Sunday was just weird and frankly after not watching much but listening to the Flyers game (my ESP telling me we would lose, drat) following a day outside with Darren Daulton with kids learning the art of batting , as well as customers all starry eyed because they met him and talked some sports (including Flyers), I was beat. This blog is now 18 hours late!
Darren "Dutch" Daulton - what a mensch (look it up if you have no idea what it means). He worked with all the children and they loved it. There were three kids who were particularly talented and he was wonderful with them. It was his patience with the others who love the sport but need work that was amazing.
Parents were catchers and fielders, enjoying the experience with their kids. Balls were broken in half and quarters, landing in trees and bushes. Talk about passion for the sport! Jeff (our cancer survivor) pitched for an hour with the biggest grin on his face. Dutch signed one of the balls he used with a special inscription and told him he had a good arm. He also told him he could give the "Old Man" a run for his money if he were 10 years younger. Sure he could!
Yesterday was about passion for all sports. All the Phillies and Flyers were discussed. We Philadelphians are all about our teams and favorite players!
Parents, kids and fans crowded around Dutch, applauding him as he entered the café. He in turn treated each of them with gratitude and humility, a rare quality today. I cannot say enough good things about the day and about Darren Daulton. Go to Facebook JJ Elephant Fan Page to see all the photos.
The visit to JJ Elephant made every one of us fans of Daulton and the game. Wouldn't it be grand if instead of sitting at a bar with kids for hours or waiting in line at the mall for an athlete to sign something in 3 seconds, kids had a chance to play a sport and learn from an athlete?
I am hoping more athletes follow Dutch and come to meet and greet customers, work with kids and have a real (non alcoholic) lunch sitting and chatting with people.
Now the switch. At 2 pm I quickly took off my Phillies' jersey and switched to my Flyers Giroux tee shit and Stanley Cup playoff hat.
I predicted the Flyers in 7 but was told it must be six. I had that "eeky" feeling so I worked on editing Dutch photos rather than watch the blowout. I did actually break down and watch moments here and there. Since I was exhausted and knew the outcome, why expend the energy cheering for the(measly) four goals? I clapped though.
The Chicago Machine fought dirty - we needed the Flyers to be the Broad Street Bullies of old. I am still puzzled as to why they pulled the goalie so early. Isn't that damn Amstel Light song they do after each goal annoying? I will never pick up that beer again as long as I live.
The refs missed some penalties on Chicago and there was the home ice advantage. Flyers played a much cleaner series thus far and overcame more odds to get to the Cup finals. The buzz is that they will win at home and still win in Chicago.
Niemi was truly amazing so despite my bias, kudos to him. Leighton was pulled but it seemed there was little defense helping the goalies during the game.
Flyers are a team that seems destined to win, but who knows? I will wear my orange and black and pray to the hockey god (s) for the win on Wednesday at home. They cannot lose the most important game of the series! Guess that means no TV for me (my gift to the Flyers).
Now to stop the Chicago Machine...
Shoot-------------------------------->Score Go Flyers!