Dear Flyers bandwagon fans,
I’ve been expecting your arrival for quite some time and am honestly surprised it has taken you this late into the season to finally get here.
Yes, I understand the past decade of Flyers hockey has been a roller coaster of mediocrity and off-and-on playoff appearances … but that looks like it is now a thing of the past. The cautious optimism has transformed into excitement and everyone around here is loving it.
The rebuilding phase has ended; the gears have shifted to win-mode. Late-season discussions about possible lottery and draft picks have morphed into who the team may face in the first round of the playoffs and even Cup odds. Honestly, what an exciting time to join the fun … it hasn’t always been this way.
This has been a long time coming and I don’t blame you for getting excited and wanting to show your support. If anything, it’s made me even happier knowing hockey in general is getting so much attention in Philadelphia.
For the time being, I suggest ignoring those saying you aren’t allowed to enjoy the team — they’re still shaking off this past decade. They’ll come around eventually, don’t worry.
Whether you are a new fan or an old one returning: welcome. If I could send welcome bundles filled with Gritty plushies, a jersey, signed pucks and an "I’m an official fan pin" … I would. But that’s a completely made up thing I just thought of so, sorry about that.
However, if you are new to the Philadelphia hockey scene, here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. Respect thy captain, Claude Giroux.
2. You must support Gritty. (Rule approved by president of the Gritty Committee a.k.a me.)
3. Carter Hart is the future. Let him grow and root for him along the way. Goalies = good.
4. Understand the rivals. See a Penguin? Boo a Penguin. Even if you’re at the aquarium.
5. Kevin Hayes used to ref. You won’t be able to get anything slick past him.
6. If you’re blocked by Jakub Voracek on Twitter (I am), that’s actually a fun running joke with fans.
7. If you’re blocked by Scott Laughton on Twitter (I’m not!) … can’t really help you there.
8. The chirpier the player, the better. This is why Travis Konecny is having his best season yet.
9. Refrain from throwing things on the ice at home games … this isn’t a frat, you won’t be initiated into the fandom if you do so. I promise. You’ll be shunned.
10. If you catch Alain Vigneault at the bar, make sure to buy him a martini. Trust me on this.
Hope to catch you at the Wells Fargo Center sporting the orange and black soon! And hey, if everyone happens to wind up on Broad Street in June celebrating a certain win? I can guarantee no one will be wondering if you’re a bandwagon fan. They’ve been waiting 45 years for that feeling.
A Flyers fan who is lucky enough to cover her favorite team and just wants everyone to have a good time
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