Thursday, July 24, 2014

Five Traits Old School Philadelphia Flyers Fans Possess


The Philadelphia Flyers were born through National Hockey League expansion in 1967. Ed Snider, founder and team chairman, brought hockey to a city that was set to soon celebrate a Stanley Cup Championship and permanently change the culture of sports throughout that region.

Here are five traits that are shared by all old school Flyers fans:

#5: Honoring heroes

You know that you are an old school Flyers fan if you wore an all-black mesh jersey to your actual school the day after beloved goaltender Pelle Lindbergh's spirit was released into that dark 1985 fall sky.
The promise Bernie Parent's protege showed by winning the Vezina trophy, for his efforts in the 1984-85 season, seemed to clearly foreshadow the coming of a third Cup.
The 26-year-old achieved what only the greats do, as no Flyers fan needs to ask who 'Pelle' was, is and will always be.

#4: Appreciating historical landmarks

Gene Hart would often reference an undocumented medical condition during his classic broadcasts. That health care concern involved opposing players who notoriously came down with the "Philly flu" when their team was scheduled to play at the Spectrum in Philadelphia.
That once world class sports showplace hosted the Boston Bruins, during the team's first Stanley Cup championship-winning game, on an incredible May day in 1974. It then lived on through the new millennium.
Whenever you walk past the spot where it used to be, it's image reappears in your peripheral vision. More than a memory, this legend has never truly died. Instead, it exists on another plane that only people like Bobby Clarke and Flyers fans remain allowed to see.

#3: Creating and maintaining proper connections

One treasured moment of childhood would obviously be standing in a massive department store line, on a cold Saturday morning, so that you could actually meet Dave Schultz.
Yes, you pondered whether the unusual unchained iced melody that was playing repeatedly on the loudspeaker was actually meant to sooth that savage beast. But, when he signed the photo of himself and smiled at you, you half-considered asking him to come to your school so that he could help to 'convert' that New York Rangers fan who had invaded your fifth grade classroom.

#2: Accepting reality and remaining vigilant

May 28, 1987 was the closest that the Flyers have gotten to reclaiming the elusive Silver Chalice. Some were in the building on that date, while others watched penultimate history on television or listened through an AM radio signal.
The event being noted was the Flyers comeback from a 2-0 deficit against the Edmonton Oilers in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. On that night in South Philadelphia, J. J. Daigneault somehow appeared at the blue line, raised his stick and slapped a puck that Grant Fuhr couldn't stop. That third goal gave over 19,000 members of the Flyers roster a 3-2 lead that only twenty Oilers had no shot of then winning.
A greatly reduced Flyers squad traveled to face Edmonton on their home ice three days later in Game 7.

#1: Understanding the importance of family

The men who put on those Flyers emblems are nothing short of family. The 1970s and 1980s weren't just eras. They represent the origin and development of a franchise that has continued to elicit guttural emotion like few other sports franchises around the world have ever been able to replicate.

Overtime: Of course, there are far more than five traits of old school Flyers fans. Some were privileged to attend those monumental Stanley Cup games in the mid-1970s. They were people who knew how to have a party and throw a parade.
Others believe that the victory over the Soviet Union's Central Red Army team, in Super Series '76, helped to end Communism. They understand the importance of true patriotism. (Some non-Flyers fans actually believe that last line was meant seriously.)
Then, there were those who took part in the 1979-80 season's 35-game unbeaten streak. They fully grasp the value of unexplainable orange and black magic.
With whatever your five traits are, these points simply open the debate. Since we are addressing Philadelphia hockey fans, maybe this list actually drops the gloves and starts the fight. One can only hope.

(Yahoo Sports originally published my article "Five Traits Old School Philadelphia Flyers Fans Possess" on 2-27-2012.)

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Let's connect on Twitter @SeanyOB, through Facebook, or on LinkedInVisit my Examiner Contributor Page.

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My illustrated children's book: Maddie: Teaching Tolerance with a Smile officially became a Top 10 Amazon best-seller as of January 29, 2014. The print and ebook editions were initially released in August, 2014.

Children's Alopecia Project

50% of all proceeds from the sale of our book (in both print and ebook forms) are being donated to the Children's Alopecia Project (CAP).

What a ride

This incredible and unexpected ride began in the spring of 2011. By August 2013, the book was published by the Children's Alopecia Project in print form. We have been very pleased with sales of that edition. Use, or share, this link --->>Maddie: Teaching Tolerance with a Smile to purchase the printed book directly from CAP.

I published a special ebook edition within weeks of the print book release. After starting in the tens of thousands (in terms of Amazon's children's book rankings), Maddie broke into the Top 50 just prior to Christmas. It climbed through the 30s and settled in the upper 20s before breaking into the Top 10.  

Use, or share, this link --->>Maddie: Teaching Tolerance with a Smile to see a 'free-view' of the special ebook edition. I've included extra bonus features in this version that provide background information, extra photos, and illustrations. Each item helps to tell the complete story of this book's birth. 

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Here's a link to this great (print and online) article that the Reading Eagle recently published about our story Maddie: Teaching Tolerance with a Smile: Book chronicles Wyomissing teen's journey since being diagnosed with alopecia

Thank you to Stacey Stauffer (Fox 29 Philadelphia). She interviewed Madison Woytovich, her parents (Jeff and Betsy Woytovich) and me about the latest chapter in this inspiring story. Here's a video link to Stacey's wonderful feature. 

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Amazon.com is the number 1 online publishing platform in the world. That's why I used it to publish my first ebookFast Fiction and Other Stuff.
This mini-tome is a collection of stories and poems for readers who don't take themselves too seriously. I hope that you enjoy it and am always interested in your feedback. 

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