BROAD STREET Bully happily joined hundreds of fellow Flyers fans yesterday, rallying at City Hall, believing we can win here tonight and Friday, and tie the Stanley Cup Finals series.
WON'T WEAR ORANGE: Ellie Maxman, 66, of Center City, refuses to wear orange but said she has been a die-hard fan since 1967 when her dad, Joe Geltzer, "made false teeth for all the Flyers."
"He used to say, 'My God, they'll all have to drink their food,' " she said, laughing. Maxman, who is friends with Broad Street Bullies Joe Watson and Bob "The Hound" Kelly and gets hugs from Bernie Parent, won't wear orange these days.
"I didn't wear orange when the Flyers won the shootout against the Rangers that got them into the playoffs," said Maxman, who attends 20 games a year. "I haven't worn orange since. It brings them luck at home."
DANCING WITH THE BEARS: Seany "The Dancin' Guy" Hill of Sewell, N.J., a bushy-haired bear of man who energizes Flyers' crowds with his wild dancing in the upper mezzanine, was challenged at the rally by equally-bearish Joe Moore, 37, of the Northeast, who matched Hill move for Homer Simpson move.
RIPE FLYERS BOXERS: Army Staff Sgt. Robert Wilson, 38, from Drexel Hill, stationed at Fort Dix, wore his Flyers boxer shorts when the team was on the brink of elimination by Boston, felt the boxers power the Flyers to victory and kept wearing them unwashed as the Flyers won six playoff games in a row. "I was afraid I'd wash off the winning karma," Wilson said. "After that sixth win, they were kind of funky."
He washed them after the Chicago losses. Tonight, he hopes his Flyers Boxer Karma returns. When Wilson was in Iraq in 2005, "I had a Flyers flag on my Humvee," he said. "When Iraqi kids gathered around, saying, 'Mister, mister, I love George Bush. Give me water,' I taught them to yell, 'Let's Go Flyers!' Then I gave them water."
BULLY'S E-MAIL BAG: "Yo Bully! How you doin?" writes Joseph DiBenedetto, 43, of Erial, N.J., who has been a diehard since the Flyers first Stanley Cup win in '74 and grew up playing hockey on 15th Street between Oregon and Bigler.
"As we got older," he said, "we got the good skates with the rubber wheels, not the metal ones, and the good wooden sticks, not the ones with the orange plastic blades. We would play until we couldn't see the puck.
"I wore my Rick MacLeish (No. 19) jersey and mimicked his signature move: the way he crossed the blue line, then cut across and unleash his wicked wrist shot, which would be in the net before the goalie knew he shot it."
"We were lucky growing up around there because we had our own South Philly sports complex," DiBenedetto said. "I will never forget that time in my life."