Eulogy: Remembering the 2013-14 Philadelphia Flyers
(Ed. Note: As the Stanley Cup Playoffs continue, we're bound to lose some friends along the journey. We've asked for these losers, gone but not forgotten, to be eulogized by the people who knew the teams best: The bloggers who hated them the most. Here is Eulogy all-star and Los Angeles Kings blogger Rudy Kelly of Battle of California, fondly recalling the 2013-14 Philadelphia Flyers. Again, this was not written by us. Also: This is a roast and you will be offended by it, so don't take it so seriously.)
BY RUDY KELLY
Let’s get one thing straight: we are not friends.
Oh I know, you guys have built up this fantasy that the Kings and the Flyers are good friends; that they have a special bond built upon shared players and executives. It’s almost like they’re two halves of a whole; our success is your success and yours (if you had any) would be ours.
We don’t like you. We make fun of you behind your back. We smile at you when we walk by but it’s only to see if you get so flustered you trip on the carpet (you do). In truth, you are one of the many, many hamlets that the great city of Los Angeles has plundered and then left to the wasteland of history.
And the best part is, most of you idiots are so happy to be associated with Los Angeles that you’re happy, even grateful, and let us right in! So funny.
The city of Philadelphia is garbage. It is an incestuous pit of bile that gained inflated importance for a half-second because it was between New York and Virginia. It’s Sacramento with better press.* It’s been a blight on America since its inception and, through all these hundreds of years, has produced one person worth a sh… wait, scratch that, Ben Franklin is from Boston. Nevermind.
*You’re not from California but rest assured that this is the biggest insult I could ever make.
Los Angeles, in contrast, is the city upon the hill. We are the future of America because we’ve shook off all the bad things about the East Coast and kept only the good parts. We have the best food, the best people, the best clothes, the best weather. Small cities like Philadelphia and Columbus serve to filter out all the best so that Los Angeles can take it. “Oh that Richards looks nice, let’s grab him. A little Carter and Gaborik and I think we’re good. Send Johnson back, he’s worthless.”
And, of course, LA has much, much better fans than anywhere on the East Coast.
The reason the Philadelphia Flyers are a joke isn’t because of their owner, or their GM, or their players, or Chris Pro… well actually yeah, a little bit because of Chris Pronger, but mostly they’re a joke because of the fans.
The team isn't good enough to win a Stanley Cup because you, the fans, aren’t good enough.
Ed Snider is a bad owner purely because he is as stupid and petty as the fans he entertains. It’s kind of beautiful, really; it’s so poetic you’d think a Greek god had come up with it. Some garbage man in West Philly says that Richards & Carter don’t want to win badly enough, and they’re gone. Some… other garbage man in Fairhill thinks they need better goaltending and hey, look at this system goaltender from Phoenix, I’m sure he’s great.
Snider’s fault is that he actually listens to his dumbass fans.
“Buh Rudy,” you retort, “unnuh richuh in caha wa a goo dee,” and I reply, “Please take the cheesesteak out of your mouth before you talk,” and you say, “But Rudy, trading Richards and Carter was actually a good idea!”
Well sure, but not for the reason that Flyers fans think.
Richards and Carter were never going to win a Cup because they weren’t good enough to win one as the best players on the team. They needed to be supporting players on a team with a true superstar. They were never going to get that playing in Philadelphia.
See, the funniest thing about trading for Richards wasn’t that he put the Kings over the hump right after Philadelphia said he wasn’t good enough; it was after all the pumping he got from the East Coast media, the Kings got him and everyone realized that he wasn’t close to as good as Anze Kopitar.
Holmgren was right when he thought that Richards & Carter weren't good enough.
To win, they just needed a real center ahead of them.
Instead of someone like, say, Claude Giroux.
LA really plundered Philadelphia not by taking Richards & Carter; it was taking Dean Lombardi, Terry Murray and John Stevens. Kopitar is as good as he is because Dean Lombardi stole Philly’s development system out from under them. The guys who created Richards and Carter also created Kopitar and Doughty. That was the real thievery.
Giroux is what Kopitar would have turned into if Kopitar had never met Terry Murray. With Murray, the Kings were able to develop a forward that is as good as Giroux on offense and better than Sean Couturier at defense. The Kings stole what was good from Philadelphia and left all the crap (read: Paul Holmgren).
The Flyers gave up on Richards & Carter and then those two won a Stanley Cup the next year but make no mistake, that was not a Flyers victory. You get nothing from that. That was a Los Angeles victory. Richards & Carter are only two in a long line of Philly “greats” that go on to be role players in real cities because Philly can’t win.
They follow in the footsteps of Brian Dawkins, Allen Iverson, Wilt Chamberlain and Pat Burrell.
I understand why Flyers fans try to latch onto the Kings success. It’s pathetic, but I understand it. I’m sure in your own lives you probably daydream about escaping your job carrying garbage and doing something important with your lives. Maybe someday you’ll be able to escape Philadelphia too and move to the West Coast so you can be a role player here. It would be great.
But it will never happen. (We recycle here anyways.) You’ll spend the rest of your life cheering for a dumb team with your fat friends and just when you think you’re going somewhere, Giroux will get a parking ticket and he’ll get traded to Los Angeles to carry Kopitar’s skates and the cycle will start over.
Your city has been brainwashed by my city. Sorry to say, but Rocky isn't real. You are Rocky, a loser who has never won anything, and we are Apollo. Rocky doesn't get a moral victory in real life, though. In real life, Rocky goes home and lives in a crummy apartment and Apollo goes back to his mansion and never gives that ugly Italian guy who got lucky a second thought. Apollo fights some other twerp and beats him up too. Rocky dies of syphilis.
I wish I could have sympathy for you. I really do. But, let’s face it: You are bad people and you don’t deserve sympathy. Your city is shrinking and you, like an alligator protecting a drying watering hole, are getting more and more disgusting and ugly. The rest of the league doesn’t want you around and we won’t miss you when eventually your team moves in 2050 to an important city like San Diego.
I'd like to leave you with one last thought, something to think about when you're lying next to your ugly wife tonight: Mike Richards will never be a hero for Los Angeles.
That's reserved for great hockey players like Kopitar and Drew Doughty. You are going to have to sit and watch as we squeeze everything good from him and then cast him aside.
He'll never get a statue here and his name will never get hung in the rafters. At best he'll get a small ceremony before a Tuesday game against Nashville and everyone will applaud politely while wondering if Jarret Stoll is going to show up.
Mike Richards is a cog in a wheel. Your hero, your champion, is nothing. That is what Los Angeles does to people. We take your sports heroes, your jobs, your souls, and we reduce them to ash before casting them aside without a second thought. We'll do it again, too. And there's nothing you can do to stop us.
Because we're Los Angeles, and we're better than you.