In general, I don’t like the Flyers. I didn’t like the way they played last year (see: incredibly dirty) and I never even really cared for the players that didn’t play physical hockey (see: Dany Briere).
But tonight the City of Brotherly Love didn’t disappoint me.
Sarah Palin, accompanied by the two Palin daughters (the hot, pregnant one and the littlest one) who were used as a ploy to draw sympathy, dropped the first puck with some contest winner at the Flyers/Rangers game tonight. She was soundly booed by the assembled animals in the crowd. Shouldn’t have been a huge surprise given that this is the city that would boo a crippled kid who sings the national anthem, but I was worried that Flyers fans would arrive at their seats to find a note that read, “If you boo, Secret Service will come to your houses and snap all your necks while you sleep. No one is safe.”
The Flyers’ PA people, no doubt on the orders of team owner and Republican fundraiser Ed Snider, used a very loud orchestral song — and what sounded like piped-in cheers — to drown out the massively negative reaction.
Alaska native Scott Gomez went out to center ice to take the faceoff against Flyers captain Mike Richards. Said Palin to Gomez, “HI SCAHTT!” and they did that almost-kiss-on-the-cheek thing. She also may have winked. It was adorable.
As Palin left the ice, and the Flyer fans never stopped booing, she waved to no one in particular to make it look like she wasn’t almost universally hated by the 19,519 in attendance. I’m actually shocked she wasn’t pelted with batteries.
With Marty Biron giving up a four-spot in the first period, the Flyers could have used Palin in net tonight.
Good for Flyers fans though. I know Wyshysnki was all like, “I’m candid about my political leanings, and I’ve been to Philly enough to know this will fall on deaf ears, but I’ll say it anyway: Polite applause will suffice. Don’t be a jerk and boo her, or toss beer on the red carpet. Save that stuff for Bettman.” Got nothin’ but love for ya, Greg, but come on. It’s not “being a jerk” if you boo her. First amendment and all that. We still have something resembling a Constitution in this country.
This “Ultimate Hockey Mom” contest wasn’t even announced until Sept. 12, meaning about a week after Palin accepted the VP nomination with “The ‘LIPSTICK!’ Speech.” In fact, in the Flyers’ initial announcement, they even used Palin’s famous, awful joke as the headline. And who do you think provided all the glowing quotes in that article? Ed Snider!? No WAY! I bet he had nothing to do with this contest getting off the ground at all. To highlight just how hastily it was thrown together, the winner of the contest was picked out of the crowd before the game tonight.
This was a cheap political stunt by Snider, who has attended a fundraiser for Palin herself and and donated $25,000 to the McCain campaign, to help a doomed ticket in what could have once been considered a swing state (right now Pennsylvania’s +10 Obama). Any talk otherwise is unbelievably naive. The fact that a left-leaning major city booed her shouldn’t have surprised anyone. The battleground of the state is much farther to the northwest than liberal ol’ Philly. She should have dropped the puck in Pittsburgh (or even Columbus) if she, or anyone else, didn’t want this reaction.
As a result of tonight’s events, I shan’t say anything bad about Philadelphia fans or teams for at least a week.
UPDATE: Here’s a video of Palin doing an sit-down chat with a way-too-energetic Philly interviewer. She only really “folksy colloquialism-ed” about hockey, and got about as many softballs as she did from Sean Hannity. I was very disappointed that we didn’t get to hear her ask, “In what regard, Coatsey?” or stumble her way through an explanation of which hockey blogs she reads (”All of ‘em. All the different ones”).
She did, however, note that she was one of those crazy hockey moms that’s banging on the glass until he told her to stop embarrassing him. So many jokes there (for example: replace “him” with “the GOP” and “banging on the glass” with “getting simple facts about Afghanistan wrong” and you’re in LOL City).
Said Palin: “I put my passion towards hockey better use by becoming the hockey manager. The team mom, y’know? Workin’ on the stats, workin’ on the executive side of the sport, and hopefully that was put to better use.”
So now she can add “team mom” to her list of executive experience. Boon for the McCain campaign!
UPDATE 2: This is hilarious.