Saturday, January 2, 2010

Old Time Hockey

Ole 44 doesn't follow hockey that much anymore, but as a kid growing up in NE Philly we loved our Broad Street Bullies and played alot of street hockey. Halcion days for us with two Stanley Cups followed by being the only NHL team to kick the crap out of the Red Army team from the Soviet Union -- the only time everyone was cheering for the usually hated Flyboys. The Red Army was undefeated against the NHL and only the Flyers stood in the way of a perfect record. The Flyers roughed up the commies a bit too much and they refused to take the ice in the 2nd period, until Ed Snyder informed the head comrade that if they didn't complete the game they wouldn't be paid for entire series against the NHL. Ahhh... how money talks. They retook the ice and lost 4-1.

Yesterday I sat in bed and energetically used my Direct TV remote to switch between the Mummers Parade and the NHL Winter Classic between the Bruins and Flyers at Fenway Park. "Old time hockey"-- with the Flyers losing but winning the only fight. The final picture reminded me of my buddy Lammers, who played hockey for Villanova -- and still has in his office a tattered poster of an aerial Bobby Orr scoring a goal, way back when.

Flyers fans flocked to Fenway Philadelphia Inquirer

Though they were clearly outnumbered, Flyers fans did their best to turn the site of yesterday's Winter Classic into Phenway Park.

Philly-area fans invaded Boston the last few days. They were in bars. In restaurants. In hotels.
And, of course, at historic Fenway Park, which hosted yesterday's Winter Classic between the Flyers and Boston Bruins. The fans turned Boston into Philly North with their orange jerseys, their Flyers chants, their "Yo, Happy New Year's" greetings.

The Flyers were given 5,000 tickets to sell to season-ticket holders. All went quickly. A few thousand additional fans bought tickets from other outlets. Erin Dodds and Jessica Baver, both from Marlton, N.J., said they bought "nosebleed" tickets for $300 each from StubHub.

"It was a lot of money, but it was worth it," said Dodds, 24, a waitress who wore a Rick Tocchet jersey. The two young women were part of a huge group of Flyers fans who arrived in Boston on Amtrak, about 10 minutes after midnight yesterday. "We had our own little Flyers car," said Baver, 22. "We drank in the New Year together. Philly loves their teams, and we do it right." (click title for the entire article)

A grand slam on ice - The Boston Globe

“It’s the perfect day for hockey in Boston,’’ said Bobby Orr as he watched from an upstairs box. “It’s a thrill to see all these pros turn into kids again for one day. This is how we all started playing hockey - outdoors. And this day, here at Fenway Park, truly is a classic.’’


The crowd made the day. Ken Burns’s well-worn PBS series on baseball spoke lovingly about the good old days of ballpark crowds when “everybody wore a hat.’’ Grainy photos of packed Fenway in the days of Ruth feature endless rows of gentlemen smoking cigarettes, wearing boaters, no doubt placing bets on the unfolding action.

You can’t smoke at Fenway anymore, but it seemed that everybody at the park yesterday wore a hat. Owed to comfort more than fashion, most of the 38,112 kept their heads warm with one of the Winter Classic tuques sold at the concession stands. Those hats forever will be souvenirs of one of the most magical afternoons in the history of the 97-year-old yard.

It was 39 degrees at game time (some Sox games have been colder) and many sight lines were terrible, but few complained. Twenty-three-year-old Lindsey Maher made the trip from Allentown, Pa., and scored a front-row ticket behind the backstop, only to learn she was sitting below ice level, 150 feet from the penalty box.

“At least we’ll be able to hear the game,’’ said Maher, a Flyers fan.

Most of the fans had the same attitude. This was a day to be there. That was enough. (click title for the entire article)

Staff Sergeant Ryan R. LaFrance (center) dropped the ceremonial first puck for with
Flyers great Bobby Clarke and Bruins great Bobby Orr before the Winter Classic began Friday at Fenway Park.

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