No Place for Politics

I was born and raised in Philadelphia with my father using the Flyers as my strongest real-world example for long term success and work ethic. The Flyers, as a team, are currently the second winningest franchise in the NHL since they came into the league in the 1967-68 season, behind only the mighty Montreal Canadiens. To say that I am proud supporter of this franchise is to understate how I feel about the Flyers; for me, they are more than just a team to root for. But today, my outlook on the Flyers changed drastically for the worse.

It seems Philadelphia legend and Flyers’ chairman, Ed Snider, has invited Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin to drop the puck at the Wachovia Center when the Flyers open their regular season at home against the much hated New York Rangers. I can promise you who will get more boos from the blue collar Flyers fans and it wont be the team known as the Smurfs. Gone will be the good feelings of having seen the orange and black play in the Spectrum one more time and in will be the anger in the eyes of everyone that thinks that Sarah Palin might not be truly qualified to be one heartbeat away from what would be the oldest elected, cancer surviving president of the United States – assuming John McCain got elected.

There is no reason for the Flyers to muddy their reputation trying to impose the political views of their chairman onto their customers even if Sara Palin is a self proclaimed “hockey mom.” The NHL game is better entertainment than making a political statement in a losing cause. My family has been season ticket holders since 1981 and moves like this deeply damage our relationship with the team. We don’t support overturning Roe vs. Wade. We don’t approve of the gigantic budget deficits of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and W’s 24%-approval-rating son. While we strongly support our troops, we don’t support the war in Iraq and question why a Republican president can’t find (and kill) the man responsible to the 9/11 attacks on this great country. And how does the cliché go? The customer is always right.

In no way am I telling Ed Snider who to vote for (though he has lots of foreign policy experience, because he can see Mexico from his house in Santa Barbara). But when we are paying for tickets, he should keep his own views to himself and let the game speak for itself. His Flyers are better than needing hockey moms to drop the puck. The game would be sold out if Orenthal James Simpson was there to drop the puck, but I think poor O.J. is busy these days.

I hate to have to do it but I must quote Barack Obama here when I suggest that “now is the time for change,” and the change I am talking about is canceling this one-sided, needlessly political appearance by Sarah Palin at this Flyers game. And in the event it is too late to cancel this abortion of a promotional idea, then now is the time to invite Joe Biden (a Delaware native and Flyers fan) to drop the puck at the next Flyers game. Not only would this move allow for “fair and balanced” political exposure at Flyers games for each party, but it will introduce the Flyers’ team to an inspirational (eventual) winner as the Obama-Biden ticket are currently leading in the Pennsylvania polls today just as the Flyers aspire to lead the NHL’s Atlantic Division in early April of 2009.

For the record, RealClearPolitics.com lists Pennsylvania as “Strong Obama” on the electoral map and the latest polls show Obama-Biden leading in the Quaker State by 12 points in the Morning Call Tracking Poll from today, leading by 13 points by Rasmussen yesterday, leading 15 points by Survey USA yesterday and leading by15 points on October 1, 2008 when polled by Quinnipiac. In the end, would be best for the Flyers to do like McCain and Palin and pull out of the appearance as the hockey mom and war hawk did with their failing Michigan campaign and let hockey be hockey. The NHL game is so good that we the fans don’t need to let personal political beliefs sully the fine reputation of a great franchise. We can vote on our opinions in about a month, hopefully, with the Flyers solidly in first place.

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10 Responses to “No Place for Politics”

  1. Mike Alloy
    October 8, 2008 at 9:12 pm #

    I too was born and raised in Philadelphia and take pride in the orange and black. When I was younger, I would sneak out of my room to watch games when I was supposed to be doing homework. If I couldn’t get to a TV, I would be listening to Tim Saunders and Brian Propp on 610 WIP.

    When I found out today that Sarah Palin would drop the puck with the winner of Philadelphia’s best hockey mom, the Flyers immediately made the worst move in my memory. With the Spectrum closing, there could have been so many more options for the ceremony. Instead, Ed Snider decided to mix politics with the wrong crowd.

    Last year was a good one for the Flyers. They made the conference finals and proved their investment in young players is paying off. Fans ranging from Center City, to Atlantic City, to the very end of the Main Line want to concentrate on how this team will fair. Now, all fans will talk about leading up to the home opener is Palin.

    Hockey is supposed to be an escape from everything around you. When the Flyers are out on the ice, all that matters is that our team is out on the ice playing hockey. Politics should not be mixed with our Flyers, and Ed Snide should know better.

  2. James Murphy
    October 8, 2008 at 9:23 pm #

    Are you not imposing yours on us in this column?

    Slainte,

    Murph

  3. JerryDelColliano
    October 9, 2008 at 9:21 am #

    Murph,

    Miss you in the IHFP hockey league. Is amazingly competitive these days. Just added a new team to have 10 now.

    As for the article, as a writer here at insidehockey.com, ESPN and NHL.com – you surely understand the difference between a news story and an editorial – right? This is an editorial. An editorial from someone who has been to enough Flyers games and someone who’s family has been a Flyers’ client for 30 years – to have earned the opinion.

    A) there is no place for politics when there are the Rangers to hate in a season opener

    B) The Flyers are winners thus they should side with a winner (and Flyers fan from Delaware) such as Joe Biden if not for fairness in voice but to understand McCain-Palin are getting KILLED in the polls. Double digits.

    NHL hockey – post lockout – is better than this political trick. Ed Snider should know that. Moreover, true Flyers fans are blue collar (at least at heart) and Ed Snider should know that too especially after a return to the spectrum where this team made its reputation.

    If they were to cancel this bad idea – it would go away forever. If they do it and don’t offer a fair voice to Joe Biden – there will be ill will. I read the letter my father sent to Ed Snider yesterday and it wouldn’t be the kind of correspondence I would want to get from a client of 30 years.

    http://HomeTheaterReview.com

  4. phoenixrocks
    October 10, 2008 at 3:55 pm #

    Your hatred for Senator McCain and Governor Palin in particular and the Republcians in general is over the top. You argue that politics and hockey should not come together yet you spend the next 6 paragraphs stating how you are against a laundry list of political issues that, in your world, are not part of hockey. In addition you state that having Biden drop the puck “will introduce the Flyers’ team to an inspirational (eventual) winner.” Your true politics show that this article is nothing more than another attempt to discredit Governor Palin and frankly should never have been allowed to be posted.

  5. Kevin Greenstein
    October 10, 2008 at 4:04 pm #

    A little feedback on our editorial process… Yes, Jerry Del Colliano published his political opinions as part of this piece. They don’t reflect the opinions of Inside Hockey, they reflect the opinions of Jerry Del Colliano. It’s an editorial, not an AP wire feed. Feel free to post your responses, positive or negative. That’s what this forum is for, so feel free to speak your mind. Just keep it clean.

  6. Craig Brunengraber
    October 10, 2008 at 4:26 pm #

    It amazes me how much has been made about VP nominee Sarah Palin’s opening night puck drop. Mr. Del Colliano boorishly imposes his political stance upon InsideHockey.com’s readers while trashing Mr. Sniders.

    The reality is twofold – firstly, we live in a society of free speech the last I checked, so Mr. Snider can have whomever he likes drop the puck. Secondly, for a league that has historically been lackadaisical in its promotion, I would say even “bad press” is good press at this point. I would think we would see more hatred displayed toward W. “Boots” Del Baggio who destroyed a playoff contender (Nashville) through lies and deceit as opposed to someone who champions our great game at a national level.

    I would prefer to vote for neither major party in the USA, but lets take advantage of the “Hockey Mom” angle where we can, and we all can pull the lever in private for whomever we wish. This is what is great about our nation, and I will exercise my freedom this evening by watching the NYR home opener, as well as the Flyers home opener tomorrow evening, even if John Spano were to drop the puck.

  7. Eric R Andersen
    October 10, 2008 at 5:28 pm #

    Jerry may be the customer but he is definitely not right. He should just stay home and let the game go on. He made statements and claims in his article that were inflammatory and derogatory. He should follow his own advice in the last two sentences of his article, keep his political opinions to himself and let the puck drop.

  8. Boobirdz
    October 10, 2008 at 8:40 pm #

    This political stuff isn`t new with Ed Snider. I remember attending a game against the Russian Olympic team in Jan. of 1983 and everyone in attendance got a small American flag to wave. I also remember seeing a banner which said “FREE SOVIET JEWS” which was hanging from the end of the rink on the third level which was put up there by the organization. This was not a homemade banner either. As far as the author saying that the Flyer fans will boo Sarah Palin,don`t be so sure of that. The majority of the fans attending games at the Wachovia Center are “Stepford Fans” which simply means that they will accept and do like blind loyalist robots whatever the organization tells them. They will never question the infinite wisdom of “Chairman Ed”

  9. mikeryan20
    October 12, 2008 at 5:02 pm #

    Jerry,

    You posted your article on the wrong blog. Try the hockey section of moveon.org next time. Seriously… If you are going to claim that Ed Snider shouldn’t have invited Palin, then don’t spew your one-sided line of the political spectrum on those of us who want to read about hockey. Go write for the New York Times if you want to barrage us with left wing garbage, I come here to read about hockey… BTW…sorry the Rangers spoiled your opener.

  10. nhlgirl
    October 13, 2008 at 7:19 am #

    Are you seriously comparing Sarah Palin with O.J. Simpson? This article is offensive, and poorly written. Perhaps if your arguments had been articulated with intelligence rather than just bloviating about your political beliefs, than I could have taken them more seriously.