Back in June of 1994, I was a month shy of my 10th birthday. I had just started following hockey about a year earlier, and was of course, a Flyers fan. But they stunk during the early 90's, so come playoff time, I would "adopt" a team and root for them to win it all: I took the Kings in 1993, (what little kid didnt love Gretzky?) In the spring of '94, I adopted the Rangers. They were such a likable team, trying to end a long championship drought. They had so many players that I liked; Richter, Messier, Graves, Leetch, MacTavish. When they won, I was very happy for them and their fans.
Jump ahead to 1995. The Flyers have rebuilt themselves into a contender, we've got Lindros, LeClair, Renberg, Brindamour, Hextall, etc... We faced the Rangers in the 2nd round of the playoffs, this was a key moment in my sports education; how could I have ever "adopted" or been happy for a New York sports team to succeed when I'm a Philadelphia fan?! I got great joy from watching the Legion of Doom eliminate the defending champs in 1995 and again in the '97 conference finals (suck on that Gretzky!) It was during these couple years that I realized just how annoying New York sports fans are, thus increasing my love for the city of Philadelphia, its fans and its sports teams
As Ive gotten older (and hopefully wiser) I still "adopt" teams once my team is out of the playoffs (go Colts!) but you couldnt pay me a million dollars to root for a New York team. Especially the Rangers. The '94 team was likable and exciting. The '09-'10 Rangers? Drury? Avery? Gaborik? Prospal? Callahan? please, they are about as exciting to watch as paint drying. (although Henrik Lundqvist is one of my top 10 favorite non-Flyers)
For all of these reasons I hope the Flyers put a good old fashioned South Philly beatdown on the blueshirts tonight similar to the one we put on them on New Years eve eve. The role players need to keep rolling, the stars need to keep shining, and Razor needs to get sharper. If at least 2 out of those 3 happen, I expect a big win
LETS GO FLYERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!