Their cocktails properly mixed, Lee and Jennel raised their red plastic cups Friday and toasted the Flyers, a prelude to their own little two-person tailgate party in the rapidly filling parking lot outside the Wachovia Center.
This may not have been the kind of father-daughter moment Norman Rockwell would have depicted, but it was theirs.
The bond between Lee Wooster and Jennel officially began 23 years ago when Jennel was born, the third of his three daughters. But to hear them talk, the bond strengthened 13 years ago, when Lee took Jennel to her first Flyers game. They've been coming together ever since.
"It's helped keep us close," said Wooster, 54, a season-ticket holder from Clementon, N.J. "You know, when kids get to be 15, 16, 17, around that age, they usually don't want anything to do with their parents until they're 25 or so. That didn't happen with Jennel, and I really believe a lot of that is because we come to Flyers games together. She's my daughter, but she's also my buddy."
Asked what she likes most about hockey, Jennel didn't pause. "Simon Gagne," she said with a devilish smile.
Actually, I was asking what it is about the game that appeals to you.
"I like the speed, the rough stuff, and I love the fighting, although they don't fight much in the playoffs," she said, her tone turning more serious. "I also understand the concepts of the game, probably because I played field hockey.
"I'm not one of these prissy girls who come to the games just so they can say they were there."
Lee pulled on his orange Flyers T-shirt, took a swig from his cup, and nodded his approval. He was feeling a sense of relief because he'd survived a bit of a family squabble over the tickets. His oldest daughter, Lauren, wanted to go. So did Bonnie. Kaitlin? She doesn't care much for anything but the Eagles.
So when Lauren and Bonnie said they wanted to go to the game with him, Wooster took control of the situation, as any strong patriarch would: He told them he'd got his, and they'd have to deal with Jennel for the other ticket.
"These are the Stanley Cup Finals," she said. "No chance."