The Phillies were about as stacked as you could be on paper. No team can be perfect in every position, but they were as close as you could hope them to be. And still, their hopes of bringing us another championship ended on Friday. Then there is our football team. The Eagles loaded up on skill position players. Unfortunately, they ignored a few key things needed to help those players shine. The result is a 1-4 start, and most likely a team with Super Bowl hopes will end the season not in the playoffs. The NBA will likely miss the season due to lockout, leaving Philadelphia with one hope: the Flyers.
When you look at the NHL, the Flyers are one of the more popular (and hated) franchises. And they are loved and well-supported in this city. But until they are on a deep playoff run, they don’t really get their due in the public eye. Football comes first, and then basketball and baseball grab attention when they teams are having awesome seasons. When Iverson was in town, he was the toast of the city. Over the last few years, it’s been the Phils that challenge the Eagles for headlines. The Flyers still fill the building and sell some merchandise, but you don’t really hear anyone calling talk radio about them like you do the other teams.
Well it seems that this is the right time for things to change. Yes, the Eagles will still dominate all the talk, regardless of whether they continue to suck or if they have a great turnaround. But it’s the Flyers that people can look forward to for exciting sports action. The season is only two games old, but we’ve already seen just how different this team is from the last few seasons. We didn’t just get younger/cheaper replacement players that play the same game. We look completely different from last years squad. We’ve got more spunk than last year. When Chara hit Giroux from behind, JVR and Coburn went after him. When Clarkson challenged Simmonds, he got a few responses right back in his face.
We sure as hell are tighter on defense. We were stingy last year, finishing 11th in goals against. Everyone is aware that as good as we were, we didn’t get a shutout. We only had to wait until the second game to get one of those. We have rookies playing in prominent roles. Our 8th overall pick is out there killing penalties and killing clocks as they wind down to zero. Jagr doesn’t look like an over the hill, has-been superstar. Along with Giroux and JVR, he looks like a potent offensive threat. There’s a lot to look forward to with this team simply because its so new and fresh. The results after the first two games are awesome. We’ll need some more time to evaluate, but so far so good. And the City of Brotherly love should have plenty of free time to get to know this team and pay attention to them as they grow together.
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