Dan Miller is a State Farm Agent living in South Jersey. He grew up in Delaware County and disliked the Penguins before he liked the Flyers. Even as a kid, he thought a Penguin was a stupid men’s professional team mascot. He spent his youth skating at the Skatium in Havertown. Murray Craven taught him a proper wrist shot at Cobbs Creek rink the same night he offered to “go” with Dave Schultz. Below, he gives us the top five reasons he loves the Flyers.
5. Gene Hart
My Dad was a football fan. Gene Hart taught me hockey. How often have we heard the story of the young boy who listened to the baseball game on his transistor radio under the sheets at night while he should have been sleeping? That boy was me, it was the 1980’s, the game was hockey and Gene Hart was teaching on my clock radio. I heard Hextall score his first goal on that radio and decided that Pelle Eklund was my favorite Flyer while hearing Gene describe him “wheeling in the neutral zone”. I can still hear Gene’s classic lines how he described a defenseman being “stepped into” by an opposing player or describing a Ron Hextall save “A kick save and a beauty” of how the Flyers were leaving “calling cards” at the end of a physical game against the Rangers. Gene Hart was hockey. Gene was Flyers hockey.
4. They always bring you back
How many Flyers came back for a second tour with the orange and black? It seems like almost everyone. Hextall came back so did Ken Linesman. Brian Boucher came back, Rick Macleish came back so did Bernie Parent and Mark Recchi. Even Karl Dykhuis made a return. One thing you have as a Flyer fan is that if your favorite player is traded chance are he may be back…so keep that jersey.
3. My “Bruise Brothers” T-Shirt
I must have worn that shirt every other day for 3 years when I was a kid. There is a dispute in my house as to who it belonged. My uncle, who is only 2 years older than me, also claims ownership. Honestly, I’m pretty sure it was his but I loved that shirt. It was more than the shirt it was what the shirt represented. It said the Flyers are Bad, tough and could beat you up. It said I was bad and tough when I wore it. I wore it with pride. I missed out on the Broad Street Bullies but I had Rick Tocchet and Dave Brown. I had Darryl Stanley, Scott Melanby and Craig Berube. Heck even Kjell Samuelson would put the occasional Capital in a head lock ( I know you remember that game). The Flyers were nasty and mean and I had the shirt to prove it.
2. That Logo
If you were like me it took you a while to figure out what in the world the Flyers logo was anyway. Even though for a while you had no idea what it was you still loved it. I eventually learned that it was a “winged P” and I loved it even more. I felt like I was in on the secret. How fantastic! It evokes strength and speed. It is one of the classic logos in all of sport .
1. They Love me back
When I say me of course I mean us. Face it! We love the Flyers because the return the love. Many of them stay here after their careers have ended and we run into them at Wawa or see them at the movie theatre. Flyers who spent most of their careers in other places like Keith Primeau, Derian Hatcher and Ian Laperriere to Flyers Greats like Tim Kerr, Brian Propp and Bob Kelly it doesn’t matter, they stay and we love them for it. We all grew up hearing stories about how our Fathers shared a beer with a Bully or two at Rexy’s in Camden County of the Stanley Kup Inn in Delco. Now it seems that everyone has an “I saw a Flyer” story. I saw Hatcher out to lunch in Haddonfield or I play Baseball with Lappy’s dentist or I saw Tim Kerr on main street getting coffee. The stories might be less booze filled but our Flyers staying is a constant.
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.