many hot takes on the team considering how ice cold they’ve made me feel lately, but sometimes I’ll tweet about Yu-Gi-Oh! (nerd alert) or music.
Very excited to be a part of BSH, and I suppose I will end with one hot take/prediction: the Flyers are going to the playoffs in 2024-25, and are going to win a round the following season with a series clinching goal by Joel Farabee. Make it happen, Flyers.