The New Democrat Online

Life is a Highway

Life is a Highway
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Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Broad Street Bullies: The Philadelphia Flyers of the 1970s: Love Them or Hate Them



This is my first ever blog about hockey and after reading this, you'll be able to believe that. I like the game, respect the game, enjoy watching the game, especially at the arena, similar experience as going to a football game. Right now I would take NHL Hockey over NBA Basketball but I'm just not an expert on hockey, familiar with its great history to a certain extent. But I couldn't name the top ten players in the NHL right now or who are the top ten NHL players of all time are. But what I do know about hockey, I love almost everything about it, especially its history, The Broad Street Bullies, the Philadelphia Flyers of the 1970s, a franchise I grew up hating as a Washington Capitals fan and still hate them today. And you have to remember we are talking about sports hate here, which is actually different from hating someone or something really. Th Flyers are the Capitals arch rival, which started in the early or mid 1980s and they still are today, it seemed like we met in the Eastern Conference Playoffs every year in the 1980s. And we've already played each other several times in this century so far as well. And have always played really close tight physical games against each other, which defines the styles of both the Flyers and Capitals.

One way to look at the Broad Street Bullies, especially if you are a football fan, is to look at the Oakland Raiders, especially of the 1970s. Anyone who played he Raiders in the 1970s, hated them but loved playing them, just so they can beat them, you either loved the Raiders or hated them, same thing with the Flyers. But I believe the Flyers still today bring those feelings for people but with the Raiders slipping the way they have the last ten years. Those feelings about the Raiders have died down some bit, this is how the FLyers are treated on the road. Go to a Flyers-Capitals game, which I've been to several, if you see a Flyers fan and you are a Capitals fan, the Flyers fan gets booed everywhere they go, even walking to their seats or getting up to walk around. If you are a Capitals fan and you see someone wearing Flyers gear, you are suppose to boom them right away, the Flyers fans get the same treatment as their players on the road.

I believe one of the reasons why the Flyers of the 1970s, were called the Broad Street Bullies, as if they were some gang from Broad Street in Philadelphia. Think about what a Bully is, someone who picks and beats on someone they are better and stronger then, well the Flyers were bigger and stronger then almost every other team in the NHL in this era. Winning two Stanley Cups, 1974 and 1975, you don't accomplish this by just being a physical teams that hits hard. You accomplish this by being better then everyone else, they also had great players. Like Bobby Clark and others who are today in the Hall of Fame.