Orange You Psyched?

PumpkinJust to make things welcoming for the Buffalo Sabres tonight, the Flyers are giving the Wachovia Center an ORANGE GLOW.

Flyers fans can visit one of three "Oranged Out" stations at the rink to apply tasteful amounts of body paint, face paint, hair paint and other "orang-ifying items."   

There will be two "Oranged Out" stations at the Playoff Block Party, on the 11th St.side of the Center, and a third outside the Broad Street North doors. Not that anyone needed, encouragement, but the most Orangey folks might be selected the No. 1 member of the ORANGE CRUSH and win a team-autographed jersey.

Oh yeah, they'll hand out orange paper helmets to everyone with a ticket.

UPDATE: Read the comments below for a War-and-Peace length account from "Evan," who was bold enough to wear his Hartford Whalers jersey to the game Wednesday.

And Jason Connell explains the passion of the Flyers fan:

We hate the other team, the other team's fans, the other team's fans' kids, the other team's fans' pets...

Posted 04/28/2006 08:24:27 AM

Big game tonight folks

Dan from Virginia
Posted 04/28/2006 08:26:08 AM

Paint yourself done because you are going to lose! Hope Umberger knows his alphabet today!

Posted 04/28/2006 08:30:49 AM

Sabres fan here...I just like talking to the Philly folks on game day

Dan from Virginia
Posted 04/28/2006 08:32:30 AM

Its been a great series so far! Bestof luck to you guys! We are in for 3 hours (or more) of pure entertainment!

Posted 04/28/2006 08:33:40 AM

Should be a good game...the ugliness seems to have settled down..I'll give Gauthier the benefit of the doubt (again) on the spear

Posted 04/28/2006 08:56:50 AM

bring back the bullies please - sick of this Sabre crap. Just beat the you know what out them and send them home

Jon from RVA (originall SE PA)
Posted 04/28/2006 09:05:05 AM

Sabres fans are weak! Win or lose, we are still true fans day in, day out. You guys show up when you want to. Y'all were probably Lightning fans last year, give it a rest...

Posted 04/28/2006 09:12:25 AM

Win or lose? Shouldn't that just say lose?

Hustler Dan
Posted 04/28/2006 09:14:42 AM

Excuse me, how are Philly fans true fans? The arena sure turned on the Flyers Wednesday when it was 1-0 Buffalo 3 minutes into the game. And cheering when a player is injured and still down on the ice/field (Dumont/Mike Irvin); that is pure class.

Posted 04/28/2006 09:16:32 AM

Sabres fans: keep watching video of game 2 because it will be the best game of your short playoff run. The Fly guys will stomp you today, and shut your bandwagon crowd up on Sunday

Posted 04/28/2006 09:18:16 AM

Shouldn't need a PA announcer to tell you how to act...But I really don't want to bash the Philly fans..they are good hockey knowlegeable fans...the USA, USA barbs have been cool...and least we are not playing TB or Carolina and have to listn to the PA guy explain what offside is

Posted 04/28/2006 09:29:31 AM

C'mon, Hustler Dan, if the Sabres had lost the first two games of the series and surrendered a goal in the opening minutes of Game 3, Buffalo fans would get pretty restless, too. And Sully, don't you have better things to do than obsessively post comments on a blog from the opposing city?

Posted 04/28/2006 09:30:22 AM

Not really...Long day at work and not too much going on.

sean e
Posted 04/28/2006 09:31:30 AM

rory, you cant possibly be that stupid...are u watching the same series the rest of the country is watching...your big, painfully slow team is hanging on by a thread...hatcher doen't even look like he's wearing skates, the enjoy your last win of the season...better luck in 07

Posted 04/28/2006 09:33:12 AM

Sabres fans: keep watching video of game 2 because it will be the best game of your short playoff run. The Fly guys will stomp you today, and shut your bandwagon crowd up on Sunday

Hustler Dan
Posted 04/28/2006 09:35:15 AM

Monorail Mike - good point, I am sure Buffalo people are just as worrisome. That being said, the will be shut down that Buffalo power play again. They are due.

JE in VA
Posted 04/28/2006 09:36:08 AM

Orange face paint stations, but where do they go to get some class?

Posted 04/28/2006 09:36:24 AM

Sully: Philly fans are true fans sure we were a little rough on the team in the beginning but that is because our expectations are high unlike you bums who are just happy to be in the playoffs

Posted 04/28/2006 09:40:32 AM

Not true...We are happy to be back that's for sure...we had a rough few years that had everything to do with a corrupt ownership group and nothing to do with any perceived lack of fan loyalty...that being said, how could you assume that we don't have high expectations? 52 wims equaled that of Ottawa and Carolina and had we not gone through 2 extended slumps we would have won the conference...If you were hnest with yourself and looked at the make up of these two teams you would see that we are built far better than you are for an extended playoff run.

Posted 04/28/2006 09:42:44 AM

"Orange face paint stations, but where do they go to get some class?" thats how we do things, what would you know about rooting for a home team being from VA, what are you a Caps fan, or wait from VA you must be a Red Wings fan as result of them being the top team going into the playoffs

MG Philly
Posted 04/28/2006 09:43:04 AM

Flyers not named Forsberg, Gagne, and Esche need to pull their heads out of their A$$es, starting tonight or tee times will be set for next week. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR: Doug Gilmour

Posted 04/28/2006 09:48:56 AM

Nice article on the nephew of the Fabulous Rougeau Brothers. "I didn't do it on purpose, I just looked my stick right into JP's midsection". I'll save you some time from Googling the Sabres' injuries Gautier, Briere also had a hernia, and Hecht has hurt both knees, Mair has post concussion syndrome. Gautier's such a scum he'll probably throw a few insults at Lindy's daughter. Gautier's game smells like his kid's diaper that he claims to change.

Posted 04/28/2006 09:52:34 AM

Off topic for a moment..but I had no idea WTFhappened to post MLB Darren Daulton...not that anybody probably cares about that now...but seriously...that dude's got problems.

MG Philly
Posted 04/28/2006 09:54:10 AM

Poor Dougie crying over a guy playing tough. That coming from a guy who not only never dropped the gloves, but never threw a check. There is 21 other guys on Buffalo and not one stood up for him. Hell of a team.

Daniel Rubin
Posted 04/28/2006 09:56:09 AM

The Life of Darren would make an interresting "reality" show

Posted 04/28/2006 09:56:25 AM

I am sure there is not one player in the Flyers dressing room (Gauthier included) that would call what he did "playing tough"

Posted 04/28/2006 09:57:12 AM

Sully your a moron and you obviously were not at the game wed night we did not turn on the flyers when they were down 1-0 we pumped them back up and they scored a short handed goal...The same will happen tonight i will be there cheering them on and it will be louder than Wed night...Lets Go Flyers...Oh and out of the 19,900 fans I saw 2 Sabre fans in the enitre arena...Which means your fans are not that loyal...

Posted 04/28/2006 09:58:02 AM

I feel a little bad for Daulton actually...for a time he was a good ball player with a smoking hot ex wife and a smoking hot he is just weird

Posted 04/28/2006 09:59:15 AM

Sully: Come on man I could make excuses also if it were not for our injuries this season in which we missed the most manhours. We would be playing the Rangers and you would be playing the Devils, but the focus is now on The Sabres. Just sit back and enjoy being in the playoffs.

Lou Kessler
Posted 04/28/2006 10:00:06 AM

Gauthier is being taken to task for things that Kasparitus has done his entire career and is just this side of a hockey folk hero. Philly hates him and yet the Ranger fans and at one time Pens fans thought he was great. Everybody on the ice has a role to play and when you are a Brashear or Gauthier when somebody falls down you get a penalty. As for stepping up I can't see how you can ask much more from Zus he is playing injured and is on the ice when the other teams power forwards are. The two noshows are Kapanen and Richards.The game has passed Desjardains by and Clarke has to find D men that fit in the new NHL. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR: ED

Posted 04/28/2006 10:01:17 AM

Sorry Sully...It was Hustler Dan i meant to call moron not you my bad...the damn sinature should be above the line not below it...

Posted 04/28/2006 10:02:17 AM

Not me who said the Flyers fans turned on them (though I am sure there was concern) live in Buffalo so, no, I was not at the game. Pretty sure you confused posts dude.

Posted 04/28/2006 10:05:54 AM

I wsn't making excuses, just pointing out the reality of the season (not to mention, we lost quite a few man games to injuries too) As far as focusing on the Flyers...I wouldn't have it any other's with you guys now like it was with Boston in the 80's...For example...If I went all decked out in Sabre gear to a flyers games I would exoect to get harassed (or punched) I went to a game in Boston this year (first time there) and the fans could not have been more cordial...verry disappointing.

Posted 04/28/2006 10:22:42 AM

THOUGHTS FROM A HOCKEY FAN FROM HARTFORD "I'll play first, third, left. I'll play anywhere - except Philadelphia." - Richie Allen When you order a lager, you automatically receive a Ying~Ling. When you complain about the cheese whiz on top of steak-um that is known as a Philly Cheesesteak, you automatically get ridiculed. You want olive oil, not mayonnaise on your "hoagie". You can't imagine lunch without a Tastycake. You can't imagine a breakfast without scrapple. You punctuate every sentence with, "You know" at least twice. You find yourself using "yo" and "youse guys" when asking for directions. And if you’re not wearing a hint of orange to a Flyers playoff game, there’s an excellent chance that you’ll get your ass kicked straight across the Delaware River. Such is life in the city of Brotherly Love. These were the thoughts that raced inside my head as I sat stuck in traffic on the Ben Franklin Memorial Bridge following last night’s Sabres/Flyers tilt. It was the first time I had been to an NHL playoff game since 1992. As most of you all know, I loved the Hartford Whalers. They stunk, they missed the playoffs almost every year, yet they were my team growing up. To understand how much pain I felt when they moved to North Carolina, consider the fact that when I graduated high school I turned down an opportunity to enroll in one of the best liberal arts schools on the east coast, Trinity College. You see, I just couldn’t bear the thought of living in Hartford (or anywhere in Connecticut for that matter) without the Whalers. I ended up going to school at Kenyon College in Ohio – at that point in my life that seemed just about the farthest away from Connecticut one could get. Ice hockey was without a doubt my favorite sport to play when I was a kid. Games of shinny on the frozen pond at the end of the cul-de-sac lasted long past dark. One of my friends was lucky enough to live on one of the only lit streets in South Glastonbury so we played street hockey there when it was too warm to skate. In 1992, Frank Pieterangelo almost single handedly willed the Hartford Whalers past the Montreal Canadiens in the Adams Division Semifinals. If not for a shot by Russ Courtnall in the second overtime of Game Seven that somehow found its way through a maze of players, the future of NHL hockey in Hartford may have been different. Two nights before, my Dad took me to Game Six at the Hartford Civic Center where Yvonne Corriveau went top-shelf on Patrick Roy to send the crowd into delirium. Little did I know then that that would be the last Stanley Cup playoff game ever played in my hometown of Hartford, Connecticut. In the years that followed that Game Seven loss, there appeared to be a revolving door of goaltenders making their way in and out of Hartford. Mario Gosselin. Daryl Reaugh. Peter Sidorkiewicz. Sean Burke. Jeff Reese. Jason Muzzati. All of these guys put together faced more rubber flying at them than a dead skunk on the Trans-Canadian highway. The Hartford Whalers, it appeared, were the first team in NHL history to adopt the "Prevent Defense" from the NFL. I had come to unconsciously adopt the Buffalo Sabres as my "team." It would never be the same as having the Whale, yet I saw a lot of similarities between Hartford and Buffalo. Long winters. Mismanaged cities that had been financially crushed during the last twenty years. Cities that both featured sports teams whose fans routinely got kicked in the stones. Cities considered stopping points along the way to other "real" cities. In our case it is New York and Boston – for Buffalo it is Toronto and Niagara Falls. Nobody ever just "goes" to Buffalo in the same sense that no one ever just "goes" to Hartford. Buffalo had Scott Norwood – we had John Cullen. Buffalo has Brett Hull, we will always have Claude Lemieux. We had "over the net," they had "wide right". We almost had the Patriots once. They almost had the Superbowl – four times in four agonizing years. They lost to Dallas twice in football on the World’s grandest stage. Next, they proceeded to lose to Dallas in ice hockey on a goal that should never have counted based upon the rules at the time. The Superbowls you can understand – the Stanley Cup was a goddamn travesty in one of the most ironic fashions imaginable. Kind of like the Patriots deciding to move to Hartford before Bob Kraft pulled the rug out from under a crook named John Rowland. In the words of Kurtis Blow, "these are the breaks." With that in mind, Philadelphia is an entirely different animal altogether. An animal that reeks with toil and sweat. An animal that eats too much, drinks too much, smokes too much, and is bizarrely loveable at the same time. This is the same place where they booed Santa Claus. Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt was booed and was once showered with debris. Fans at the ‘Vet watched as the team ownership was forced to construct a full-service jail cell and courtroom to accommodate unruly spectators and then cheered when Michael Irvin came devastatingly close to becoming a quadriplegic. Former Phillie "Wild Thing" Mitch Williams cannot ever even return to change planes at the airport without fearing for his life. It was while I was driving through towns like Chester and Eddystone along I-95 at 90 miles per hour that I began to wonder just what the hell I was doing. You see, a few weeks ago I had circled this date on the calendar. I felt like I was ready to go see a playoff hockey game again. Philadelphia was close enough that I could make it there and back on a workday. The Sabres were playing the Flyers so there was actually some rooting interest there for me. As the series began, my interest peaked when I saw Gordon Esche, the Flyers’ goaltender, go after a Sabres player on his way to the bench during an intensely chippy game two. I went online and ordered tickets right then and there. I had no idea what to expect when I arrived at the Wachovia Center a little after 7 yesterday evening. Of course, I was wearing my green Whalers jersey from ninth grade. It was the first "real" sports jersey I had ever bought and believed that by wearing it to a Flyers/Sabres game it meant that I would appear as neutral as Switzerland during WWII. Boy, was I wrong. As it turns out, if you aren’t for Philadelphia, you’re against it. The "Rocky" series did not do much to soften this fact. At the door, the ticket checker patted me down and handed me an "Orange Crush" t-shirt. I neglected to put it on and tied it to my belt instead. As soon as I walked through that door, I could almost feel the eyes of Philadelphia upon me. I was getting the stare-down from hell. I felt like a piece of meat being carried across the street to the butcher shop during the Great Depression. As I walked through the concourse to the row of escalators leading up to the nosebleed seats, I endured taunts, jibes, jeers, and quips. Some of my favorites were "Thanks for Dineen – hope you had fun watching Murray Craven trip over the blue line" and "Look at that guy – what a fucking sideshow" in addition to the obligatory "you fucking queer." The best of all had to be when a woman exclaimed to her husband, "Hey Morrie, since when did they start allowing retards to drive on the New Jersey Turnpike?" Others were not so hostile – one man (from Rhode Island) said the Whalers had the best logo in sports – to which I would have to agree, although I am somewhat biased. Of course, I didn’t have it nearly as bad as the poor souls who decided to wear Sabres shirts to the game. On the way to my seat I stopped to use the men’s room. The line was practically out the door. I witnessed a man wearing a bright blue Alexander Mogilney Sabres road jersey walk into the cue just as I did – I let him go in front of me. No sooner that happened then some fan said "What is this, the goddamn Adams Division!?" and another said "Are you two going to play swords in there?" What happened next was almost predictable. Several large men wearing orange Flyers jerseys from years gone by turned around in line and stood in front of the entrance. One had on a Keith Acton jersey, another sported Brian Propp, someone else wore a Tim Kerr. It goes without saying that these dudes were even more old school than me. They stood and formed somewhat of a barrier between Sabres Fan and me. As we watched, another man came up from behind us. He of course wore a Flyers jersey, only it was probably a XXXXXXL. He must have weighed in at more than 300 lbs. The best part was the pieces of cheese-whiz he had stuck to his beard. "GET THE FUCK OUTTA TOWN, YOU FUCKING FAGGOT!" he roared at Sabres Fan. As he spoke the pieces of cheese seemed to quiver and shake yet amazingly never fell from his beard. Sabres Fan was no slouch himself – he looked like he had been well-fed by the local Tim Horton’s. His face turned red and I thought for a second that he was going to try to deck Cheese Beard and set off a Royal Rumble. Thankfully cooler heads prevailed and Sabres Fan simply left – presumably to find a more hospitable bathroom. They let me walk in, only after a lot of good-natured potshots. I finally made it to my seat about five minutes into the first period. Buffalo had already scored to go up 1-0 and you could have almost heard a pin drop inside the Wachovia Center. The "Oh Shit" switch had suddenly been turned from "Off" to "Code Red" in Philadelphia when Alex Kotalik scored on a rebound off Flyers goaltender Robert Esche just two and a half minutes into the game. The 19,984 orange-clad fans who had the Wachovia Center rocking before the start of the game fell silent. That was when Peter Forsberg made up his mind that there was no fucking way that the Philadelphia Flyers were going to lose that game. The Wachovia Center crowd was deflated and so to it appeared were the Flyers. That all changed the moment Peter Forsberg crushed Daniel Briere into the boards with the force of an Acela train. The play was whistled for a penalty, but a statement had been made – Forsberg’s hit seemed to say that if you’re gonna beat us, you’re gonna have to endure some pain. The Sabres entered the playoffs on the wings of speed and grit – the Flyers made it to this point with the help of physical play and toughness. While Forsberg’s hit earned a penalty for charging from Referee Paul Devorski (just as hated here in Philly as he was in Hartford), it woke up the crowd and the team. During the ensuing Buffalo power play, the noise level inside the building climbed higher and higher until Brian Savage made a dash down the left wing and beat Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller with a rising slap shot to tie the game at 1 apiece. It was at that point that I honestly thought the crowd noise was going to bring down the roof. Volcanic is probably the only word I can think of to describe the noise level. Soon after Savage’s goal, a funny thing happened – the fans in my section began to chant "USA! USA! USA!" At that point I was more confused than the elderly guy with Florida plates trying to merge on to I-76 west from I-95 north a few blocks away. I figured that either the fans up in the cheap seats were so drunk that they thought the Flyers were playing the Maple Leafs or they were so stupid that they thought Buffalo was part of Canada. Turns out I was wrong on both counts. The woman to my left explained to me through a mouthful of jolly ranchers that the fans were chanting at Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller. The knowledgeable fans seated here in the upper reaches of the arena had learned prior to the game that Ryan Miller had bitched about Robert Esche, the Flyers goaltender, being selected to the U.S. Olympic Team over him. Now, as Philadelphia fans do so well, the let him have it. At the end of the first period I knew I needed a beer. I had just driven through three hours of I-95 rush hour hell to make it to the game and now I felt like I was surrounded by dogs with a t-bone steak tied to my underwear. I walked down the stairs as the horn sounded to end the period and was immediately approached by a woman wearing a flyers jersey that almost resembled a dress. She stopped me dead in my tracks and said "I can’t believe it – this is the SECOND time today I have seen someone wearing a Hartford Whalers jersey. What is with you people???" I answered, "Well, I’m from Hartford." She looked at me as if I had just sprouted antlers. I asked her, "Where did you see the other guy in the Whaler jersey?" "On the street on my way to work" she replied. "Was he homeless?" was my attempt at being funny. It didn’t really register with her and she asked, "Well, who are you rooting for?" "The Sabres. All the way." No sooner had the words come out of my mouth that I immediately felt a twinge of fear. I wondered if anyone else had heard me say that. I wondered if Cheese Beard had heard me. For an instant I began to realize what it felt like to be one of the accused Salem witches standing before a Puritan jury. "YOU FUCKER, who the hell do you think you are you green faggot!???" "Adams Division, bitch." was my response. For the first time all night it felt like I was at a playoff hockey game I actually cared about again. Now I just didn’t want the Sabres to win, I WANTED the Sabres to win. As my last comments began to soak in, a look crossed her face that reminded me of Kathy Bates’ character tending to James Caan in MISERY. For a moment it looked as if she was going to douse me with her beer, although the six dollars she paid for it is likely more than half what she makes working at the local Wawa convenience store. I made myself lost in the crowd and went to find a beer and smoke a cigarette. With beer in hand I made my way to the outdoor concourse. I soon realized that THIS was the place where the most hard-core fans hung out – this was their turf. And it was all . . . their . . . turf. I had pretty much just jumped from a burning building and into a bed of orange molten lava. "HEY MIKE LIUT! YOU FAG" was one taunt I got from a guy who actually was wearing an eye patch – I kid you not. I managed to slip off into the corner so I could enjoy my nicotine and my beer in peace. This was difficult since everybody I passed had something to say. Some of it was funny and some of it was downright nasty. The most memorable comment came from some drunk who grumbled, "Nice Winnipeg Jets sweater." With the period about to begin I made my way back to my seat. By then people I walked by on the concourse didn’t give me as much of a stare-down. Maybe it was the beer. Maybe it was the fact that everyone already had me on their radar since I saw most of them before the game. The second period would mark the turning point in the game. The fans were just getting warmed up.

Hustler Dan
Posted 04/28/2006 10:26:20 AM

Ed - I am not positive but I always thought booing was a put down not a rally cry. It was only for 30 seconds or so, right after the face off. Once the Flyers started killing that penalty well and then scored, the crowd was very supportive.

Posted 04/28/2006 10:28:48 AM

I've got to bring up this class issue with the Flyers. I can't recal who authored the post claiming the Flyers Fans have no class because they cheered an injured player, but didn't the Sabres fans do the same thing in game 1 when Umberger was just demolished by (a very legal) hit? Also, didn't they replay the hit like a million times when Umberger was still on the ice, with his eyes rolling into the back of his skull, eliciting cheers from the crowd? Philly fans have always had an unfair label of being classless and brutish, and frankly it's getting a little tiresome when everything goes unnoticed in other sports towns.

Hustler Dan
Posted 04/28/2006 10:32:30 AM

Acutally the Umberger hit was replayed once at the Sabres arena. The TV broadcast replayed it a million times but people at the game and the players saw it once. Big talk about that "controversy" yesterday.

Posted 04/28/2006 10:35:30 AM

On the subject of clearing thing s up...I was at the Unberger game and when he got hit, the plave absolutely exploded...I though the top would come off the building. As far as the replay...They showed it once, after he got up (to whichthe fans applauded) and i guess they showeded it again during the intermission when they showed the highlights (I missed it because i was not at my seat. The arena staff later apologized for showing it the second time

Classless and Brutish
Posted 04/28/2006 10:42:01 AM

Ah, revisionist history. Where do you non-goat fans get your account of what happened after Umberger thought he was Batman? Anyone at the game can say it wasn't replayed on the scoreboard until AFTER RJ's carcass was dragged off the ice, and they only showed it once. This account of multiple showings is purely apocryphal.

Posted 04/28/2006 10:44:54 AM

Speaking of no class...anyone happen to see Tortorella throw Graham under the bus last night?

Posted 04/28/2006 10:45:35 AM

That's pretty cool. I can't wait to have visions of Poltergeist and Tremors with orange crap all over the place, and be too disturbed to watch the game tonight. And what's with all the Sabres trolls? You guys have websites, I'm sure. What, it's not interesting unless you start a fight? Go tell yourselves how great your team is on your own websites.

Posted 04/28/2006 10:48:26 AM

It's not any fun when everyone is of the same opinion

Posted 04/28/2006 10:51:09 AM

In that case, I would try to find something else that's fun to do with my time... this seems a bit of a waste. "OMG GAWTIER IS STOOPID!!!" "FLYERS ARE TEH SUCK!!!" "SABRES ROOLE!!!" Sounds rediculous right?

Sabre troll
Posted 04/28/2006 10:51:21 AM

what fun is a bunch of sabre fans in a room talking about how great they are? its no more fun that an all-flyers fan room doing the same thing. actually, our one newspaper town does not have this feature. fear not, its all over on Sunday anyways... so suck it up, be creative, and talk some trash.

Posted 04/28/2006 10:55:41 AM

I suppose if I was not trapped in front of this stupid box for 8 hours I would be doing something else. Don't have that option so I'm hanging out can always ignore it if you don't like it.

Daniel Rubin
Posted 04/28/2006 10:56:28 AM

Evan, you just wrote a book here, which I admire and appreciate, and yes, John Kerry did get a little grief for ordering his cheesesteak with, what, Swiss cheese? But don't complain about the Yuengling. Last time I checked they were pouring it at Casablanca's in Harvard Square, and all sorts of swell spots.

Posted 04/28/2006 11:02:17 AM

Yuengling may and up being the smashing punpkins of beers though...great when no one knows what it is, but fades away into the obscurity of all the other beers now that it is becoming so popular.

Posted 04/28/2006 11:03:41 AM

I'm trapped in front of a box for 8 hours... I don't know, I guess my company expects me to work or something. I'm off, enjoy the s@%^ flinging! GO FLYERS!!!

Daniel Rubin
Posted 04/28/2006 11:06:24 AM

I don't know about that. Beers come and go. Yuengling stays. What sort of beer do they have up in Buffalo. Something made from that handsome animal?

Posted 04/28/2006 11:08:50 AM

This link from sets the records straight on the Campbell/Umberger incident and a whole lot more. From one of the respected writers:

don godek
Posted 04/28/2006 11:08:54 AM

if you have never been to bufalo you cannot know that there is no class in the arena. don't be fooled by all the talk about how wonderful a place it is to see a hockey game. I have been there rooting for the flyers and had to take a bunch of crap of people who were real brave in a bunch, but not much of a threat when you called them out. philly all the way.

Posted 04/28/2006 11:09:02 AM

Beer is not a strong point for Buffalo for sure...Genny is out of Rochester and it's reputation as crap is probaably deserving, but Genny Light is not too bad when funds are low..Mostly we have Canadian beer since it is so close.

Posted 04/28/2006 11:14:13 AM

Yuengling is the bomb. On top of that, it's the oldest brewery in the country... that's gotta say something. We're lucky to have it. I'm so hooked that when I went to Cleveland a few years ago, I had no idea what beer to get since they didn't have lagers. We actually found a bar that served "Beers of the World" but they threw us out... Cleveland Sucks.

Skip of C-wood
Posted 04/28/2006 11:22:42 AM

Doug Gilmour?!? You named yourself after a reported rapist? Bah!

Posted 04/28/2006 11:23:28 AM

Evan, you came into PHILLY, rooting for the other team, you should have expected worse than what you got. It happens everywhere, not just in philly. If a Flyers fan went to Buffalo, than they would get ripped on too, maybe not as bad, but come on, you didn't get hurt, just your feelings, and pride when The Flyers won.

Posted 04/28/2006 11:29:19 AM

I really don't get the fans fighting aspect of things...Me and a buddy went to a Sabre-Flyer game a few years back and we were getting into the verbal stuff with two flyer fans in front of us for a while. At one point the dude got up, turned around and starting pointing at my buddy at which point he catches a boot in the chest...He got pretty pissed off and after a while things settled down and we bought the two guys a beer, but that was a pretty stupid thing to do. Someone could have gotten hurt and it seems to me over a hockey game, it's really not worth it.

Posted 04/28/2006 11:32:37 AM

"From one of the respected writers" How is that a respected writer?!?! That whole article is a pathetic attack on Philadelphia fans, not a level headed response at all.

Brass Bonanza
Posted 04/28/2006 11:35:04 AM

A tale of two cities: 1. Flyers fan in Buffalo - mildly taunted, but probably befriended by the 2nd period regardless of score, and beers are purchased back and forth. 2. Buffalo fan in Philly - physically threatened by a host of fat guys that think they run wing with Bobby Clarke. There's exceptions of course, but for the most part, people from Philly are douchebags. And whats with playing the chicken dance after you score? It's no Brass Bonanza, thats for sure...

Posted 04/28/2006 11:50:27 AM

If the Flyers score 4 goals in a game, everyone gets a coupon for a free sandwich at Chick-Fil-A... that's why they always play the Chicken Dance after the Flyers' 4th goal.

Posted 04/28/2006 11:52:32 AM

The Sens did that with Pizza this year and ended up giing away free Pizza every night

Skip from C-wood
Posted 04/28/2006 11:53:59 AM

"And whats with playing the chicken dance after you score? It's no Brass Bonanza, thats for sure..." After a 4th goal, tickets are good for a free chicken sandwich at Chick-Fil-A. They signed a deal with the Flyers before the season. Of course, that was before the new NHL rules were set. Poor Chick-Fil-A. While some Philly fans are abrasive, it's really no different than anywhere else in the Northeast. I'm sure when Buffalo fans drive home from a game, they're yelling at the slow-pokes in the left lane just like we do. I wouldn't think they're all yielding to one another like a polite bunch. The problem here is that a few bad, ill-mannered, and callous dopes ruin it for the rest of us.

Posted 04/28/2006 11:54:13 AM

The Sanse did that with Pizza this year ( I think for 6 goals) and ended up giving out free pizza just about every damn night

Posted 04/28/2006 11:55:30 AM


Brass Bonanza
Posted 04/28/2006 11:55:34 AM

thanks Joo. its still not as good as the Sens fans cheering "pi-zza, pi-zza" once the sens have 5, cheering for their 6th goal. some pizza franchise up there just got killed this year on that promotion.

Brass Bonanza
Posted 04/28/2006 11:58:00 AM

must...type...faster! I must be working harder than Sully today.

Posted 04/28/2006 12:12:20 PM

be hard not to be

Posted 04/28/2006 12:14:57 PM

sully - not much going on in buffalo heh? your city sucks. you've got hot wings and.. oh wait that's it? we got rocky and the liberty bell =P, and we are gonna kill your sabers tonight.

Posted 04/28/2006 12:23:41 PM

Dude...I work in a hospital so how busy I am depends on other people...this week has been particularly slow. As far as my city, It really does not matter what you think about it, I like it here...And tonight, I assume you are basing your prediction for on the consistency the Flyers have shown all year. I am just looking forward to being there Sunday and watching you guys get eliminated on our Ice again...maybe you guys will go down 8-0 again.

Posted 04/28/2006 12:31:43 PM

Just an interesting sidenote; Richie Allen promised me a pair of cleats when I was in seventh grade with his son (a really nice kid). I'm in my forties now and still haven't received those cleats! :-)

Ringling Brothers
Posted 04/28/2006 01:12:25 PM

Is it true that Bob Clarke drives out onto the ice before each game to the tune of circus music, and then stumbles out of a little clown car?

Bob Clarke
Posted 04/28/2006 01:25:07 PM

Sully must sit around licking his arse and collecting a welfare check!

Posted 04/28/2006 01:27:39 PM

and when this series is over you'll be joining me on the unemplyment line

Posted 04/28/2006 01:48:40 PM

This is why we got Forsberg and Hitchcock, two proven big game performers who have won it all. Hitch did a great job of settling the squad down after monday.

Posted 04/28/2006 01:55:41 PM

My husband and I have chosen to make Philadelphia our home, our son was born here, and we absolutely love it and the people who live here. However, we're serious Sabres fans (always have been) and we're attending tonight's game. We can handle some taunting (I've been to enough games in other arenas to know that it's part of the game). We respect that we're on another team's turf and will behave ourselves, but I'm seriously worried for our safety given the ugly, ugly reputation of the Flyers fans. Do I really need to worry?

Posted 04/28/2006 01:59:43 PM

Phillymom: Dont take your children, the playoffs are not an atmosphere for kids

For the Record
Posted 04/28/2006 01:59:56 PM

Philly fans have a love/hate relationship with our reputation! The booing Santa thing is getting old since it was in the 60s and the Santa was a skinny drunk who could barely walk. But, to enlighten, here are some other things that we barely hear about (not including the Saints fans getting trashed at the Giants game this season, the Jets game stabbing, etc.) I know this doesn't have anything to do with Buffalo, however it shows that sports in general bring out the "best" in people... Bronco fans throw snowballs with batteries in them at Raiders: Browns fans boo Tim Couch: Cubs fan throws phone at Burroughs (also makes reference to Everitt incident) Angels fans throwing foul balls back onto the field: White Sox fans: and Some others:

D.J. Smith Jr.
Posted 04/28/2006 02:00:23 PM

Sabres fans, I'm glad that y'all have something to cheer about this year! Must be tough being a Bills fan Huh! Hey, if they beat us fine, just hope the rest of the games are good ones...

Skip from C-wood
Posted 04/28/2006 02:01:44 PM

Phillymom, yes. In fact, email me and I'll take your tickets. :) More seriously, as long as you're "well behaved", as you put it, I do not think you'll have a problem. You will have to put up with some taunting (my sister-in-law had to at a Phantoms' regular season game v. Lowell), but as long as you don't provoke, you should be fine. Just keep any and all cheering to a "polite" level. No one likes having a Sabres goal rubbed in. Hope that helps!

Chris Krueger
Posted 04/28/2006 02:04:22 PM

It never ceases to amaze me how the citizens of Philadelphia are completely ignorant to the fact of their vulgar, idiotic personalities. It's like you guys take pride in the fact that you're a bunch of knuckleheads. Don't you know the rest of the country laughs at you people and your stupid antics? And wait, please, not another "At least I don't live in Buffalo" comment. As if Buffalo is a shittier place to live than Philly. Clearly, just because Philly is larger it must be a better, cleaner, safer place to live. Okaaaay.... Let's face it - your team is clearly not in the same league as the Sabres and will lose this series in 5-games. They just don't have the talent to compete with the Sabres. And in case any of you sports gurus didn't know, hockey is about skating, and passing, and shooting, and stick-handling, and good solid clean checking. Any idiot can whack a guy with his stick or elbow a guys head against the glass. The Sabres could do the same thing - maybe we should bring up a goon from the minors and run Forsberg from behind head-first into the boards. You guys would like that, huh? But I guess these two teams are mirrors of the Cities they represent - one has class, the other doesn't.

Posted 04/28/2006 02:05:43 PM

probably just as tough as it is being an Eagles fan

Posted 04/28/2006 02:07:40 PM

phillymom, if anyone gives you any trouble, just tell them to f off and mind their own f'n business. seems to work on lindy ruff.

Posted 04/28/2006 02:08:47 PM

Sully you have showed you are truly an idiot. The Eagles had one bad season, that is a terrible comeback. Keeping checking goole for better insults

Posted 04/28/2006 02:09:51 PM

sorry google

Posted 04/28/2006 02:11:54 PM

not really...The "standard" buffalo bills put down is that we have lost 4 superbowls, which is the point I was referencing...I suppose that's really what it comes down to, and it puts both teams in the same class...0 championships

Posted 04/28/2006 02:16:57 PM

Hey, wait a minute -- "...the citizens of Philadelphia are completely ignorant to the fact of their vulgar, idiotic personalities..." -- I've found the people here to be pretty great overall. Passionate, dedicated to their city, loyal, hardworking. All good qualities. I think it's the people who seem to think that they're European soccer hooligans (excuse me, football holligans) that give sports fans here such a bad name. It's those people who scare the daylights out of me.

Posted 04/28/2006 02:23:17 PM

nope, they're all scum. just kidding, its the old a few idiots ruin it for everyone thing. but you can't ignore an ENTIRE ARENA booing an injured player. i've seen it happen in Buffalo too, but the guy was named Dale Hunter, so he deserved it. But to boo JP Dumont after Gautier tries to turn him into a kebab? JP's hardly a villain/scumbag, unless you're booing his hat-trick from the game before.

Posted 04/28/2006 02:23:27 PM

From a Flyer's are a class act phillymom!!! I hope the ribbing from our fans stays at a minimum tonight! I would expect a little...I got it bad at a Red Sox and a Cubs game...but that was all in good fun and well expected. For those fans that are mean spirited, they really do not represent the city and I think that they are in every city, unfortunately!!

Posted 04/28/2006 02:26:20 PM

In any arena it's usually the younger crowd that hasn't learned to handle the booze yet and they are in every city

Posted 04/28/2006 02:36:28 PM

PhillyMom You will be fine - Flyers Fans are not nearly as scary as Eagles fans - But it is good advice to not cheer too loud if the Sabres score - we really do get offended by that! May the best team win - (BTW - That should be the Flyers)

D.J. Smith Jr.
Posted 04/28/2006 02:39:08 PM

Hey Philly Mom, don't get into an argument with anyone, ignore hot-heads, if someone bothers u guys too much, turn them in to security. Enjoy yourselves...

Posted 04/28/2006 03:01:22 PM

Well, I am outta here for today Philly fan. Thanks to Dan Rubin for making me feel welcome here, though others I am sure were not thrilled with my presence...2 games will go down before I join you again and good luck to you guys, I have a feeling you are gonna need it. But you have my word that, If, in the unlikely event Philly comes back and wins this series I will not hide from you all. I will be back either to gloat or to take my medicine. Go Sabres!!!

Posted 04/28/2006 03:04:47 PM

Thanks, everyone, for the good advice and great comments. Looking forward to a great game tonight!

Posted 04/28/2006 03:06:39 PM

"not really...The "standard" buffalo bills put down is that we have lost 4 superbowls, which is the point I was referencing...I suppose that's really what it comes down to, and it puts both teams in the same class...0 championships" Actually, we have 4, and YOU have ZERO. 1974 - Stanley cup 1975 - Stanley cup 1980 - Phillies 1983 - Sixers You have?... 0 0 0 0 00 0 Oh wait, I'm sorry. Your indoor lacrosse team used to be pretty good and won a few MILL championships. Congrats. Must've missed that on Sportscenter though.

Traveling Flyer
Posted 04/28/2006 03:15:20 PM

I went to undergrad at Syracuse University and travelled to Western New York a few times for Buffalo/Flyers games. The fans were ok for the regular season tilts, but the gloves were off come the playoffs. From the train/tram ridge from our hotel near the convention center to the HSBC (formerly Marine Midland) Arena and even in the arena, the fans were brutal! Being from Philly and a die hard Philly fan of all sports, I was able to take it and knew when (and how) to give it back. I remember one playoff game in particular where my friend and I were sitting upstairs behind the net where the Flyers shot twice and had fod/drinks thrown at us by fans during the game. To make it worse, I think they were aiming for the Sabres! That may have been the year the Flyers won the series in 4 or 5 and clinched in Buffalo so the fans were quite disgruntled. Not to defend the typical Philly fan, but trust me, we are not all as bad as the rest of the nation may think. We are extremely passionate about our home and our town and our teams, as we feel they are a reflection of us to the rest of the world. We will have an inferiority complex until we finally win another championship. Honestly, ask any athlete that has pased through here and they'll tell you that, as crazy as we are, all we want from our teams and athletes is 100% effort all the time and represent us well. Why do you think Iverson has done so well here after all these years? He is 110% effort and never lets us down, even when the 76ers dont win. Go Fly-boys! This thing is starting to move in our favor and we gotta keep grinding away! Can't wait until tonight!

Posted 04/28/2006 03:16:24 PM

Go Flyers! All the way from Vancouver BC, where we love the Flyers (well I do anyway). Play as a team, forecheck til you drop, and support each other - that's the Flyer tradition.

Posted 04/28/2006 03:17:47 PM

If you count Indoor Lacrosse, the Wings were pretty dominant in the late 80s!

Levar Burton
Posted 04/28/2006 03:21:16 PM

With the Captain focusing on hockey now, I am the king of PBS ! You're next norm, This Old House is going down !

Captain Picard
Posted 04/28/2006 03:33:48 PM

Make it so!

Branko Radivojevic
Posted 04/28/2006 03:57:38 PM

Niko, Antero, Joni and myself are going to circle jerk in the mechanical room before the pre-game skate, wondering if you are interested ?

Skip from C-wood
Posted 04/28/2006 03:58:49 PM

I see the kids have just gotten home from school.

Mike McCarthy
Posted 04/28/2006 04:00:40 PM

Philly is good for cheesesteaks, that's about it. Orange you guys psyched to get destroyed tonight?

john s.
Posted 04/28/2006 04:04:05 PM

well i am from valley forge orig. have lived away from philly for years,but love my philly teams ,except one. the flyers have always been physical and "slower" then other top teams,now it's exaggerated by the "new" nhl. it's hard to follow the teams due to the logistics and only oln covers the whole nhl. but tonight i will watch with my anticipation and hope that we prevail over the fast and furious sabres. i am getting tired of clarke, sad about all of the concussions,and ready for a championship from the flyers,phillies or 76ers. go philly and god bless the u.s.a.

Posted 04/28/2006 04:05:08 PM

Wow, Buffalo players have names similar to those of the Flyers?! What a f@#%ing coincidence. Come up with something creative, dumbass. "If you're the dumbest motherf@#$@ers on the planet, you must be from Buffalo." - Ben Franklin

Mike McCarthy
Posted 04/28/2006 04:08:26 PM

Is it something in the water that causes the "brain farts"?

Rory's mom
Posted 04/28/2006 04:12:43 PM

Seriously ..Flyer fans, What do you do next week when your team is out? Are Rory and the rest of the girls blogging each other over how bad their team is? Or are we cheering on those red hot Phillies 20 games into the season? I can't wait until tomorrow morning...something tells me Rory and her crew won't be on-line without their work computer (unless she gets the OK from mommy) to go on the internet at home... IT'S OVER LADIES!! The flyers don't score more than 3 goals the rest of the series.

Rory's Dad
Posted 04/28/2006 04:17:27 PM

Get back in the kitchen and finish making my pot pie!!!

Posted 04/28/2006 04:20:23 PM

We'll see. Unlike some people, Flyers fans don't predict a series win after a loss away with another away game...

Posted 04/28/2006 04:21:42 PM

with two more away games. my bad.

Nutter Butter
Posted 04/28/2006 04:24:34 PM

I am the greatest cookie in the world ! Eat me Flyers !

Mike McCarthy
Posted 04/28/2006 04:29:37 PM

Too many fanboys signing on tonight to talk about the impending Flyer doom @ that they broke the server.

Skip from C-wood
Posted 04/28/2006 04:32:56 PM

You forgot a word, chief... Too many BUFFALO fanboys signing on tonight to talk about the impending Flyer doom @ that they broke the server.

Posted 04/28/2006 04:52:55 PM

Patience is a virtue Flyers in 7

Mike McCarthy
Posted 04/28/2006 04:55:22 PM

Skipper, I somehow doubt that. -Chief

Skip from C-wood
Posted 04/28/2006 04:58:20 PM

Little buddy Chief, Doubt doesn't make it true. ;) The idea that Flyers fans are discussing being doomed is a dubious one. Skipper

Skip from C-wood
Posted 04/28/2006 05:03:15 PM

All right folks, I'm outta here. Have a good night (yes, even you Sabres fans). *reaches back into the old ESPN Flyers board goodie bag* GOI FLYERS!

Mike McCarthy
Posted 04/28/2006 05:05:33 PM

Well we'll see tonight, should be a good one.

NJ Fan
Posted 04/28/2006 05:36:00 PM

I find it interesting that Buffalo fans are offended by Philly fans cheering Dumont's injury. Think maybe they learned that behavior from the Buffalo fans after the Umberger hit? Also Buffalo finds the Flyers goon tactics disgusting - this from an organization that gave us Barnaby and Roy! How short their memory appears to be - LOL.

Posted 04/28/2006 06:25:05 PM

Sabres are a bunch of pussy's, Lindy Ruff opens his mouth and after hitchcock violently responds, Ruff backs away from everything, Sabres like pussy ass Briere refuse to go into corners with hatcher and rathje, Miller is afraid to meet esche at center ice. Bunch of rag tag run and gun scared pussys FU*K BUFFALO! LETS GO FLYERS!!

Posted 04/28/2006 07:03:58 PM

coole side my side would make me happy here, visited times

Eric Gardenboy
Posted 04/28/2006 07:36:26 PM

Hope you enjoyed the own-goal as much as I loved scoring it.

Daniel Rubin
Posted 04/28/2006 08:00:01 PM


Eric Gardenboy
Posted 04/28/2006 08:02:59 PM

I like your use of pronouns even more.

Phily-born Sabre lover
Posted 04/28/2006 08:12:07 PM

Flyers skating in sand tonight?

Phily-born Sabre lover
Posted 04/28/2006 08:16:12 PM

Where did the Flyers get this speed? Did they call up the Phantoms between periods?

Remo Williams
Posted 04/28/2006 08:48:48 PM

Very solid game on both ends; good to see the speed on both sides. Most entertaining game of the series.

Posted 04/28/2006 10:25:06 PM

That was the first the Carter / Umberger / Dimitrakos line scored. I'm sure we'll see more of that in Buffalo. Momentum has shifted, Peter Forsberg is unbelievable. Hitch, our great coach, evened the playing field with his expert analysis of the Sabres, and knows what to do to make their speed less effective. I credit those two wins to him. I hope they keep it up in Buffalo on Sunday. I hope to f#%#@@#ing GOD.

Posted 04/30/2006 12:35:56 PM

FROM A HOCKEY FAN FROM HARTFORD: PART TWO OF MY GAME THREE RANT The Flyers are physical. They are not fast, but they can mix it up with the best of them and if their opponent decides to play them at their own game 9 times out of 10 they will lose. The same can also be said about the fans. Standing in a beer line alongside people from Philadelphia is like negotiating traffic in a shopping mall on the day after Thanksgiving. You get cut off, people swear at each other, bump into each other, yell at the server to hurry the hell up, and most just generally hate you. As soon as the period begins and they’re still stuck in the beer line, the anxiety that they will miss something sets in as well. Whispers float through the line like wildfire – there was a penalty, there was a big hit, there was a breakaway – yet no one wants to leave the beer line since they’ve waited so long to get so close anyways. Once this one dude in front of me got his Black & Tan, he slugged down an inch of the juice in order to switch in to "travel mode" and sprinted down the concourse like a fat white version of Flo Jo. Once I finally obtained mine, I was hot on his heels. Given the price of tickets and what I paid for mine, I didn’t want to miss a goddamn minute. When I returned to my seat, I was greeted to some playful humming of the Whaler theme song – the Brass Bonanza – by one of the guys in my row. With the game tied at 1-1 and the home team beginning to carry the play, my guess was that the fans were beginning to lighten up a little. "I’m originally from Springfield Mass – I used to see them play when the roof collapsed. I think that’s the first time I ever heard that song." For those who don’t know, at some point in the mid-1970s the Whalers were forced to play their home games about 40 miles north of Hartford in Springfield, Massachusetts. It wasn’t two hard to get there – folks who journeyed up there drove on the interstate and no one really complained. The people who retained their season tickets and made the trek for each game were given the lovable moniker "The I-91 Club." I was elated to meet someone else who had grown up with the Whale. He continued, "When my parents moved to Philadelphia in the early 80s, I started following the Flyers – they were a lot easier on the eyes than the Whalers." Very true. Aside from 1986 – 1991, we never enjoyed many winning seasons. While we did have some fine teams during those years, one of the reasons why they frequently made the playoffs during that era was because of the atrocity that was the Quebec Nordiques. It’s not hard to enter the post season when four out of five teams per division can qualify and one of those teams loses nearly 60 games every year. The reason these faithful souls were forced to drive north to watch their team is that the roof over the Hartford Civic Center had collapsed. Thankfully, no one was inside. It had occurred in the wee hours of the morning – there had been a "wintry mix" falling over the city for a few days prior and under the weight of ice and snow the building collapsed only hours after a UCONN basketball game had ended. Of course, during the 1980s, Philadelphia would have had a team of dynastic proportions had it not been for a few scraggly guys from Edmonton with names like Gretzky and Kurri. As the second period moved along, there was a sense in the air that the breaks were finally about to go Philadelphia’s way. The hits became harder and more frequent and the Flyers began slowing down the Sabres’ game of speed. They forced quick skaters like J.P. Dumont and Maxim Afinogenov to the outside, and proceeded to punish them along the boards. The funneling style of the Sabres’ offense was completely disrupted. For 20 minutes, the Flyers and their fans had new life. They outshot the Sabres 17-9 and took their first lead of the series – after trailing or being tied for 183 minutes and 10 seconds. Peter Forsberg found lightning in a bottle twice in the second period, scoring at 6:57 and again at 12:37. Both goals were shots that deflected off of Buffalo players. One could argue that Forsberg got lucky – however, great players seem to have luck follow them wherever they go. Forsberg, who had led Team Sweden to a Gold Medal in Torino just months ago, had lit a fire under his team and had injected life into the raucous crowd. Throughout the second period, Philadelphia carried the game. The hits kept coming and the physical play successfully forced Buffalo to change their game. It was like a Philadelphia love-fest. During a television timeout, the Flyers trotted out Hall of Fame goaltender Bernie Parent which only whipped the crowd into an even louder frenzy. Parent, a card-carrying member of the Broad Street Bullies teams of the 70s, urged the crowd to get louder and louder. Parent, a man who described teammate Ed Van Imp’s contributions to the team by saying "He farts a lot", spoke as if he had lived in Philadelphia all his life. As the second intermission loomed, the Flyers’ rough style would also yet again reveal the manner in which their fans serve as a direct mirror image of their team. During the waning moments of the second period, Flyer’s goon Denis Gauthier whipped his stick across the stomach of Sabre J.P. Dumont. Gauthier, who had been ejected for pummeling Thomas Vanicek into the boards from behind during Game Two, managed to spear Dumont in the most vulnerable area possible. Several months earlier, Dumont had undergone hernia surgery and the tip of Gauthier’s stick blade managed to find that exposed area. Neither the referees nor Sabres coach Lindy Ruff had seen the play. Buffalo had been on a power play at the time and had finally begun peppering Esche with some pucks. When Gauthier clipped Dumont with his stick, the puck had been cleared back down to the Buffalo zone. All eyes were on the puck when Dumont crumpled to the ice in pain. Later, a caller who dialed the local sports radio show and had seen the whole thing on television said it looked like J.P. Dumont had been shot. As you can imagine, the raucous Wachovia Center crowd of 19,984 reveled in Dumont’s pain. The arena shook with boos as Dumont lay writhing with discomfort on the ice. The whistle blew to halt play and the booing increased in intensity. The public address announcer requested "show some class out there and cheer when he gets up." Of course, the fans jeered even more heartily while teammates dragged Dumont off the ice. The fans in my section became impatient as the Buffalo trainer attended to the fallen player. One man behind me roared "SHOW THE REPLAY" which only started one of the most horrific chants ever. The entire upper bowl of the arena slowly began to chant in unison "SHOW THE REPLAY! SHOW THE REPLAY!" The man to my left who had revealed his kindness to me by humming the first few bars of the Brass Bonanza moments earlier explained to me that the fans were chanting in response to an occurrence that happened in Buffalo during Game One. In a monstrous hit that I had previously seen on television, Sabre Brian Campbell had caught Flyer R.J. Umberger with his head down and delivered an open ice hit. Umberger was nearly knocked unconscious although the hit was 100% legal. The jumbotron television at the HSBC Center in Buffalo replayed the hit multiple times, much to the delight of Sabres fans. As the crowd around us chanted "SHOW THE REPLAY", others chimed in with some more personal verbiage. One woman seated directly in front of me screamed "FROG PUSSY", ala the film Slap Shot!, intended on demeaning J.P. Dumont’s French Canadian heritage. However, Denis Gauthier has French Canadian lineage of his own. Ironically, my buddy from Springfield explained to me that Gauthier’s uncles were none other than Jacques and Raymond Rougeau. If those names ring a bell then you obviously enjoyed the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) during the 1980s as much as I did. For the uninformed, these two were known as the Fabulous Rougeau brothers and once played the "bad guy card" with much aplomb during their stint in the WWF. They wore light blue wrestling tights that featured a Fleur-de-lis logo, ala the Quebec’s provincial flag. For a while, they were Tag Team champs and top bananas in the WWF. It goes without saying that for Denis delivering cheap shots is obviously hereditary. Instead of following his uncles into the squared circle that is the WWF, the 6-foot-2, 224-pound Gauthier became a punishing defenseman in the NHL whose reputation has grown over the past eight seasons. In addition to the illegal hit he delivered to Vanek, he also was suspended for two games earlier this month for a nasty hit on Toronto's Kyle Wellwood. The only thing missing from that hit was a turnbuckle. Watching Gauthier’s style of play reminds me again of Slap Shot. If only Charlestown Chief’s announcer Jim Carr was standing in as the Sabres announcer alongside the Sabres play-by-play man Rick Jeannerette, he could say something like this about Gauthier: "This young man has had a very trying rookie season, with the litigation, the notoriety, his subsequent deportation to Canada and that country's refusal to accept him, I guess that's more than most 21-year-olds can handle…" Oddly enough, when play resumed, Buffalo refused to retaliate. I’m guessing that being down 3-1, they rightly believed they were still within shouting distance of the Flyers and were looking to head into the 2nd intermission with more focus. When the horn sounded to mark the end of the 2nd period, I declined to stand up and walk around. The last thing I wanted to do was run into Cheese Beard and his drinking buddies or Wawa lady. As I sat in my seat, I watched in amusement as the zambonis cleaned off the ice and the Flyer pep squad shot T-shirts into the crowd with some sort of bazooka. The arena bowl was about half empty – most people appeared to be refueling their aggression at the Ying~Ling beer garden. I managed to have a civil conversation about hockey with Springfield guy who was impressed that I remembered who Zarley Zalapski was. If I had my druthers, I would pay someone to strip my mind of all memory of The Trade, ala Jim Carrey in "The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." For those who don’t know, the Hartford Whaler’s arguably sealed their fate when Hartford General Manager Ed Johnston traded away future Hall of Famer Ron Francis and all-star defenseman Ulf Sammuelsson to Pittsburgh for two piles of crap otherwise known as Zarley Zalapski and John Cullen. He argued that Francis was past his prime and he needed to part with Sammuelsson in order to obtain to Zalapski’s offensive contributions. What he neglected to consider were Zalapski’s defensive contributions (which were absolutely zero) and that Francis would go on to play for another fourteen seasons. In the Ultimate Punch to the Stomach, Francis would later be traded back to the Carolina Whalercanes and lead them on to the franchise’s first ever appearance in not only the Conference Finals, but the Stanley Cup Finals as well. Oh yeah, and the other fun part about that trade was that in exchange for role player Grant Jennings we ended up with some guy named Jeff Parker who is probably delivering pizzas right now somewhere in northern Ontario. One of the strangest aspects of this trade is that several seasons later, Ed Johnston bolted from Hartford to coach the Penguins. With the help of Francis and Sammuelsson, Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh would go on to win two straight Stanley Cups. When their run was over, "EJ"1 happily skipped down the Pennsylvania Turnpike and hopped into the driver’s seat of the Penguin Bandwagon. Life has a sick sense of humor sometimes. Springfield guy must have had the patience of a kindergarten teacher for he listened to me bitch about that trade in between sips of beer for nearly the entire intermission. I had hardly paused to talk when I finally realized that the two teams had come back on the ice for the third and final period. The Sabres came out of the gate strong. They finally found their game once again and forced the Flyers to play the final twenty minutes of the game inside of a defensive shell. Dumont returned from his injury and proceeded to help Buffalo regain the center of the ice. Philadelphia appeared tired and every fan in the Wachovia Center spent the rest of their game on the edge of their seat, especially when Tim Connoly scored to bring Buffalo within one with fifteen minutes of hockey remaining. I was beginning to feel somewhat more comfortable at this point – not sure if it was the beer I drank or the fact that I had befriended the Flyers fan seated next to me. I stood and cheered when Connoly one-timed a beautiful centering pass from Afinogenov past a sprawling Robert Esche. While I was clapping and the Sabres celebrated on the ice, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and there was some kid who could have been no older than fifteen who looked me square in the eye and grunted "FUCK YOU, MAN. . . . FUCK YOU" and proceeded to flash me the middle finger. I had heard enough at that point. I looked back at him and shook my head in dismay. I didn’t say a word but I managed to stare at him until he sat back in his seat. I didn’t want to rock the boat too much – All I had done following the goal was clap – but this little prick was undoubtedly following in his father’s footsteps. He was wearing the obligatory Peter Forsberg jersey and looked like his mother was guilty of doing shots of gasoline while he was in the womb. His breath smelled like a mixture of raw onions and beer. A visual image of a long line of Philadelphians came to mind. I could even picture his dad, drunk with a head full of Ying~ling, at an Eagles game at the Vet in the 80s - Lustfully booing Randall Cunningham and throwing an empty beer bottle at some unassuming Redskins fan – all the while with his young son at his side. At this point in the game I REALLY began cheering for the Sabres. Yelling. Screaming. Talking shit. You name it. For every wisecrack I had thrown my way regarding my Whaler’s jersey, I now tried my best to dish it right back twofold. "Hey nice jersey you loser" someone would taunt me. I’d return the favor with "I hope you enjoy living in a horseshit city" or "Think about my jersey when you’re blowing into the cop’s breathalyzer later." "You fucking sideshow with that stupid jersey" I’d heard one guy say from a few rows back. "Have another Tastykake you fat fuck" I’d holler back – or I’d say something like "It’s easy to pick on the guy from out of town - I don’t go to where you work and slap the dick out of your mouth." Gradually, the fans around me started to giggle a little bit and I knew at that moment I was not going to get my ass kicked. Sure, the Whalers jersey had antagonized some, but a lot of others may have sympathized with me. Or at least that’s what I thought. The Sabres began playing with far more confidence as the Flyers teetered on the brink of disaster. However, Esche remained a brick wall for Philadelphia. Every save he made produced a raucous cheer from the nervous crowd which seemed to be trying their best to energize their team. As the clock wound down, the Flyers killed several Buffalo power plays until Sabre forward Derek Roy took a penalty for diving with just over five minutes left. This appeared to be the final nail in the coffin for the Buffalo Sabres – however, they would still lead the overall series two games to one. As the seconds ticked away, Buffalo finally had to result to pulling Miller from goal for a sixth attacker. Seconds later, Flyer Simon Gagner took a pass from Peter Forsberg to pot an empty net goal, effectively nullifying any thoughts Buffalo may have had of tying the game. What happened next can at best be described as ridiculous. Typically, a player is required to score three goals to officially register a "hat trick." Well, this was Gagner’s first goal of the game and he scored it into vacant net. Nevertheless, Philadelphia’s fans showered the ice with hats, shirts, shoes, beer, pizza boxes, car keys, and whatever else they could get their hands on. Some must have mistakenly thought that Forsberg had scored the goal – however it was obvious to anyone paying attention that Gagner had shot the puck. Regardless, with forty seconds left in a game that was basically over it was quite a sight watching the referees skating around the eyes with snow shovels, struggling to pick up all of the debris. Finally, the PA announcer (who had been ignored the entire evening) pleaded with the fans to stop throwing shit so the players could finish out the game. It appeared that this time the fans had actually listened – the ice was finally clear, the puck was dropped, and then some knucklehead lobbed a beer on to the ice that landed inches away from Sabres’ netminder Ryan Miller. Then a pom-pom followed. A few hats. And finally, the best one of all - a bacon cheeseburger. When the horn finally sounded to signify the end of the game, and the requisite theme from "Rocky" blared from the arena speakers, I made sure I left my section as quickly as possible and headed for the nearest exit. I took the stairs down to the main concourse – I could hear the mob of fans back inside the arena screaming with delight. Soon the mob followed me out into the concourse, own the stairs, and I could hear the cheers of "LET’S GO FLY-----ERS!" and people even banging on the tin air ducts that lined the ceilings. When I finally made it outside, I could smell smoke, sweat, car fumes, food, beer, and the stench of puke. As I made my way down Broad Street back to my car, I dodged out of the way of people running and jumping and watched in disbelief as some fifty year old man barfed in a the bushes in front of me. Car honked, people screamed and chanted, and somehow even a few amateur fireworks were set off. Before the place turned into the next closest thing to the Watts riots of the 1960s, I managed to find my car and beat most of the crowd to the entrance of the interstate. I was thankful to have made it out of there in one piece – even if I was now stuck in traffic on the Ben Franklin Bridge. I turned on the local sports talk radio station and listened to the calls pouring in. The hosts were calling Dumont a wimp for lying in pain on the ice for five minutes (even comparing him to the dreaded soccer player) and the fans who called in were ready to anoint the Flyers as Stanley Cup Champions. In reality, the Flyers had played one decent period, caught a few breaks, and managed to stave off a furious Buffalo flurry of offense during the final fifteen minutes. It was hardly a dominating performance by any stretch of the imagination. Anyone who called in to disagree with the hosts was labeled a moron, anyone who called in to talk about how great the Flyers were was granted too much air-time. One astute caller pointed out Dumont’s prior hernia injury and was basically hung up on. As I sat safely in my car, listening to all of this drivel, I began to think about how the series was going to play out. Something inside me wants to go back there if the series goes to a sixth game. That ticket will surely be a hard one to get yet in the back of my mind I know it would be worth every penny to show up and see Springfield Guy, Wawa Girl, Cheese Beard, Fetal Alcoholic Syndrome Boy, and everyone else once again. Almost at the same time as I vowed in my mind to return to Philadelphia should the series extend six games, someone driving a rusted out old Toyota Tercel blatantly cut me off. The license plate read "You’ve Got a Friend in Pennsylvania." Perfect, I thought. Then I looked again and I noticed a faded bumper sticker on the back panel of the car. I was close enough to read it and I could make out a Flyers logo. "Well isn’t that fitting" I thought to myself. A closer look revealed a phrase that read "Only God Saves More Than Bernie Parent." I thought to myself, thank God Washington is only two and a half hours away.

Erique Garden
Posted 04/30/2006 05:52:16 PM

Your great coach blamed 'tenacity' on the loss. I'd call it windburn but then again I don't look like Bob Keeshan either.

Philly-born Sabre lover
Posted 04/30/2006 06:33:01 PM

Did the Flyers play today? OK, they showed up, but did they play?

sean e
Posted 04/30/2006 10:23:46 PM

that's the flyers I know and a joke...unpack the golf clubs boys...sabres in 6

ping: replica-watches -->
Posted 05/26/2006 02:11:31 AM

ping: hoodia -->
Posted 05/16/2006 05:02:02 PM

ping: hoodia -->
Posted 05/03/2006 03:42:43 PM

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