The 2021-22 Flyers season has come to a close. I have watched every game.
I get it, this has been a difficult season, one that started with so much hope. The additions of Cam Atkinson, Ryan Ellis, Risto and Keith Yandle to the roster had me, and many Flyers fan, looking forward to spring, with dreams of playoffs dancing in our heads.
Alas, there will be no playoffs this year. Cam Atkinson, Carter Hart and Risto are all done for the season, and Ryan Ellis played all of four games in a Flyers sweater. Claude Giroux is gone. Yandle was benched, ending his Iron Man streak. Both Kevin Hayes and Sean Couturier had serious injuries that shortened their seasons.
All of this is common knowledge, has been hashed and rehashed over and over on every blog, on every pre and post game feature. I was asked about a week ago why I was still watching the games….they didn’t matter, why didn’t I just switch to watching the Sixers? They were in the playoffs. They are a GOOD team. I have been pondering that question, from a man who welched on a bet in case you are interested, for a while.
It is true that the Flyers aren’t all that good a team this year, but they are MY team. Year in, year out, for as long as I can remember, they have been my team. There have been ups (2010) and there have been downs (2006, and this year, obviously) but this team has been a constant in my life. I joke that my love life follows the success of the Flyers, or vice versa. This correlation has continued with the 2021-22 season, so if you think watching this team is bad, imagine my dating life post divorce.
So why did I watch the last game of the season with tears burning the back of my throat? I can only answer THEY ARE MY TEAM. That divorce? I got through it watching the Flyers. This horrific run of really bad dates? Getting through it watching the boys in Orange and Black. Losing the daughter who should have turned 22 on Tax Day, the daughter who was going to come home from the hospital in a teeny tiny Flyers Cheerleader outfit? The Flyers. My son, the Best Looking Kid in The World? Watched his first game at a few hours old, and he did come home from the hospital in Flyers gear.
When I say that I am enjoying watching the “Baby” Flyers show sparks of brilliance, I mean it. Seeing Noah Cates, Morgan Frost and Igor Zamula show that they are the future of this team gives me hope. Hope that next year, the games will be a little easier to watch. While I am realistic enough to know that I am not planning a wedding OR a Stanley Cup Championship party next year, I am hopeful. Hopeful that next year, I am still watching Flyers hockey in May. You know, with a sane, decent looking guy who appreciates my loyalty, and is hopefully single and over six foot tall, sitting next to me.
By: Phyllis Ceci (@flyersfan1129)
photo credit: @NHLFlyers