But Ed . . . Mr. Snider escapes most of the vitriol despite being the one and only owner of a team that has existed for 46 years and hasn’t won a Stanley Cup championship for the last 38. If you’re my age, you remember how much fun it was teasing all those Rangers fans as their drought went from 40 years to 45 years, and then to 54.
Well, that’s us now.
And at some point you have to ask: Has Ed Snider become our version of Al Davis, his heart in the right place, his head not so much? Is there something structurally wrong with how the Flyers do things? A philosophy? A lack of one? And if so, does it all trace to its founder and the guy who still calls all the shots?
This question is so easy to answer: Snider wants to win and he loves money. Those two things aren’t mutually exclusive– winning, or coming close, allows Snider to rake in the money from the Flyers in addition to all that coin he gets from Comcast Spectacor, which is significantly bigger than one team. The problem is that the Flyers embrace the past perhaps more than any team on earth. And not only do they embrace it, they model their current iterations off it. The Bullies are the prototype for a winning team, according to Snider, Peter Luukko and their minions, and there’s little acknowledgement from them that times have changed. From overdoing it with the Kate Smith thing (I’m 29 and was born more than five years after her last Flyers performance– that means an entire generation knows of her only by grainy video) to the team extending tough guys Zac Rinaldo and Jay Rosehill to two two-year extensions last month, it’s so painfully obvious to everyone except those in the organization that the Flyers are your grandparents getting their nightly news on the radio. [Rinaldo’s a likable guy and perhaps earned the deal, but in what world was it urgent to lock up career goon and criminal(!) Rosehill? This isn’t goddamned Slapshot, this is modern hockey, where speed rules.] As a business, the Flyers are run as if Samsung was trying to increase revenue by perfecting the rear-projection TV instead of focusing on phones and tablets. Oh cool– this worked 20 years ago, let’s house it in a big wood cabinet too, so it really pops in the living room and matches the color of Alf! The Flyers are loyal to a fault. Even worse is that it backfired the one time they shifted their philosophy and sold off their guys to get an expensive Russian goalie and young, fast talent. For once, the Flyer way was working, but they pissed it out the window and created a Frankenstein monster of not-ready young talent and goofy old guys. Two years later, they stink. Paul Holmgren is at fault too, but I’m guessing that in many instances over the past few years, he was just following the orders of Uncle Ed, who is so desperate to win a Cup that the drunk, crazy-eyed, single-for-far-too-long girl at the bar at 2 a.m. who farts and puked on your shoes (by accident!) looks sane by comparison. You never want to go home with her because she’s crazy and will do anything, to anyone, – and that’s gross – just the way Snider will to win a Cup. And it never fucking works.
I should have put a paragraph break in there.