Outta’ Right Field: It’s time to give the Flyers attention

By Nick LaRosa
October 18, 2011

My fellow Philadelphia sports fans, take a look around the City of Brotherly Love.

The Eagles are 2-4 heading into the bye week. The Phillies are watching the World Series matchup between Texas and St. Louis from their couches. The Sixers, and the entire NBA for that matter, are being locked out.

The Flyers, on the other hand, have been hearing cheers from their fans since they defeated the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins on opening night. With wins in four of their first five games, the Flyers may be the city’s brightest hope right now.

Correct me if I’m wrong but hockey is one of the four major sports in America. The Flyers were within two wins of a Stanley Cup title in 2010, yet they always seem to take a backseat to the other teams in the city. With such a strong start this season, will people start to take notice?

I sure hope so. The Flyers certainly made headlines by trading away Mike Richards and Jeff Carter over the summer. With players like Ilya Bryzgalov, Wayne Simmonds and Sean Couturier now on the roster, the Flyers still have a strong chance to rise through the Eastern Conference standings.

Besides the changes general manager Paul Holmgren made in the offseason, the team still boasts extraordinary talent. James van Riemsdyk and Claude Giroux, both under the age of 25, are two of the league’s finest young players. If you ask me, Giroux is poised to become one of the league’s top forwards within the next few years. Heck, his skill set should make you want to watch him now, if you have the chance.

Hockey has been a fixture in Philadelphia since its inception in 1967 and the 2011-12 campaign should not change that perception. I’ve always felt that hockey is the most exciting and fast-paced sport in North America. Philly has an already strong Flyers following but I would love to see the fans come out in full force right now.

The main point I’m trying to get across is that the “rebuilt” Flyers are the most exciting sports team in our city right now. Even if hockey hasn’t peaked your interest in the past, give it a shot now. The Eagles are performing at a sub-par level and the Phillies and 76ers just aren’t in the picture. This Flyers team has the passion and youth needed to succeed.

Hopefully this start is what the Flyers need to alert others that they can be Philadelphia’s No. 1 team. I’ve bled orange for my whole life and I only wish that others will start to follow this team more closely this season.

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Nick LaRosa

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