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Monday, May 2, 2011

jewels drops the gloves!

Today I have a very special Blog swap with the Lovely Jewels... And we are talking HOCKEY! Jewels and I are doing a blogcrushblogswap! Strap on the mask and throw on your sweater, and be ready to drop the gloves!

It is playoff hockey time and I could think of nothing better than doing a blog swap with Bruce about hockey, fans, rivalries, and just how cool hockey fans are! Because Bruce is a sweetie he agreed to it and here I am, hanging with Tucker while his daddy is at my place (head over there to read his hockey post) and enjoying some puppy love while I talk about a sport I love. Life is good.

Hockey in Philadelphia is big (not as big as football but definitely rivals baseball) and it is one of my greatest passions. We are known as a blue collar, hard working, and hard playing town of loud, passionate, and intense fans. I couldn’t be prouder to be amongst them. That being said, we do not always have the best reputation.

A lot of people perceive Philadelphia fans as loud, obnoxious, rude, violent, and a host of other lovely terms. I’m here to say that sure, there are those among us who are ignorant and use horrid language but there are those kinds of fans everywhere. What you WILL find here are knowledgeable and passionate fans who will just as soon boo their own players for subpar performance as we will your team. We expect a lot of our team but we give them absolute love and support, unconditionally, like a family member. There will be times we are let down and upset but we bleed Orange and Black for them.

Should you come to Philly and wear a Penguins jersey? Probably not but you wouldn't go to a Dallas Cowgirls game in an Eagles jersey either. Some rivalries are deeply rooted and aren't gong anywhere soon. In truth, if a rival fan came to our stadium they may have a few heckles, mostly in good humor, but for the most part you are left alone. We respect your right to support inferior teams, I mean not everyone can be as stellar as Flyer's fans.

A Washington Post hockey writer wrote an inflammatory column about the Flyers fans during Washington/Flyers Playoffs in 2008. In the article (which has since been removed as all links I find for it are no longer active) he said, “The fans wore orange instead of the Capitals’ red, and many of the women and children looked as if they could work security for Megadeath.” This caused quite a stir in passionate Philadelphia but we got a lot of support. Check out this video.

We have a name for ourselves as a good hockey team but a team that doesn’t always play cleanly. We are freaking proud of that. Not the dirty hits or boarding but we will find you in the corners or with your head down and you will be checked, hard! We will drop the gloves, maybe more than the average team, but that is our style of play. It is that style of play that Philly fans have become accustomed to and love. My sister can be found at any given time screaming for blood (she’s evil like that). Let’s be honest with ourselves though…if you are a hockey fan you enjoy the fights too…you know you do! There is a time and place for it in the game. You are down a couple goals, a thug hits your skill player, a dirty hit went uncalled in a prior period, well then you best believe somebody is throwing down to even things up or get the crowd into the game.

Anyone who says that hockey is too violent or there is no place for fighting in hockey needs to go watch golf…hockey isn’t your grandma’s sport…it’s rough and that’s how we like it. Do I want to see players hurt? No. Do I want to see boarding, ever? Absolutely not! Any player will tell you that accidents happen, a temper gets a hold of you, or freak chance can lead to injuries and this can be said in any town for any team…Philly may be tough but we aren’t malicious.

As a hockey fan I love playoff hockey. First it means that you don’t have to face the hideous withdrawal of the end of hockey season and second it’s intense and amazing! There is nothing like playoff hockey. Four rounds of a best of 7 series that leaves one team hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup; it just doesn’t get better than that. One of my favorite parts of playoff hockey here in Philadelphia is Kate Smith.  

Kate Smith (who died in 1986 at age 76) is a Philadelphia icon. She is the end all be all of “God Bless America” and I cry every single time I hear her sing it. Lauren Hart sings it now but occasionally they will merge Kate and Lauren and if they do then please believe our house goes crazy. We love Kate! The Flyers have an unbelievable record when her version of “God Bless America’ is played of 87 wins, 23 loses, and 4 ties (stats stopped in June 2010). Philly loves her (and Lauren Hart) and hearing them makes the game!

Personally, and it hurts to admit this, I am a hockey fan first and a Flyers fan second. Don’t get me wrong-you will NEVER see me cheer on another team (unless they are playing the Penguins) but I love the sport. What does this mean? It means that I will watch any hockey game on. I will appreciate the talent and strengths of other teams. I will covet other goalies, forwards, defensemen, and I will proudly and willingly admit their prowess at the game I love.

There are of course rivalries with teams that carry over to the fans. I will never like the Penguins or the Devils (the Rangers are pushing it). I would like to take this time to point out that the Penguins are golfing and the Flyers are still playing hockey...suck it Pittsburgh! These things cannot be helped. While I may admit that they have skilled players, the team as a whole, is my nemesis. It would be crossing enemy lines to ever like these teams. The thought of dating somebody that does is absolutely out of the question! (How Re married a Penguins fan I will never know!)

Do you want to know the one unifying thing in all hockey teams and fans (besides an incredible loathing of Sydney Crosby)? It’s that we love the game. No matter the team you play/cheer for; you love the game. It’s not every person who has good enough taste to love hockey the way I and my dear friend Bruce do, but it is certainly a lucky person. 

So until the Flyers face off against the Red Wings I will gladly congratulate Bruce on his teams wins and sympathize with any losses. I will comiserate with him over poor performances and rejoice in the good ones but when/if our teams face he had better watch out because I will take no prisoners! At the end of the series I will virtually shake his hand, as the players do, and congratulate him on a good series, but while the game is being played, on the ice, we are at war. LET'S GO FLYERS!


  1. Game 2 tonight...Flyers/Bruins...LET'S GO FLYERS! Thanks again for having me over, Bruce, it was a blast to write.

  2. I will admit that I am not a hockey fan nor a basketball fan. Baseball comes in second to football. That said, Philly has had some great periods of Flyers, Phillies, and Eagles. The City of Brotherly Love.

  3. Good luck with your season. Thise devils are little bastards aren't they? Now if you coud just get the Itallion Stallion on skates.....

  4. Well, have fun with all the hockey.

  5. I am not a hockey fan at all but I will tell you that this post was written in the way any sports fan should act. It's all about supporting your team and congratulating the winners and the losers. I myself am a basketball fan. Both college and NBA and some of what I see from the fans really irks me. Loved this post.

  6. I am not a sport fan but do have to say I enjoyed reading this post good one Jewels.

  7. OT-thanks

    DCHY-I love my city and can forgive your lack of interest in hockey but only cause I already liked you before I found out!

    Bushman-thanks! :)

    Dudemeister-I'll do my best. are forgiven cause I already loved you...but ouch! Hockey is the greatest. Thanks for appreciating this post on a fan level though. :)

  8. Jo-Anne- Thanks so much, I'm thrilled you enjoyed it.

  9. We may suck balls these days, but I still loves me the Avalanche.

  10. I enjoyed your post Jewels. Kisses from Boston (see ya tonight)

  11. Beer for the Shower-that is what makes you a real fan-you love them even if they are sucking balls!

    Me-so glad that you enjoyed the post! I am looking forward to tonights game and hoping for a win...for the Flyers of course! EIther way it is going to be a good game-the series is getting pretty chippy and I for one can't wait to ssee how tonight plays out. GOod luck. To your kisses from Boston I will add Hugs from Philly.

  12. I am sooooo not feeling the love of my Penguins, and especially Sidney, from you, Jewels! :) Believe me, I love to hate your Flyers just as much as you do my Pens. But I must correct you on one thing here. I would PROUDLY wear my Steelers jersey in Dallas just as I would PROUDLY wear my Pens jersey in Philly. Your fans would just have to suck it!

  13. Oh, and by the way.. I have a friend at work who is a Flyers fan (the term friend is used loosely since he torments me with Flyer orange quite frequently). I always tell him that the Flyers take hockey players and turn them into goons where the Pens take goons and turn them into hockey players. He just laughs because he knows it's the truth!


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