My dad's father, or Poppie, had two televisions at his house in Philadelphia. One had cable and the other had this fuzzy basic antenna feed that didn't offer much more than re-runs of Mamma's Family. It was nearing 7:30, and I began to pace back and forth in his living room. I had become addicted to hockey. It was all Eric Lindros' fault. That, and my uncle had bought me a nerf hockey set that I'd take out back and use to shoot pucks off various fragile objects. The Flyers were off, but a much more attractive game was on my mind. I began to watch any hockey game that ESPN or ESPN 2 (back when they showed hockey) could get my eyes on. I also became aware of the great rivalry between the Colorado Avs and the Detroit Red Wings. A video summary of their heated antics awaits you after the jump.
This very night, the two were squaring off in a revenge game on cable TV. Somehow I convinced my Poppie to turn off the horse races and turn on the game. Within the first 5 minutes, there were crosschecks, slashes, boarding, fighting, blood, guts and I think someone died. My grandfather, in a disgruntled "I can't believe you watch this stuff" manner... picked up the remote and turned it off. Hockey, especially the way it was played then, and the way it was played last night at the Wachovia center betwixt the Flyers and Penguins, isn't for everyone. I have come to realize that our brothers in the middle of this fair Keystone state hate us just as much as we hate them. I predict that the new Flyers/Penguins rivalry will equal and eventually surpass the Avs/Red Wings in intensity, violence and pure entertainment. And to think, we play them 5 more times this season.