City of Brotherly Love: Flyers Fans Pelt Injured Caps Player

AP Photo
The Associated Press

They booed Santa Claus, cheered Michael Irvin’s career-ending injury, and chucked batteries at J.D. Drew. So, Philadelphia fans tossing wristbands on the ice at the Wells Fargo Center Monday night fails to make the top-ten (bottom-ten?) list of bad behavior among sports spectators in the Quaker City.

But it takes first place for poor sportsmanship last night in the NHL.

With the Washington Capitals owning an insurmountable third-period lead in Game Three, frustrated Flyer Pierre-Edouard Bellemare sent Dmitry Orlov headfirst into the boards. The Hanson Brothers might call it “old-time hockey.” Everyone else, outside of Philadelphia at least, saw it as a goon tactic. This especially includes the referees, who ejected Bellemare for the cheap shot.

As Orlov received treatment, a fan pelted him with an LED bracelet, unwisely handed out at the venue for a pregame light-show in a contest played in honor of the late longtime team owner Ed Snider. Other fans similarly gave away their giveaways by throwing them on the ice. The refs, after penalizing the Flyers player, penalized the Flyers fans. The team received a two-minute minor for delay of game.

They can’t say they hadn’t been warned.

“Okay, ladies and gentlemen, hold those wristbands,” the P.A. announcer implored. “Show some class. This is Philly. This is not somewhere else in the NHL.” Like where? Calgary? Is that where they have the really mean fans? Minneapolis? Winnipeg? The scolding lacked the punch of Sam Wyche’s “You don’t live in Cleveland!” And the fact a ticket holder punctuated the plea with a phrase that began with “f” and ended with “u” showed that Flyers fanatics were in no mood for a Monday sermon in the midst of losing three straight to the Caps.

Flyers center Ryan White, who levied a clean but hard hit on Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik (booed off the ice) during the game, still loves Philadelphia fans even if Orlov and Orpik do not. “Whatever,” he responded after the 6-1 loss to it raining wristbands. “I love the Philly fans. I’d have done it too.”

City of Brotherly what?