Saturday, January 30, 2010

Yesterday, Love Was Such An Easy Game To Play......

Welcome to Philly! I have touched upon the joys of living in the City of Brotherly Love, yes I have. I had such a busy day yesterday that I did not have a moment to write about my trip to see the Flyers.

You see, on Thursday night I had a delicious dinner at Tinto, even though it was Restaurant Week. Don't get me wrong, Restaurant Week is an incredible 2 weeks for Philly. You can try a ton of restaurants, where each restaurant has a special fixed price menu. It is great. The reason I said it was delicious despite Restaurant Week is that it usually uber crowded, the staff has been working extremely hard and run around like lunatics and I am a creature of habit. It is the habit part that gets me. I usually order the same thing at the same restaurant. Especially when I find something I really like. Restaurant Week is a fixed menu - 2 from column A, 2 from column B plus dessert - you get it. I want to order 3 from column 2 and something that is on the regular menu. Like, say, two short rib bocadillos, which is probably one of the most delicious little sandwiches evah! and a bowl of seafood chowder and bomba rice. I dream of that sandwich. John agrees. There have been times when I cannot be home for dinner and I am out with the kids and John will go to Tinto and order two, not one, but TWO short rib bocadillos. Without me. I could not do that last night. Nope, but they did have delicious selections and it forced me to order outside my habit.

Anywho, every year we are invited by our friends Carmen and his wife Elka to attend a Flyers game. We go out to dinner early, then hit the ice. Thursday night was the night and let me tell you all about how great a Philly Flyers game can be. Carmen and Elka are great people. I think Carmen could possibly be a Hall of Famer Fan. He has season tickets to the Flyers, the Phillies, and he is a founding member of the Union! He attends a ton of Villanova games and Eagle games. He grew up in South Philly and he can give you a ridiculous amount of sport trivia going back..forever! John and I really enjoy their company.

Their tickets are on the ice. Right on the ice. Against the glass. In back of the net, to the right in a primo checking location. I once met John LeClair at some random function and when introduced, I told him that we had met before. "You were pressing some guys face against the glass and I thought we made eye contact! No?" Not kidding.

When these guys slam against the glass, your seats rock. John has spilled his beer. We have caught pucks that have been stuck in the net. John got on his chair and jumped. He has the scar to prove it. Well, the guy next to me called out to the players by their first name. "Danny, no! What are you thinking?! Nice, nice Seee-moooan (Simon). Atta boy, Patrick!" Like he was their buddy or better yet, their mom. He smelled of cigarettes and when he yelled, I smelled nacho cheese (honest). The opposing goalie came right to the glass to pick up a piece of athletic tape off the ice, he pressed his face to the glass and gave him the finger. The goalie looked directly into his face and smiled. They had a moment.

There was this ancient guy with a baaaaad toupee who held up well worn signs that said, "Asham Smash 'em!" and "YOU WILL CHOKE!" He was stoned face and wore acid washed jeans. The crowd would erupt and there was toupee guy, like a statue, slowly rotating that sign like an oscillating fan, humorless. The guy behind me had a pretty young girlfriend, with a pink cashmere sweater, who filed her nails the whole time while yelling, "THAT WAS A STUPID MOVE, THINK PU-LEASE!" She would glance up from her nails to wrinkle her nose and scowl.

And did I mention the dancing guy? Holy crap. He is at every, and I mean EVERY Flyers game. He gets MAJOR jumbo-tron time. He is a gift. A gift! Other cities must salivate watching this guy do the lawnmover. How can I get an orange dancing fool at my game, that fans love, who brings to a game unbelievable joy? You cannot, he's ours!

My favorite moment was when the organ belted out the dun, dun, dun, DUN and you are supposed to clap along and yell, "LET'S GO FLY-ERS". Everyone clapped, but then yelled "REF YOU SUCK!". The organist definitely heard and played at least 6 or 7 rounds.

The Flyers were up 3 to 1 and suddenly there was 15 minutes, give or take, of sub par play. They were down 4 to 3. Fans began to boo. Suddenly, the team rallied and played beautiful hockey. Shots were raining in. There was less than a minute left to play and they were going all out. The whistle blew for a foul and 19,000 plus fans rose to their feet to recognize the effort. Whistling, clapping, shouting support. I love sports, but I do not think that any sport compares to ice hockey. I think it is the most difficult sport physically. These guys are specimens and when they go all out, it is poetic. I digress...time runs out, the Flyers lose and the fans start to file out while booing the refs and opposing team.

They played beautifully. It was a great night!

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