Jan 3, 2010, 9:32 AM EST
On January 2nd, 1973, the Flyers pummelled the Flames in Atlanta in more ways than one. They won the game easily, getting out to a 3-1 lead in the first period that they never relinquished, and intimidated the Flames throughout, including winger Gary Dornhoefer flashing a ref the "choke" sign at the end of the game. The game will be forever immortalized in Flyers lore for the headline it inspired the next day in the Philadelphia Bulletin: "BROAD STREET BULLIES MUSCLE ATLANTA."
The "Broad Street Bullies" nickname would, of course, go on to define the hard-hitting, brawl-happy personality of the Flyers team throughout the 70s, including their two championship seasons of 1973-1974. The term was coined in an article scribed by Flyers beat writer Jack Chevalier, who wrote of the team's performance that night in Atlanta, "The image of the fightin' Flyers spreading gradually around the NHL, and people are dreaming up wild nicknames. They're the Mean Machine, the Bullies of Broad Street and Freddy's Philistines." The other two fell by the wayside, but after headline writer Pete Cafone included the middle nickname in the article's lead, the rest was history.
Though primarily used to describe those Flyers teams from the 70s, from Dave Schultz to Daniel Carcillo, the Broad Street Bullies moniker (and perhaps more importantly, the identity) has stayed with the team throughout the last four decades. Recently, Philadelphia rapper and one-time Jay-Z protege Beanie Sigel even released an album entitled Broad Street Bully–an all too rare example of the cultural crossroads in between hockey and hip-hop.
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