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Philadelphia Flyers Greatest Voice Still Resonates: Fan Rewind
There weren't many hockey fans in the region back then. But, one man taught the masses about the game that he and they grew to love. His name was Gene Hart.
Hart was born in New York in 1931. He initially earned a teaching degree and worked as a teacher in the New Jersey public school system.
He first taught the game of hockey to a rapidly growing number of people throughout the Philadelphia region when he began working for the Flyers in 1967. During those earliest of days he made $50 per game.
Philadelphia's fan base gained knowledge and momentum through the time when the team won its first championship in 1973-74. His famous second-by-second description of the Flyers Stanley Cup win over the Boston Bruins signaled a sonic boom in the team's popularity.
Hart's career accomplishments led to his induction into the Flyers Hall of Fame in 1992 and the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997. He passed away in 1999.
All Flyers fans know that his daughter, Lauren Hart, is the Flyers anthem singer. She reflects one of the many strong links to team history that the organization has maintained.
Honoring loyalty is something that team founder and chairman Ed Snider has always done. His vision has generated a genuine family atmosphere that can be seen on the ice, felt in the stands and continues to be carried forward by his employees to this day.
I saw Jim Jackson, who is the team's current lead announcer, while I was covering a recent Flyers game.
J.J. has always struck me as a humble guy. The multiple Mid-Atlantic Emmy award-winner first caught my ear while he was working exclusively on radio in the 1990s. Jackson called hockey fights as though he were describing boxing matches. It was a treat to listen to those calls, which highlighted the overall nature of his delivery style.
While there will only ever be one Gene Hart, all Flyers fans can be thankful that Jackson has followed in the tradition of stellar broadcasting sincerity.
Sean 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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