Matthew Brigidi is a dedicated fan of the Flyers and a season ticket holder in section 223. He writes for The Checking Line and you can follow him on Twitter. Below, he gives us the top reasons he loves the Flyers.
5. The Legion of Doom
I was born in 1988, so by the time I was old enough to comprehend the names of players, John LeClair, Eric Lindros and Mikael Renberg had come together as the Legion of Doom. As an eight-year-old in 1996 I didn’t understand that this was a new thing; I had thought that the three players had spent their whole careers together. I reveled in the thought that we had this unstoppable trio that had this comradeship that had spanned years of dominance.
The Legion of Doom was easy to attach to. I still to this day have the figurines that I got for Christmas that year and no matter where they stand (currently on my desk at home) Lindros is always in the middle with Renberg to his right and LeClair to his left.
4. 1997 Stanley Cup Final
There is no doubt in my mind that the ’97 Final helped cement this team as my own. I vividly remember watching the Flyers defeat the Rangers (who at the time were wearing their newly created Lady Liberty third sweaters) in the Eastern Conference Final while I was at my grandma’s house. I was running around, jumping around and screaming at the top of my lungs.
I remember Game 1 like it was yesterday. We had gone to KFC for dinner and my dad had ordered hot wings. Before the game started I decided to make a sign that said, “Honk for the Flyers to win!” and walked outside my house and stood by the street waiting for cars to drive by. Mind you, I lived in an isolated suburban development with very low traffic volumes. But be that as it may, my neighbors were good sports and honked for me. I hated hot wings, but I thought that, that’s what the Red Wings were named after (because they were red and were wings) and took one outside to simulate what the Flyers were going to do to Detroit.
Unfortunately, my enthusiasm didn’t do much to help with that series.
3. John LeClair
I don’t fully understand why, but I glommed to John LeClair like no other player that has ever worn a Flyers jersey. For whatever reason I have always liked players who I perceived to be hard workers but who didn’t receive a lot of credit.
At the time, before all the bad blood occurred between his family and Clarke, it seemed like every body’s favorite player was Lindros. While I understood how good Lindros was, I really appreciated the skill with which LeClair played. I obviously wasn’t the only person to recognize the talent level of LeClair but to me too many people had Lindros jerseys and I wanted to show my support to number 10.
Up until Christmas of 2000, my parents had only bought me a home and away jersey with no name or number on the back. But for that Christmas they finally let me get a jersey with a name and I of course choose LeClair. Up until two seasons ago when I bought a Giroux jersey, it was the only jersey I had ever purchased with a name on it.
2. December 17, 1995
The first game I ever went to was in 1995 when the Flyers played the Penguins at the Spectrum. I was only seven years old at the time and I only remember a few things about the game.
I remember the Penguins jerseys — they were the black ones with the Penguin logo that had an echo kind of silver streak that wrapped around the jersey. Jaromir Jagr scored a goal and I remember the Flyers winning six-to-five after scoring a goal late. When the Flyers scored their final goal my dad grabbed my Flyers hat off my head and acted like he was going to throw it on the ice. I remember being scared that he was going to do it and that I was going to lose my favorite hat.
I was wearing an orange Flyers’ jersey with the CCM logo and green Eastern Conference crest on the bottom right corner of the sweater and of course had my pullover Flyers Starter jacket.
1. The Logo
No matter which players come and go, the logo is never going anywhere. It’s like a family member to me at this point.
Since I was a little kid I have seen that logo everywhere. On stickers, on hats, on shirts, on jerseys…you name it I have it with a Flyers logo on it. I can remember meticulously learning how to draw it and I have the proof because I have little flying-P’s all over every binder I have ever had throughout school. It’s just pure joy to me. I love seeing the logo, whether it’s on a truck or on a shirt, I sincerely just get happy looking at it.
Hockey has meant so much to me through out my entire life and the flying-P logo represents that.
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.
N.B.: There will be no Five Reasons post on Thanksgiving. The series will return on Thursday, December 8.