The FHF is proud to present part 2 of a 31 part series (don't think you're getting off easy just because you don't have franchises, Quebec and Hartford): Top 10 Reasons why all hockey fans – not just Habs’ fans – should hate the Flyers.
Many NHL franchises have immediately identifiable characteristics: the Canadiens’ will always be the Flying Frenchmen (even when they score at a soccer-like pace); the Oilers are young and fast, the Devils defensive and boring. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Flyers have staked a reputation of goonish thuggery and have too often given the league a figurative and literal black eye.
10. Center Bobby Clarke might be a Hall of Famer, but that doesn’t change the fact that he was a gap-toothed goon who believed winning was the only thing, to the extent that other players' safety was utterly irrelevant. Shooting pucks at goalie's heads to 'intimidate them' (back when helmets were not what they are today). The ultimate example being the vicious slash on Valery Kharlamov in the Super Series, breaking the Soviet star’s ankle. Just mind-boggling, cowardly, misguided hatred. He should be an embarrassment to all Canadians, not an idol.
9. Cooperalls, circa 1981-82. Those ugly one-piece pantleg things from the early eighties were a fashion crime against humanity. What does is say the Hartford freakin' Whalers were the only other franchise to employ such heinous attire? Go play ringette, you pussies.
8. That stupid fucking Kate Smith rendition of the anthem, which was once cool but is now so overused it borders on comical. Another glorious example of the Flyer's prediliction for not knowing when to quit.
7. Their goddamn idiot, Nazi-helmet wearing fans from the 70's. And yes we realize Ed Snider is Jewish. Only makes it more unbelievably inappropriate.
6. John LeClair and Eric Desjardins turning into superstars after the Mark Recchi trade. Lopsided trade despite Recchi being a valuable addition for several years due to LeCalir absolutely owning the Habs for the rest of his career. Plus made up 1/3 of the LEGION OF DUMB, err, DOOM line. We take small solace from Mikeal Renberg's current occupation, selling used cars in Omsk.
5. G.M. Bobby (Don’t Call me Bob) Clarke. So many reasons, but we'll rehash how he gutted the franchise for Eric Lindros, and in one of the most inexplicable scenarios if all time, turned the Big “E’ and his busy-body mom Bonnie into sympathetic figures. Plus, pieces of the Lindros trade were used by the Avs to shoplift Patrick Roy out from Rejean Houle’s goodiebag (ok fine, that was more the Habs’ fault than yours…) This is only mitigated somewhat by a) the trade blowing up in his face and b) signing the skating Gorillas, Derian Hatcher and Mike Rathje, to long-term deals.
4. The long line of street thugs the Flyers dress up in hockey gear: Bully Boulerice. Steve Downie. Deranged Hatcher. Box Car Hospodar. Wrong Hextall. Hammer (for brains) Schultz. Dupont. Clarke.
3. The 1989 Playoff attack on Chris Chelios; we realize he’s no choir boy and he had to know payback was going to be a bitch after clobbering Brian Propp with a vicious and illegal elbow. But even paranoid conspiracy-theorist Chelios couldn’t have anticipated the premeditated cornering and attack by Hextall, Ulf’s ugly stepsister Shell Samuelsson and the rest. And of course, like cowards, they with seconds left in the Flyer’s elimination game. Simply disgusting.
2. The embarrassment that is and was the Red Army/Flyers game. The fact that the Habs/Red Army New Year's game is one of – if not THE - best ever makes the Flyers actions all the more abominable.
1. President Bob Clarke standing up for Steve Downie after the clearly deranged young ‘man’ proves time and again he can’t draw the line between physicality and outright, bloodthirsty, violence. Just like his idol, Bobby Clarke.