A rare opportunity for Philadelphians to watch a major sporting event at a backyard BBQ or a party at the shore. The Flyers hadn't played a game of this magnitude in 13 years. It should have been an easy decision in choosing which story to place on the front page of local papers, only something big amazing historical could change that.
Enter Roy Halladay.
For about an hour, fans at those BBQs and beach side parties were frantically flipping back and forth between Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals and an early season Major League Baseball game.
There have been 391,904 games played in the history of baseball. Only 20 of those have been perfect (.0051% for you math buffs). Yeah, that's enough to knock just about anyone out of the headlines.
If the Flyers had managed to pull off the thrilling Game 1 win, last night could have gone done as arguably the greatest night in Philadelphia sports history… a championship round win to compliment the rarest of rare events. There was a brief moment at around 9 o'clock when the Flyers took a 3-2 lead, just as Roy Halladay struck out the Marlins' one true threat, Hanley Ramirez, to end the 7th inning. It seemed as if the stars were aligning.
What to watch, what to watch.
Then, as if the sports gods were acknowledging our welcomed dilemma, the Flyers game went to intermission just as Halladay took the mound for the bottom of the 8th inning. Only six outs stood in between "Doc" and history. Castro made an incredible play to highlight an otherwise ho-hum 8th for Halladay. Then, in the 9th, it's as if every jinx was coming out of the wood work. First, ex-Phillie turned Phillie killer Wes Helms stepped to the plate. You could just hear the Wes F%&#ing Helms comments coming if he got a hit. Halladay struck him out.
Tom McCarthy then felt the need to issue the ultimate sports jinx, "Roy Halladay is one out away from a perfect game." Thanks, Tom. At this point, I was half expecting a last minute trade that would allow Rod Barajas to waddle his fat ass out of the Marlins dugout so he could stick it to the Phils just one more time. Instead, Ronnie Paulino grounded the ball uneventfully to Juan Castro. The rest is history. Literally.
The Flyers continued their see-saw battle with the Blackhawks, but they couldn't pull off what would have been a thrilling victory. Still, as the final horn sounded in Chicago, it was easy to acknowledge that Philadelphians had just experienced one of the most exciting sports nights in the city's history.