I finally finished it. If you’re the type to keep track, I believe I started this sucker sometime this past August. Then we had that event that must not be named and the book got put to the side as I took a break from Flyers Faithful because for me, no Flyers to watch was a major block on my writing inspiration.
But when I boarded the plane to go to Philadelphia on Valentine’s Day, I grabbed my Kindle and pulled it up because I was determined to finish it. So, here we go:
The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly: Philadelphia Flyers: Heart-Pounding, Jaw-Dropping, and Gut-Wrenching Moments from Philadelphia Flyers History by Adam Kimelman (NHL.com correspondent and former Philly-area beat writer)
He also penned another book I read for this site: 100 Things Flyers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die and due to that, there is some overlap of content. It didn’t bother me too much because the repetition is good in helping me remember all the names and stats and events that make up the Flyers history.
Mr. Kimelman definitely knows his stuff. The book is set up not just under the three headings: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, but it also includes a section on Eric Lindros, how the Flyers organization takes care of its own (with former players working after retirement, etc.), a photo gallery and more. Because of that, some people might find it a little all over the place in organization, but I didn’t find it too distracting. I liked that not every section was just Clarke passed to… and Primeau shot it… because that can get a little tedious. Kudos to Mr. Kimelman for constantly changing the style of sentences and vocabulary to make the retelling of games engaging and not repetitive. It covered up to 2009 which means that the season I came in on as a fan, 2010, isn’t mentioned which is sad to me, but the information offered is involving.
For an expansion team, the Flyers really have a history. It’s almost a mythology. I had never previously realized how many times they had gotten so close to getting the Stanley Cup after those two years in the 1970s. It really helped me to understand how frustrating it must be to long time fans who have almost felt that victory, only to miss it by a goal. I was reintroduced to some of the big names: Ron Hextall, John LeClair, Keith Primeau, that I had previously only kind of recognized. Even the teams that didn’t win the Cup have been fascinating and talented and legendary. There is a mythic quality to the retelling of these stories in this book. These characters, the players who worked through some of the worst injuries and pain I’ve ever heard of, are heroes to loyal fans. And every little bit I learn, I can agree.
It’s not a long book. According to Amazon, print version is 192 pages. The sections are also not too lengthy so if you’re the type that likes to just pick it up and read a little than do something else, it’s well-made for that. I enjoyed filling my mind with facts and amazing stories while flying to and from Philadelphia (that might have added to the experience) and hopefully, if my fanaticism is ever questioned, I can pull out this information to add credibility.
The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly: Philadelphia Flyers: Heart-Pounding, Jaw-Dropping, and Gut-Wrenching Moments from Philadelphia Flyers History by Adam Kimelman **** (four out five stars)
Well worth getting for yourself or anyone who’s a fan. All types of information (including the building of the Spectrum), but my favorite parts were about the players and the games.
Highlight: One of those injuries that made me wince: “(Mark) Howe’s problems dated to December 27, 1980. In a game against the (New York) Islanders, Howe fell into the goalpost and one of the metal spikes used at the time to anchor the post to the ice pierced his buttocks.” How does that even happen?
Hopefully the next book I can get will be Bernie Parent’s most recent.