Saturday, September 22, 2007

Philadelphia Freedom

Hi, everyone! I'm Nadine and I'll be the second voice for the Flyers. I've been an obsessive hockey fan for about 16 years, and I love goalies because I lived with of my younger brothers...and I know what the job takes.

Big thanks to Kristin for seeing my blog and encouraging me to join the group. And larger thanks to all of you for creating and participating in this space for female hockey fans.

So, here’s my take as a Philadelphia Flyers fan…where we are passionate about our team – win, lose, or tie!

1. Where you're from, what you do - basic things.

We moved a lot when I was growing up, so I never know how to answer this. Here’s the short version: Born in Altoona, PA. Lived in various places in Ohio, then Maryland, college in Virginia, a year in Ecuador, out to Chicagoland, and back to Maryland.

I now live in Philly, and work tirelessly planning education seminars around the country. But I see the occasional game in-person, and watch others on TV.

2. Your team and why you like them.

The Flyers! I’ve liked them since I started watching hockey obsessively 16 years ago. (My brother Eli started playing hockey and there was no turning back for my family.) What attracted me to the Flyers? Rox Hextall.

Since then, the Flyers have had other interesting and talented players. There have been great seasons and last year’s nightmare. And while there are other teams and players I like, the Flyers are the team I keep coming back to each year.

3. Your least favourite team and why?

I don’t really have one. I just enjoy watching hockey, played at any level.

But I have to answer, so it’s the Penguins and only because they’re in Pittsburgh – the other big city in Pennsylvania. Cross-state rivalries can be so much fun!

4. Your favourite player of all time & now?

All-time: Jacques Plante – He had all kinds of goalie firsts, but he was the one who made the goalie mask a part of everyday equipment. (And now we get to enjoy some fantastic artwork!)

Now: Martin Biron – First, he plays for the Flyers. Second, I am so happy he has the chance to be our #1 goalie! He played back-up to some really good ones in Buffalo. Plus, I believe his contribution last season after his trade was immediate and helpful.

5. If you had to punch one hockey player or member of the NHL organisation, who and why?

For me, this is a two-way tie.

Gary Buttman, uh, Bettman: Can we please have a new commissioner? Someone that will get us a good TV deal? Someone who will veto merchandisers that try to give me a jersey in pink?!! And I really miss Campbell, Wales, Norris, Patrick, Adams and Smythe. (This is not basketball!)

“Dollar Bill” Wirtz:
He’s destroyed the ‘Hawks, an Original Six team. When I lived in the Chicago area, I couldn’t watch hockey on TV (because the volunteer house didn’t have cable) and I couldn’t go to a game (because I couldn’t buy a ticket on my volunteer stipend).

6. What you'll be looking forward in this group blog.

I like the idea of talking about all things hockey with other female fans. I can’t do that with rink/puck bunnies because they don’t seem to understand my snarky remarks. Guys just don’t know what to make of my more in-depth commentary. “She sure doesn’t sound like a puck bunny.” Honest, I heard that at a game last season. Grr!

7. What you don't like in general?

Double standards. Math. Guys who dive (Briere, I'm looking at you). Drunk driving. People who hate. Rink/puck bunnies. Pay grades. The NHL merchandisers who bought into the pink idea that permeates professional sports. Gary Bettman. Bill Wirtz. Bobby Clarke (as a non-player). Bush administration (Is it 01/29/2009 yet?).

8. What role do female fans play in keeping the game alive?

Female fans are more consistent and loyal. When we become a fan, we stay a fan. We don’t defect just because of one bad season, like some male “fans” I know.

More importantly, we raise future athletes – in one way or another. We’re their mothers, aunts, cousins, godmothers, sisters, mentors, best friends, muses and acquaintances. We care about them being more than “that big guy” who hits really hard, scores a lot of goals, or stops a lot of shots.

9. What role do female fans play in picking heroes for the community?

We know there’s more to being a sports hero than just good stats, and we don’t let the stats override the importance of the human component. How involved are the players and team in my community, beyond working hard to bring in the Stanley Cup? Who contributes to our community in a positive way?

(Guys: It’s so much nicer to be able to respect you as a human and as a player. Who knows when a trade will happen? But female fans talk to each other, and we will spill the beans on your bad rep and exactly why you have it.)

10. Hockey just isn't the same without...

Steve Yzerman suited up, making spectacular plays, and befuddling goalies across the league. (This guy was and still is a hockey hero!)

11. If you were on a deserted island, which player would you pick tostay with you?

I’m going newly old-school on this with Alexander Mogilny. Because if we were on the deserted island due to a turbulence-related plane crash, we both would have refused to fly that day! Instead, we’d probably be having a really great conversation in the airport waiting for the next flight with seats available.

12. Crosby, Ovechkin or Phaneuf (hey he tried!)?

I’m going with Ovie because he plays for the team closest to where my parents and brother live now. So if Eli and I take in a game over a long-weekend visit, it will be the Caps.

13. The player you'd like to take for a grand night out/a movie/a boring event?

I’m picking Maxime Talbot for all three, because he is just so darn funny/cute.

14. If you could make your own team, regardless of whatever players,what would it be called and where will it be/how would it be like?

I would raise a capital campaign to buy-out the Chicago Blackhawks and return that Original Six team to its fans, local TV stations, the playoffs…in short restore it to its former glory. (It’s so poorly run right now that it would be like starting over anyway.)


Elly said...

Welcome! (even if you do like Ron Hextall. :)

kristin said...

Welcome, Nadine! Now there will be someone else to shoulder all the Flyers trash talk that comes my way!

Kerriberry7228 said...

:-) Welcome Nadine. I can't stomach rooting for the Flyers, but I'll cheer for the Blackhawks with you.

Interchangeable Parts said...

Hi Nadine! Here at Interchangeable Parts, we'll put aside that whole Flyers thing long enough to say, "Welcome to HLOG!"

Kirsten said...


Shmee said...

Nadine, you had me buying the Hawks back.

Shmee said...

Hmmm. Obviously I am still hungover and what I meant was "you had me AT..."

Nadine said...

Grr! I can't post from work. But, thanks for the welcomes.

elly: ronnie just what got me interested.

kristin: i can take the trash others will throw our way, as long as their teams can take what our guys dish out.

kerri: see, i'm not such a bad sort...and those are just the two teams i follow the most.

schnookie and pookie: i look forward to our friendly rivalry and any meetings at our games.

kirsten: thanks! i know the pain you felt when your team was stolen. (the only nfl team i follow is the cleveland browns.)

shmee: it's just a travesty! and i completely understood what you meant.