WOW!

There is no better word for our new love affair with the guys in orange. In just a few weeks, the Flyers have gone from a team that barely made to playoffs to on the verge of bringing the first hockey championship title back to the city since 1975. Truly, we are living in the golden era of Philadelphia sports.

Why? The Phillies made back-to- back appearances in the World Series and now the Flyers look like the next team to beat. We've gone from complaining about our teams losing to wondering how we can possibly afford yet another championship parade. Forget about Philadelphia as the perpetual losing city. We're now the envy of every other sports town. And, given the depth of talent on both the Phillies and Flyers, we can expect more great seasons.

Heck, who needs "Rocky" when we've morphed into "Iron Man"?

It's also impossible not to be captivated by this particular Flyers team, who combine toughness with an attitude that never says die.

They were down 0-3 against the Boston Bruins and managed to win four games in a row to take the series. Our favorite player has got to be Ian Laperriere, who took a puck to the face and still couldn't wait to return to the ice.

(The Flyers don't have a mascot and neither does the city; we nominate Laperriere for the job.) In fact, this team seems eager to break from all kinds of traditions.

Mike Richards defied a long-held superstition that team captains shouldn't touch the trophy awarded to teams that win conference titles. Instead, Richards hoisted the trophy above his head to 20,000 screaming fans.

We loved this, along with the best new Philadelphia tradition of all - winning. *