The last time the Flyers won a playoff series was in the 2011-12 season. I have heard that sentence, or some variant of it, so many times since the 2020 playoffs started that I have lost count. If it were a drinking game, I would spend my days and nights comfortably numb. I have also watched Flyers fans bemoan the team on social media, trashing the coaches, individual players, the power play, the penalty kill and the overall performance of this team.
While I have a player that I really would like to see go to Seattle in the expansion draft, I try desperately not to trash him on social media. While I do occasionally slip, I prefer to be positive about the team, and all the players for a couple of reasons. First, the majority of the players have social media accounts, and they see that bashing. Yes, they get paid millions to play a game, but I can’t imagine dealing with that kind of criticism for any price. If you think they don’t see those posts, think again; and if they don’t, I am sure their wives and families do.
The second reason that I don’t like the player/Flyer bashing hit me today while I was working out. After I logged off from work, I turned up my music loud and hit my own version of torture: the stair stepper. While trying to get through that hour, I pondered a lot of things…including all the negativity about the Flyers. I get it, I do. Most of the fans are a good deal younger than I am and don’t remember the two Stanley Cups. (Disclosure: I remember them, but JUST barely. And no, I won’t tell you how old I am).
During my climb of torture today, a song by Kenny Chesney called “The Big Revival” came on. I haven’t heard that song in a long while, most likely because I have somewhere in the area of 6,000 songs in my library, but I digress. The lyrics really hit home for me today:
“You won’t find many hypocrites that’ll take a chance on gettin’ bit, But a true believer can survive rattlesnakes and cyanide.”
I am a true believer in this team. Call me naive, call me crazy, call me whatever you want. I was the one, in 2010, who really believed that the goal (yes, THE GOAL) would somehow be reversed. I believed the Flyers had a chance at the playoffs last year. I watched every game of every season during the early nineties, known in my home as the “time of which we do not speak”. I am not an overly optimistic person in most of my life, but for some reason, I have always believed in the Flyers.
Am I unrealistic? Maybe. Do I know that this team has weaknesses? Yes, I do. I chose to believe that hockey is a sport played on the ice, not on paper, and that on any given day, any team can beat another. There is absolutely no reason that the Flyers can’t be that team, this year, so have a little faith kids. I know it has been a long time since this team has gone deep into the playoffs, and I understand the fear of disappointment, We finally have a goaltender that can be lights out, a coach that has a winning pedigree, and the NHL came back in the middle of a pandemic that shut the entire world down. Go ahead, worry and fuss if you must…As for me, praise the Lord and pass me a copperhead.
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