Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Broad Street Bullies, The Philadelphia Flyers

It is the most unusual of cities in the United States. -The City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia.

Home of the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Rocky Balboa, The Philly Cheese steak made famous by popular icons like Pat's and Geno's who specialize in selling them to you.

It's history is entrenched in The Revolutionary War of Independence from the world's then-most powerful nation, Great Britain. It's most famous citizen include the legendary spokesman, inventor, scientist, diplomat, politician, and the first Postmaster General, Benjamin Franklin.

Philly is a renowned Sports Town. So if you think you live in a Sports town greater than Philly, think again. There is not a city around that can boast the fans that all 4 Professional Sports in North America carry in South Philly. The 76'ers of Basketball, The Phillies of Baseball, The Flyers of Hockey and the most beloved Eagles of American Football are as much as a part of the culture in Philly as the rich history you grew up learning in your history books about Philadelphia.

And tough? Please, just the nickname of the Flyers being the Broad Street Bullies will give you an indication of what Philly is like. If you are a talented team coming to Philly, I sure hope that you are mentally tough, because you are about to get abused by their fans. I would think it is the most intimidating place to play if you are the opposition. Why do I say this? -Because Philadelphia is the only place in the world that I know of where they actually throw Snowballs and Boo Santa Claus.

Now that's a tough crowd...

I grew up watching the Broad Street Bullies in the 70's. Bobby Clarke, Reggie Leach, Bill Barber, Bernie Parent, and enforcers Dave "The Hammer" Schultz, and Bob "Hound" Kelly. They were legendary. I am almost positive that the movie "Slap Shot" was made by some writer who followed that Flyers team of the mid to late 70's; Winning the Holy Grail of Hockey, The Stanley Cup in back to back years in '74 and '75. This team not only showed that they were the toughest team in the league, but that they were the greatest team in the league as well. Character wins, and these teams had oooodles of it.

But as Father Time has it, nothing is etched in stone. The Flyers went on to many more appearances of The Stanley Cup Finals, only to lose each one, time again. But The Flyer fan base never waivered in supporting their team. In re-building years, the Philly faithful would rather see their team be tough and lose, than be wimpy and win. People ask why is Philadelphia is always a goonish team? The answer is because Philadelphia wouldn't tolerate it any other way. The citizens of Philly own these teams, the players just simply play ON it.

Each day this week, I will post a Flyer story for you until the opening day of The Stanley Cup on Saturday, just to get you in the mood!! Funny, heart warming, and inspirational. There will be all of these to read. Even if you are not a Flyers Fan, I promise you that they will be great stories, that is, if you are interested in the Human Spirit.

So come along with me and hear my stories, and if you like them, pass them on. That's how folk lore gets started!!

-After all, this is The Stanley Cup Playoffs!!

Go Flyers!!

1 comment:

  1. I became a fan of the Flyers after the 1987 stanley cup finals because of one man..Ron Hextall. As a young lad, I thought this guy was the coolest guy ever. He would take his goal stick and whack the goalposts like a barber waxing his razor before a close shave, his antics and the fact that he was a fantastic goalie who did not take guff from anyone. I know the infamous hack job on Kent Nilsson but my most vivid memory was him attacking Chris Chelios in the 1988 playoffs vs. Montreal after Chelios viciously elbowed Propp in the head. Hextall charged Chelios and drove chelios into t he ice at the Spectrum. In addition, he was the first NHL goalie to record a goal in the regular season and playoffs. There was no other goalie who had Hextall temperment and talent.


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