PhilaTude Flyers Flashback

In the spring of 2000, 1 year removed from college graduation, I was living at home with my parents working for a small Internet start-up company.  During that time, I was adjusting to life beyond college, living with the parents again and trying to figure out what I wanted to do.  Besides the unknown of my future life, living at home wasn’t bad.  My parents were respectful of my privacy, there was always food around, my dress shirts ironed and most importantly, I was never interrupted while viewing an Eagles, Sixers, Flyers or Phillies game.  Of course, I would watch with the family, but if I wanted to watch on my own, it wasn’t a problem.  One particular game, I started watching with the family, but had to finish viewing on my own due to the length.  It was the Flyers vs. the Penguins in game 4 of the 2000 Eastern Conference semifinals.

You see, this game lasted five overtimes.  Tied at 1, the game just kept going.  Each team had solid scoring chances; Ron Tugnutt of the Penguins kept denying the Flyers.  Brian Boucher boasted over 50 saves in almost a full eight periods of work.  

It was a worrisome game overall.  The Flyers were down in the series 2-1 and needed this victory on the road to have any shot of winning the series.  When the Penguins went up early in the first period, it looked ominous.  The Flyers didn’t score until the start of the 3rd period, when they tied it 1.  The third period ended that way and it continued through until the 5th overtime.  My Dad and I were watching in the family room until the 3rd overtime.  Every time the Penguins touched the puck, Dad would scream “this is it; it’s over for the Flyers.”  (Editors note:  He screams “It’s over” for all Philadelphia teams, sometimes before the game even starts).  After the third overtime, it was close to 1am, so I retreated to my bedroom to finish watching the game.  Finally, when big Keith Primeau went 1 on 1 with Darius Kasparaitis over the Penguins blue line and lifted a wrist shot past Ron Tugnutt at a little past 3:15am.

I was ecstatic, but had no one to celebrate with, assuming everyone went to bed.  Three seconds later, I hear my Dad’s bedroom door open very loudly and see him parading around in the hallway.  We exchange the high fives, Dad claimed he never thought the Flyers would lose (standard Dad flip from “it’s over” to “I knew they would pull it out”) and I returned to bed.

The Flyers went on to win the series and took the New Jersey Devils to 7 games in the Eastern Conference finals, but lost.   Dad and I are still waiting for a Flyers Stanley Cup championship we can celebrate together.

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