You may know Shawny Hill as Dancin’ Shawny or The Dancing Guy. He is currently the In-Arena Host for the Philadelphia Flyers and, as you may have already guess, a huge fan of the Flyers. You can follow him on Twitter or become his fan on Facebook. Today, he gives us the top five reasons he loves the Flyers.
When I was asked for my Top 5 Reasons I love the Flyers, I knew it was going to be nearly impossible. How do I take this indescribable feeling and put into words; more specifically, words that don’t make me sound like a rambling drunk, following every sentence with, “you know what I mean.”
Well this is my best attempt. And well, I’m not sure its even clear writing. If you don’t feel like reading a lot let me sum it up: 1. Every 2. Single 3. Gosh* 4. Damn 5. Thing.
1. The Organization is a Family
The same reason I love my family members is the same reason I love the Flyers. Like any family, not everything is the most flattering, but in the end the core values are what ultimately define the group. The organization listens, responds, supports, reacts, leads, and most importantly, understands that they are a partnership with their fans. It’s give and take. I truly believe their goal is to reward us for our support, through the players, coaches, facilities, amenities, staff, etc. In my personal case, having become closer to the organization that I could have dreamed, it never changed from those core values. This organization is truly unique, and is one of the reasons I will always love the Flyers.
2. The Orange
Every team has a set of colors. In fact, some teams have the same colors. Now I know Flyers Orange may not be an “official” color, but it seems to stand out more than any other color that I’ve ever seen. And I love it! Orange is bold and bright. It can be the most enjoyable of colors and the most intimidating of colors. The color can’t be ignored. It’s absolutely perfect for this organization. Unlike colors like teal and gold, orange is a “different color” but not one purely for shock value. There is a uniqueness to it, and in our case, a bold, brash, WE ARE THE PHILADELPHIA FLYERS statement.
3. 3rd is 1st
This might be hard to understand, but this has become, over the years, one of my favorite reasons that I love the Flyers. You can’t find regular Flyers coverage in the newspaper, on the radio, or on TV. Spring Training and football training camp has annual countdowns, but it just seems Flyers hockey will never get the full attention it deserves. So what happens? It breeds more passionate fans. Let’s face it, to be a hardcore fan of the Philadelphia Flyers, you have to search a bit for news, dig for the extra nugget of information. Yes, there is the Flyers website, and the organization is very transparent compared to other organizations, but when we’ll get opinion after opinion, and story after story, on the Philadelphia Eagles, as a Flyers fan you have that desire for the same level of coverage. The fact that the NHL is also one of the worst marketed sports in America, drives many Flyers fans to TSN and CBC, for hopes that they can get information on the NHL and how it could impact our Flyers. It creates such a clear indicator of the separation between Hardcore fan, great fan, regular fan, and bandwagon fan.
Don’t get me wrong; I am a fan of the other sports. In fact, the Phillies have earned the right to get extra press. (However the Eagles and the NFL are irrationally followed, which has driven me completely away from the sport) And I love during playoff time when the bandwagon is filled and the Flyers take over the city. There’s just something about the fact that while we may be listed “3rd” in the city, true Flyers fans know that we are the number one fan base. Flyers fans work hard for the team that works so hard for us.
4. The sport
I love the Philadelphia Flyers more than any other team because I love the sport of hockey. Hockey is an absolute joy. It’s a unique sport that takes an intelligent person to truly understand. It’s complex and simple at the same time. It’s a blend of graceful and forceful. My original love of hockey came from the fact that players of any size and any skill could compete. The small shifty forward could get cancelled out by big punishing defenseman, but at the same time, a little deception and the result is reversed. While the “new NHL” has changed the sport (and I’ll admit has taken away a bit of the old magic), it still is a league where a team will ALWAYS beat individuals. A sport where heart still makes a difference. In the Philadelphia area, these are qualities we have instilled into us as we grow. From the poorest individuals to the most wealthy, and the dumbest to the smartest, we are driven by hard work and an attitude that will never give up. Hockey is perfect for us and the Philadelphia Flyers play the brand of hockey that makes the sport like no other.
5. The style
What is Phillies baseball? Sixers basketball? Eagles football? There certainly is Flyers Hockey. Granted it’s been tweaked, adjusted, retooled; but there’s always been the core value of Flyers Hockey. Players are “Born to be a Flyer” and really “Play Flyers Hockey”. In fact sometimes players are good, but “don’t fit with Flyers Hockey” while others “thrive when they play Flyers Hockey”. Players are drafted by this organization over others because they could be great Flyers. The term “Flyers Hockey” doesn’t get attached to skill set or accomplishment, but to the essence of a player. Chris Pronger plays Flyers Hockey. Claude Giroux, plays Flyers Hockey, too, but never would Giroux and Pronger ever be deemed similar besides their dedication, toughness, and personal drive. Legends are made from all four lines, three pairings, and two goalies.
You know what I mean.
LET’S GO FLYERS!
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.