Each Flyers’ loss disappoints me, but any setback to the Boston Bruins infuriates me. I have disliked the Beantown bunch since the 1990 Stanely Cup Finals, the first I watched, when Bill Ranford helped the Edmonton Oilers to beat in six games the team that drafted him in 1985. All that I liked about Boston was that their goalie, Andy Moog, who began his career as an Oiler before a trade for Ranford sent him to hell, er, Boston, had the coolest last name in sports.
The Bruins destroyed the Flyers yesterday and let me cogitate on how much of an oddity the boys are. I love the Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots, having followed the first two for 22 years and the third for 10. The ice hockey squad has had superstar talent since its 1924 inception, but the city has been able to celebrate only five Stanley Cups, with the last title coming in 1972. I can see Bruins’ fans saying how much Philadelphia would like to have “only five Stanley Cups.” Hey, fans, you have had 43 more seasons than my Flyers, so face the wicked, hard reality that you are not going anywhere.
My dislike has me wondering if fans like to support all of a city’s teams or just a couple. The Sox, Celts and Pats will never lose my allegiance, with the Bruins set never to lose my disgust. My local support mimics my Boston attraction. The Flyers, my lovable heartbreakers, will always draw me in, as will the Phillies, no matter how many times Ryan Howard swings at garbage. The Sixers are promising, with a fair amount of potential.
The Eagles, however, can pound sand, Jell-O or whatever else is around. If Bruins’ followers believe they are cursed, they should buddy up with a Bird’s buff to learn what true misery is. Is anyone out there who likes all of a city’s major professional sports teams? New Yorkers, is love for the Islanders really possible? Detroit dwellers, do the Lions really make you roar?
I love that the Flyers have given the Bruins’ fans hope. In about 10 days, that blessing will be gone, and crinkled footage of Bobby Orr will dominate Massachusetts homes. Sorry, Boston, you are gifted enough. Prepare to take swigs from your golf course beverages, not from Lord Stanley’s Cup.