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Ray Emery: A true Philadelphia hero for our time

Nov 4, 2013, 10:57 AM EDT

ray.emery
On Friday night, things were looking pretty ugly for the Flyers, and for our city too.

The Flyers were down 7-0 to the Washington Capitals, in front of a hostile Wells Fargo Center crowd. In the third period, things looked pretty hopeless.

At that point, some teams would have rolled over and died. Some teams would have given up the fight. Some goalies would have stood idly by and let their team get its butt kicked. But not Ray Emery.

The Flyers goalie skated the length of the ice and challenged Caps goalie Braden Holtby. Holtby wanted no part of it — can you blame him? — but Emery won the fight decisively (video here). The brawl had the positive effect of sending the crowd home happy despite a 7-0 loss.

Some complained. Some called it “classless” or “bush league,” the way they always have, for the last 40 years, whenever the Flyers have showed any kind of on-ice toughness. Even the commissioner of the NHL reacted to the fight by vowing to change the rules to prevent it from happening again! if something you did causes the commissioner of your sport to take action to prevent it, that’s a sign that you’re doing something right.

Are the Flyers supposed to change the way they play the game because Pat Sajak doesn’t approve?

And guess what: it worked. Emery, it’s clear, provided the local teams with a spark that they desperately needed- because since that game ended, every Philadelphia professional sports team is undefeated.

The Flyers won their next game, 1-0 against the Devils on Saturday. The Sixers — a team that’s not even supposed to be trying to win — started the year 3-0, including wins over the Bulls and Heat. And the Eagles, behind a record-tying performance from Superstar Nick Foles, notched a dominant road victory over the Raiders on Sunday. When the baseball free agent signing period starts Tuesday, I expect the Phillies to immediately sign Robinson Cano, Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury and Matt Garza.

So thank you Ray Emery. You’re our spark plug. Our inspiration. Our hero.

Other Philly sports takes:

- You know I don’t like to gloat. But I was clearly right, all along, about Nick Foles. Did Donovan McNabb ever throw seven touchdowns in a game? I rest my case.

source:  - A lot to be happy about in that big Eagles win Sunday, but best of all, how about that Riley Cooper? It’s hard to disagree with what Nick Foles told Peter King after the game: “I am so proud of Riley Cooper. So happy for him. After what he’s been through, and how hard he’s worked, this is great.” With the adversity that Cooper has overcome, he’s clearly frontrunner for both Comeback Player of the Year and the Ed Block Courage Award.

- Most importantly, the Eagles sent a clear message. To Marcus Vick. They sure showed him.

- I knew the Sixers would start winning as soon as Andrew Bynum was healthy.

- Philadelphia athlete/sometime convict power rankings: 1. Dykstra 2. Pete Rose 3. El Wingador 4. Michael Vick 5. Ugueth Urbina 592. Freddie Mitchell.

- Speaking of which, I’ve got a feeling that when it’s the 20th anniversary of the 2008 Phillies team, Shane Victorino and Brad Lidge won’t be getting into near-fistfights at the Granite Run Mall.

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  1. David - Nov 4, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    - I knew the Sixers would start winning as soon as Andrew Bynum was healthy.

    Yeah, we all saw the FakeWIPCaller tweet.

    Reply
    • 33 - Nov 4, 2013 at 11:30 AM

      If only we’d all seen the FakeWIPCaller byline…

      Reply
  2. BenE. - Nov 4, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    Everyone will talk about Ray Emery, but the dirtiest, most dangerous play in the game was easily Aaron Volpatti’s slewfoot on Matt Read. Just because Steve Downie addressed it immediately doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I hate slewfoots with a passion.

    Reply
    • Todd - Nov 4, 2013 at 3:04 PM

      Volpatti’s slewfoot on Matt Read was so dirty and dangerous that it landed Steve Downie in the hospital.

      Reply
      • BenE. - Nov 4, 2013 at 9:30 PM

        Slewfoots are incredibly dangerous.

      • T800m101 - Nov 5, 2013 at 12:44 PM

        Would be nice to see Todd stop sniffing glue and start making some sense around here. However, that may very well be an impossibility.

      • Todd - Nov 5, 2013 at 3:13 PM

        What was that T800?

        For some reason, every thing you type on here just shows up as “Da Derp Dee Derp Da Teetley Derpee Derpee Dumb”.

      • T800m101 - Nov 5, 2013 at 8:35 PM

        That’s because you’re mentally deficient. You can barely read so we don’t expect you to put up a coherent argument.

      • Todd - Nov 5, 2013 at 8:46 PM

        Sorry dude, once again,” Derp derp derp.”

        Maybe you should try being less stupid. Or maybe type less stupid things.

      • T800m101 - Nov 5, 2013 at 8:55 PM

        Todd, there you go again.

  3. T800m101 - Nov 4, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    What Ray Emery did was awesome. Old time hockey.

    Reply
  4. thekrisheim - Nov 4, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    now this is a hot sports take

    Reply
  5. NYPhilsPhan - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    Wait, so are you serious? Emory gives up 4 goals in 22 minutes in net, then skates across the ice to take out his frustration by picking a fight against the opposing goalie, and he is a hero?

    How about just stopping the puck once in a while? That would inspire his teammates to play better.

    Reply
  6. Jimmie J. - Nov 4, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    What happened vs. the Capitals is why older fans still despise the Flyers. Idiot Bobby Taylor was giddy talking about how this may light a spark under the Flyers. He has been an imbecile color man since the days of Gene Hart. They are 4-9 and will suck the entire season and go nowhere. Their front office is one of the worst in the league led by another goon tough guy not qualified for his job. The game has changed for the better. Keep changing the rules so crap like this will not happen again.

    Reply

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