Did I Really Just Cheer For Philadelphia?

From the June 18th addition of Hoboken Progress

Here’s a fact that is probably surprising to no one: I was never an athlete. I was always of the art class and dance persuasion. Simply put, when a ball comes at me, I prefer to run away.

As far as sports goes, I suppose you would call me easily impressionable. While I am tied to NYC teams, watching sports has always been more of a social event for me. Sunday football is a great excuse to have a few beers and greasy food and pretend that it’s still Saturday with friends.

So, how is it that for the past nine months, I’ve betrayed my NYC roots to root for a Philadelphia team? Bait, my friends, bait of the big blue-eyed, 6’4’’ tall kind. Simply put, the boyfriend is a Flyers fan.

I feel as though I may come off as a sort of “fair-weather” sports fan—but it’s not about just following who’s winning, or me just being a follower. I don’t see this as the case. There are million reasons how teams hook fans. For me, it was an incredibly cute guy who switched on the hockey games in my living room.

Empire State? Marco? Polo??

I will admit, that in my past dating lives, I’ve shown an improved interest in the Mets or the Giants. But, those were easy. Those were New York. I’ve never crossed over the Delaware River before, or have left the turf for a rink.

Something is different here. Whether it’s the game itself that’s a novelty to me, or that it feels secretly rebellious to root against New York, after a while I found that I wasn’t just watching to be supportive of the “real” fan—I got into it. After an episode of silently willing at the television screen for the Flyers to win, I realized that I actually cared if the Flyers won or lost. Now, at the end of my first official season as a hockey spectator, I can name at least 10 Flyers players, am tagged on Facebook wearing a Flyers jersey, and I am now able to throw around terms like “Power Play” and “Shoot from the point!”

When the Flyers were down by two games in the final series against the Chicago Blackhawks, my dad, aware of my newfound hobby, commented that the Flyers better not go 0-3. In my response email, I explained how hopeful I was, using the term “home team advantage” and further illustrating my belief of a win by explaining how the team was once down by two games in another series and still pulled ahead. “I can’t believe you know that” he emailed back. Neither did I.

I don’t think Hoboken will ever forgive me for this one—but if there are a few bars in the “mile square” that allow Eagles fans to wear their team colors, surely I will be able to find a local Flyers outlet. If not, sitting in my living room with the boyfriend is fine for me.

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