Hi everyone! I am The Mighty Tim your friendly Flyers fan from across the pond. For those who don’t know me, I am a British Flyers fan, but I used to live in South Jersey which is how I came across the team. I have been a supporter of the team for as long as I can remember! Recently, I was asked to provide 5 reasons why I love the Flyers, and so for your reading pleasure, I have provided them for you. Enjoy!
1. The Fans
Great fans make great hockey and a great experience, and great fans are what the Flyers have in abundance. If you are a player, you will know that they will support you when you’re doing good, but woe betide you if you are not performing up to scratch! Despite the reputation, Flyers fans are actually some of the nicest people I have ever encountered, and I am proud to count myself among them. Plus, Flyers fans were given the title “Most Intimidating Fans in the NHL”, and therefore this is the first (and probably only) time I have ever been referred to as “intimidating”!
2. The Experience
This one is more to do with why I like North American sports as a whole, rather than strictly to do with the Flyers. When you go to a game in the US, be it hockey, baseball or whatever the experience you get is vastly different to the experience you get when you go to a game over here. I recently made a trip over to Philadelphia to watch some Flyers games, and the differences really surprised me. It’s more of an event in the States. I could write a whole article about how things are different, but suffice it to say, you guys are much more fun at your games. Once, I went to a hockey game over here. I was cheering on my local team, and got an evil look from another spectator because I was making too much noise.
3. I can watch the games
This is going to sound like a crappy, pathetic and weak reason for loving the Flyers, but as they are an East Coast team, me and my fellow European fans can watch or listen to their games live a lot more easier than a West Coast team. Being able to see the team in action means I can get behind the team more, and when I read threads on various forums about “player X not performing”, I can see for myself. A normal evening game for the Flyers starts at midnight, and the combined effort of caffiene and snacks keeps me going until the finish just before 3am. Additionally, the popularity of the Flyers means that more games are televised here, so I can watch more as opposed to just listening. Watching games is a helluva lot more fun than just reading the match reports the following day.
4. The Team
There’s something about Flyers hockey that makes it compelling viewing. I don’t know what it is, but it’s there. Maybe it’s the Broad Street Bullies influenced physical side of the team. Or maybe it’s the fact the team consistently performs at a high level, whilst other teams go through phases of good and bad (assuming we ignore the disasterous 200607 season, of course!). And even though every year it seems they come tantalisingly close to hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup only for it to remain out of reach once again, I always find myself counting the days until October as I take the razor to my playoff beard.
5. The History
The Flyers have a lot of history, and that’s another reason why I love them. Unfortunately, I was not around during the Stanley Cup era and the time of the Broad Street Bullies and in some ways I wish I was. Even now, hearing names such as Ron Hextall, Brian Propp, Brad Marsh, Doug Crossman, Mark Howe, Dave Poulin and so on brings back memories of the carefree days of my youth, as I’m sure that for the young kids of today, hearing illustrious names such as Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Daniel Briere, Chris Pronger, Kimmo Timonen and so on some twentyfive years from now will bring back similar memories. The team may not have the rich history of an Original Six team, but it is just as interesting.
The Five Reasons to Love the Flyers feature was inspired by the Five Reasons I Love Hockey feature on the Puck Daddy blog. This column should run biweekly on Thursdays. If you are a diehard Flyers fan and would like to submit your list of reasons to love the Flyers, contact us.