Monday, November 13, 2006
Here at Pensblog we like to look at things from every angle, and because of that I have asked one of my closest friends, Todd " t-train" Lewis, a lifelong flyers fan to become a corrspondent, and let us know about the plight of the flyers.
A little background on T-train. I met him as a wide eyed freshman in 2002. He dropped out of school in 2003, but he will say he just retired. He once came back to stay in my dorm room and sleep on my couch for 3 weeks.
For fans of the blog in the lanacaster area, he is the voice of Party Bear on FM97 WLAN.
Party bear was born in the streets of Pittburgh. Its basically some bear costume, that doesn't fit.
Anyway without further intro...T-train
April 28, 2006.
Sure it was only 6 months ago, but it seems so far away. Life was so simple then.
The Pittsburgh Penguins had just capped of yet another dismal season
Steve Nash had a full head of hair.
Ed Bradley was doing a story on the Da Vinci code for 60 minutes.
Meanwhile I was returning from a Philadelphia Flyers playoff game.
A spring tradition for my father and I was that i took him to a Flyers playoff game for his birthday present. It's just a given that they'll be that good every year.
Unfortunately for my beloved Flyers they were greatly over matched by an up and coming Buffalo Sabres team. So outmatched that they had fallen behind 2-1 in the series and were facing a do or die game 4 before heading back to the hole in the wall known as the city of Buffalo. That's where I came in.
When I say I was Flyered up for this game, I mean i was really Flyered up for this game. Philadelphia is an hour drive from my beautiful house in the rolling hills of Amish country. Unfortunately for my father (who was driving) I had to decided to start drinking for the game which had a 7:30 face off at 1 in the afternoon.
Needless to say, when we left at 3 I was bleeding black, orange, and Coors Light.
2 pit stops and 3 beers drank in the car later we arrived in the Wachovia Center parking lot. (Side Note: It really breaks my heart that the Wachovia Center has had 3 names in ten years. Corestates Center, First Union Center, and now Wachovia. The Boston Garden was always the Boston Garden. Same with Arrowhead Stadium, and Solider Field. Sports today suck like that)
After a few more beers in the parking lot, we decided to make our way into the arena. Since we had a long walk I decided to stick two more bottles in my pockets and drink them on the way. Funny thing happened on the way into the arena though.
I tried jumping a fence to save time with two bottles in my pocket...not a good idea. I tore a hole down the entire front of my shorts exposing most of my leg...(I wasn't wearing boxers anymore because I pissed in a bottle in the car on the way to the game and missed. Don't act like it's never happened to you)
I can't really tell you exactly what happened at what time during the game other than Peter Forsburg scored on this friggin' amazing wrap around. ....Oh yeah, and I called a woman wearing a Sabres jersey a stupid C-word that rhymes with hunt and Flyers fans were even offended. Fast forward to the end of the game, the Flyers are up 5-4 with 36 seconds left. People on either side of me have left and there's no one in front of me. My Dad was in the next section over cause we couldn't get seats together.)
The roof is coming off the arena at this point. We were overmatched by the Sabres and yet, we're about to tie the series at 2-2...not to mention I have to piss like a racehorse.
Option A) I could get up and go to the bathroom, miss the end of the game, roof coming off the building, and probably stand in a long line where I'd end up pissing my pants.
Option B) I could take advantage of everyone around me leaving early to beat traffic and put one of the $6 cups of beer that I bought to some good use. (Remember that hole in the front of my shorts?)You know where this is going...I calmly looked around, and made sure no one was looking and stuck one of my beer cups inside my shorts and drained the dragon.
No harm no foul. No one noticed, no one said a word, and I got to see the Flyers celebrate. Walking out of the section into the concourse everyone was feeling great and was in a celebratory mood...except for the two Wachovia Center security guards who grabbed me and told me they were taking me downstairs to the jail.
Yeah Pittsburgh fans, we have jails in our sports venues here. I belligerently was saying to the guards, "What am I going in for?" Their response was, "you know what you did, the evidence was on your pants, we have witnesses."I began looking around for witnesses, and said "where's your witnesses? You have none.
I contuined "You didn't bust enough people tonight, and all you're doing is trying to make your quota." Whoops...hindsight I'd probably take that one back.
The walk from the nosebleeds where I was sitting, to the jail in the basement was a long one and I had plenty of times to tell them "I'm not guilty y'all got to feel me." (Thanks Jay-Z) As well as threatening to call my attorney.
Finally when I got to the jail they asked for my ID, and I handed it over to them. No sooner than 10 seconds later another rowdy Flyers fan comes into the jail for booking.
Only instead of asking for his ID the guard who I was dealing with said, "Oh, you again. Ha ha. Just get out of here." Everyone had a big chuckle except for me. I demanded my ID back and said they couldn't detain me because I'm some bum who comes to one game a year and let the big money season ticket holder go. Surprisingly enough a few seconds later they handed my ID back to me and told me to get out. For those of you keeping score at home:
Todd Lewis - 1
Philadelphia Flyers Security - 0
The point of all this besides the humor is that since that night, NOTHING has been the same in Flyer land. The Flyers dropped the next two games in Buffalo. The Flyers started this season 1-6-1. The team's worst since 1989-90 season.
Bobby Clarke resigned and Hitchcock got fired.
Worst of all for this Flyers fan, the Pittsburgh Penguins are riding high. For a week or two after Hitchcock got fired everyone had hoped that the Flyers bad start was to blame on the players tuning Hitch out.
Then Sydney Crosby lit us up for a Hat Trick on October 28th, and we've lost 5 out of 6 since then. I am resigned to the fact that my Dad and I are not going to make our yearly voyage to a Flyers playoff game in April. I'm waving the white flag.
As long as the Phillies sign Alfonso Soriano this will not be the winter of my discontent.
But I cannot say that I'm not happy for all of you Pens fans. It's been a long drought. You really do deserve this magical ride that the Pens are going to take you on. You've got Fluery, Staal, Malkin, and Sid the kid. Your future is bright for the next three-four years......
Until my Flyers and probably the Rangers or Red Wings swoop in and sign one of your young stars when they become free agents, and you're left with a team consisting of the likes of Rico Fata, Ric Jackman, and Johan Hedberg.Enjoy the ride while it lasts. Ben Rothlisberger did.
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