Flyers

Just when I thought I was out on the Flyers, they pull me back in

I admit it. My eyes have been wandering and I’ve found myself lingering for a few brief moments on Comcast, taking in a glimpse or two of the Flyers on this 8-game win streak.

I swore I wouldn’t. I swore I had cast off this franchise until changes were made, until they veered away from the status quo that has mired them in futility for DECADES, save a miraculous Stanley Cup run 9-years ago.

But I’m cracking…I cursed this franchise earlier in the season, last year, the year before, citing that they every season for the past 10 years they were always “two-years away” from relevance.

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Will the Flyers break free from the past and forge a new identity?

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Every calendar in the Flyers’ wing of the Wells Fargo Center is from 1975. Gas is 30-cents a gallon. Scouts are desperately searching for grainy, reel-to-reel footage of the USSR national team in preparation for the huge, international exhibition tilt scheduled for the new year.

But yesterday a new intern walked into the facility with an iPhone and blew everyone’s mind. Wifi became a thing. Gas shot up to over $2 a gallon. Donald Trump went from a young, cocaine hungry boob to our current cocaine hungry boob of a president.

And the Flyers fired Ron Hextall from his GM position, another vaunted visage of a more successful past hired to bring the Flyers back into relevancy.

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What will the Flyers mascot be?

So, the Flyers dropped a cryptic video onto their Twitter feed yesterday, strongly hinting at rumors that franchise would be introducing a mascot for the second time in franchise history.

A “hilariously” portrayed private investigator finds the mascot’s room deep in the bowels of the Wells Fargo Center, teasing out the reveal of the mascot to the excitement of literally nobody.

Does anybody actually want a Flyers mascot? Is this a good idea? Probably not. But, in the spirit of things, we’ll take a few guesses as to what the big reveal will presumably be this week.

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The 2018 Phillies are the unwanted, unloved red-headed step-child of Philadelphia

It’s Christmas morning in the City of Philadelphia. The Eagles unwrap one of the huge, festive boxes at their feet and squeal with glee. It’s a PS4. It will go perfect with the XBox One. The 76ers scream in happiness as the city presents them with a new 52-inch flat-screen television for their room.

The Phillies are gifted a nondescript, manila envelope containing a $50 check made out to cash.

Nobody even remembers to wake the Flyers up. Nobody cares about the Flyers.

Oh those poor Phillies. A game out of first place, already eclipsed the win total from 2017, and it’s like it doesn’t even matter. Why lavish any attention on the runt of the litter when the golden boys, the favored children, the HEIRS to the Philadelphia empire, are around?

It’s not fair. The Phillies are talented. They’re competing. They should be loved and adored. Instead, they’re asked to take care of “this mess” while the Eagles and 76ers get to play with their new toys.

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Las Vegas Knights four wins away from ironically destroying Las Vegas

Has any city ever rooted harder against its own NHL team to LOSE in a Stanley Cup final than Las Vegas is right now with the Las Vegas Knights?

The plucky expansion team, filled with rejects and has beens who pulled themselves up from their skate straps to appear in the Stanley Cup finals during its inaugural season, is set to TOPPLE everything Las Vegas was built on if it captures the cup in the coming weeks.

Why? Because sport books had  the Knights at 500/1 prior to the start of the season to win the NHL championship.

Well, okay, fine….those are insane odds, but who would have actually bet on them prior to the start of the year? Did Pierre-Édouard Bellemare really instill that much confidence in bettors? That roster sucked, and it sucked hard at first glance.

Well, one betting expert told Forbes it could be the biggest futures sports betting loss in the history of Las Vegas:

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The Flyers are gone, and we couldn’t do nothing about it

At the end of Goodfellas when Tommy thinks he’s going to a meeting to become a made man, two members of the family he’s involved with bring him to an empty rumpus room and put a bullet in his head, essentially wiping their hands of a once-promising, but now disappointing and dangerous man who took too many chances and never saw his demise coming.

But really, if he had stopped to think about it for more than few minutes he would have realized what he was walking into. Sure, he was a good earner, but he killed Billy Batts, a made man, in a fit of rage and thought he could get away with it. He killed Spider, he killed Stacks, he killed Morrie and his horrible wig, so the idea that he thought he was going to become a made man didn’t make a ton of sense.

But they lured him in with big promises and he couldn’t see past what could have been. He ended up dead on a dirty linoleum floor, in a puddle of his own blood, next to an empty card table.

Yesterday, as we watched the Flyers claw their way to a 4-2 in the third period against the hated Penguins, we thought we were on the road to being made men.

They were giving the Penguins all they could handle! All they had to do was hold on to a two goal lead, force a game 7, and shock the hockey world and the city! They were going to be made men, and by proxy, so were the fans.

Then, well, Radko Gudas decided to stick handle his way past 800 Penguins in his own end, turned the puck over for an easy goal to make it 4-3, and suddenly the Penguins were leading all of us into a rumpus room with a concealed pistol in their pocket.

Some of us even fell harder for it than others.

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The last 20 years of the Philadelphia Flyers have been nothing but a blur

QUICK. Without looking it up, can you tell me how the Flyers season ended two years ago? Can you even tell me how their season ended LAST year? Did they make the playoffs? Was that the year Steve Mason let in a 90-foot goal against the Rangers? Or was that they year they lost in seven games to the Rangers? Didn’t they get swept by the Capitals a few seasons ago? Or was that the season they fall apart after a 10-game win streak in January and missed the playoffs, or does that happen every year?

Is Jeff Hackett still on this team? Derian Hatcher? Rob Esche? Luke Schenn? Michal Handzus?

Is Maxime Oullet EVER coming up to be the Flyers goalie of the century?

Outside of the miraculous, out of nowhere Stanley Cup run in 2010, the last 20 years of the Flyers franchise have been one long singular blur of wasted opportunities, wasted primes, and first round playoff flame-outs. The only singular identity this team has had over that period of time is the comically inept ability ability to find a franchise goalie since Ron Hextall left for the second time in the late 90s.

Ironically, the one time they actually found a young, franchise-worthy goalie they shipped his ass out of town and signed Ilya Bryzgalov to a 35-year, $250 million contract (or maybe it just seemed that long and expensive).

Watching this current team lose in overtime yesterday to the Pittsburgh Penguins as two goalies I’ve never heard of traded opportunities to blow several leads, I realized that during my adult life the majority of seasons for the Flyers have played out exactly the same.

They’re just there, in the background of our fandom. Nothing but ambient noise. No more, no less.

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