While the Philadelphia Flyers are no longer alive this playoff season, some of their alumni still are. No matter what some supposed supporters claim, I'm here to tell you that it's okay to root for the Los Angeles Kings.
Your immortal hockey soul
No one has gone out of their mind. No one is suggesting that all hardcore 'Bullies' fans must embrace the New York Rangers, or New Jersey Devils. That type of spring blasphemy would certainly have consequences for every orange-hued immortal hockey soul.
But, it's completely okay to put on that old Mike Richards, or Jeff Carter, jersey and cheer loudly for our left coast boys as they try to drop the Phoenix Coyotes and then stick it to whichever foe emerges from the Eastern Conference.
Let's not forget that current King Justin Williams, who was also a friend at one point as well, won the Stanley Cup with Peter Laviolette and the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. So, you can cheer for him too.
Hexy, Richie, Carts and more
After this playoff season has long been forgotten, everyone will be back in Flyers mode. Like a lost weekend at the shore, no one will recall who did what all the way back when.
The Kings employ Philadelphia's second greatest goalie, Ron Hextall, as their assistant general manager. Just that fact alone makes the team acceptable.
If 'Hexy' can be part of a Cup championship this season, maybe it would him help to cover the wound that will never fully healed. Few have ever surrendered more than that great man did against the Edmonton Oilers in the 1987 Stanley Cup Final.
General manger Dean Lombardi and assistant coach John Stevens also have Flyers blood in their veins.
As far as 'Richie' and 'Carts' go, almost all fans have acknowledged that their time had expired in Philadelphia. The bounty of players obtained from the Kings and Columbus Blue Jackets in return for their contracts established a new young core that is set for future playoff runs.
While neither handled their exit interviews all that well, they gave all that they could on the ice and were part of a solid Cup run in 2010. Only the most begrudging soul would not wish them well now.
Old school cool
Normal people believed in sportsmanship long before it became falsely cool to wish your opponents the worst.
Destructive, materialistic, me-first values have been increasingly embraced by more than a few. Those old fashioned ideas masquerade as the only way to go. A mentality that is flatly wrong and needs to be constantly exposed as fraudulent.
Old school cool was about family, community and standing up for what has always been right. Rational, balanced minds know that it's totally acceptable to stay connected with old friends even after they've moved away. So, go right ahead and do so with pride.
Sean O'Brien is based in the Philadelphia region. He has written professionally for over two decades and is currently a Featured Contributor for Yahoo! You can follow him on Twitter @SeanyOB and also read his daily Sports Blog: Insight.
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