Here in Philly, everyone’s running in the streets screaming about the Flyers being in the Stanley Cup playoffs. This is a change of pace; usually people are running in the streets of Philly just punching each other.
But everyone (white people, black people, the mythical “Latino people” that live in North Philly, old people and the rich) are all crazy for the Flyers because, well, everyone likes a winner, and now that the Flyers are in a position to win it all (er, though they lost Game 1 Saturday night), it’s all, “YEAH F-CKIN’ FLYERS!!!!!” whereas a mere month ago most Philadelphians probably thought the Philadelphia Flyers was the name of the groupie sluts that the Eagles flew on a separate plane to pleasure them during road games during the season (and, yeah, the off-season).
But now it’s everywhere–everywhere. Orange and black t-shirts pepper the city like you’ve suddenly been dropped into a town made up of Princeton alumni (oh but trust me, you’re not though). And from the countless postings of Flyers-by-night fans on Facebook, people who look for any reason to drink around emotion (BP oil spill? Drink! Don’t Ask Don’t Tell? Drink! Flyers win/lose in playoffs? Drink!) the bandwagon’s dragging its wheels pretty deep in the dirt already.
Outside of the local Barnes & Noble here, there’s a black guy selling Flyers tees for $5.
He stopped me as I walked by to see if I wanted one, too. Our exchange went like this:
T-shirt Guy: “Hey brother, I got Flyers t-shirts for $5! Want one?”
Kids: “Me? Oh, no, no thanks.”
Kids: “No, really, thanks.”
T-shirt Guy (grabbing me close): “Brother, you don’t understand. You don’t have to buy this because you’re a fan. Shit, I don’t care if you even have a TV. But if Flyers win Game 1 or the series? These white people are going to go crazy. You know how they do: burning, breaking, punching and f-cking shit because somebody won a game. And they’re going to be looking for anything that’s not wearing orange and black to mess that shit up. And then in the morning, black and brown people gotta clean all their shit up. I swear this place is like f-cking Wonderland sometimes. Where was I?
T-shirt Guy: Oh yeah. Hockey. Hockey! I don’t believe in no hat tricks. See I grew up in Alabama. You want to know what a hat trick is? 6 white boys showing up outside your house at midnight with hoods on lightin’ crosses and then running around the corner to switch into cop uniforms when you call the police. That’s a hat trick. And power play? Shiiiit, these white people been runnin’ power plays in this country running everything from the lotto to Walmart–until Obama won that is. Now we’re seeing a power play! So brother you decide: you want to be a part of the celebration, or do you want to be a part of the celebration?”
I bought 7 t-shirts.
Despite the fervor, I still can’t get into hockey, though. We watched part of Game 1 that night, and I still couldn’t get over the basic premise:
10 white guys in masks batting a little black thing around with their sticks?
Sounds like a Duke lacrosse party to me.
So I pass.
So when people ask if I’m a fan of the Flyers, I say no because I hate that they’re always stuck on my car windshield.
When someone asks if anyone can name a Flyer, I say, “Buy 1 Burrtito, Get 1 1/2 Off at Quidoba”.
I do not yell GO FLYERS.
I do not know what icing is, besides it being that stuff that makes my cousin’s diabetes “flare up”.
But still, when the revolution comes down Broad Street in here in Center City? I’ll be ready with my Flyers gear on.