The Flyers have been a Mom and Pop since 1967. Ed Snider learned from his Dad that small super markets could work in Maryland. There was a time when being a Mom and Pop Culture could work. Not anymore.
Big Ed Snider adored Bobby Clarke. He literally took the Flyers helm from his son and gave the reigns to Clarke – “Bob” Clarke only being successful “away” from the Flyers.
The Flyers have been their past. Until this moment, It was Snider, Clarke, Holmgren and Hextall. Not anymore. And that is the step in the right direction. Or atleast the direction of the New Sports Leagues. Of America. It’s all entertainment baby.
The Bullies are our most enduring and lovable past in Philadelphia. Any other team have a bar/saloon named after it? However, The NHL has changed. Many times the NHL changes after it views the Flyers roster every year! 🙄
Now the focus is on speed, finesse and spectacular plays that save the superstars for the TV contract. Without which, Sidney Crosby would be dead a decade ago or complete scrambled eggs.
Oh it’s still hockey, they hit. But not like the 70’s thru 90’s. Watching old Flyers playoff games even in the Lindros era looks like a police blotter of assault and battery charges. It’s frightening. You watch with today’s view of the game and your visceral response is to the violence. Today, it’s the amazing skills.
When the fans and the lawyers put the nets up to protect themselves, hockey got softer. More civilized in North America. Europe had nets for years. The blue lines got moved and the tiny little tap 0n your thigh will put you in the penalty box for an hour! So be it. Protect your product; make more money. Pre NHL strike: ticket prices at the Spectrum/Corestates (a defunct bank) climbed to $90 or more a seat. The prices got cut like the ESPN tv contract. Today, the seats are $90 plus again at the WF Center. Progress. Now it’s an entire city and it’s teams responding in joint support. Do you ever think Bobby Clarke and T.O. would be caught dead in the same room? Me neither.
The old Flyers et al are now the new Flyers with Fletcher and now a new coach outside the realm. It’s been tried before. But now Big Ed ain’t around. Gritty is in the building. And the Flyers may end up skating like the Montreal Canadians circa 1976. Who’d a thunk it.
Somewhere Kate Smith is crying.