First it was Nick Foles.
Then it was the Sixers' starting five.
And now most recently, the retooled Phillies with the $330 million man Bryce Harper.
Three Philadelphia sports teams on the cover of Sports Illustrated within the first three months of the 2019. The Flyers could have made it a perfect 4 for 4, but that would have required an almost unthinkable run that culminated with a Stanley Cup championship.
And even that may not have grabbed SI’s attention considering its neglect for the game of hockey.
Still, it had me wondering when the last time the Flyers were Sports Illustrated’s cover boys.
The 2010 Stanley Cup Final when Patrick Kane scored the unsuspected Cup-clinching goal?
Sometime during the Eric Lindros era?
Definitely during the 1980s you might think?
That would be a big no, no and no.
Would you believe the last time the Flyers graced an SI cover came a year after their second Stanley Cup championship?
Dig through the archives to May 24, 1976, when the Montreal Canadiens took down the Flyers in four straight games to deny the Broad Street Bullies a three-peat, back when the magazine could be purchased for a dollar.
It has been nearly 43 years. I’d like to find a subscriber who’s still around from back then.
The last time the team itself was prominently featured on the cover came just three months earlier with Bobby Clarke flashing his toothless smile on the bench as the “Fiery Leader of the Flyers.” You won’t even find an SI cover with the team hoisting the Cup.
The last time the Flyers even had a feature article written about the team was Oct. 3, 2005, after signing Peter Forsberg.
These days, now that the magazine is published biweekly, the NHL may have one hockey cover a year, usually in celebration of the champion.
Alex Ovechkin was the last.
Sidney Crosby has four covers in the past 10 years.
And the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team had three of its own in the span of a year.
If the Flyers ever grace the cover in our lifetime, frame it, hang it or laminate it, because it may never happen again.
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