November 5th, 1988. Ronald Reagan is president, and the nation hadn't even voted on his replacement yet. The Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Zaire, East Germany (and the Berlin Wall), are all in great shape. Barack Obama is 27, and just started law school. Luca Sbisa is not even a sperm yet.
A lot of things have changed since that day, but one thing has stayed the same--the Flyers' luck in Detroit. In seventeen games in Joe Louis Arena, including two in the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals, the Flyers have won exactly zero times. 0-15-2. Bizarre and gross, especially considering that the Flyers have the second best all-time winning percentage of any team in the league.
So what is it about Detroit that makes it such a horrible place for the orange and black?
- Does being in Detroit, the capital of industrial decline, depress the hell out of them? It sure depresses the hell out of Tim Panaccio.
- Is it an allergy to octopus residue?
- Does the Wings' lack of a third color bewilder them?
- Is it their creepy Europhilia? The Red Wings are the only team in the league where North Americans are the minority. For all the "Buy American" stuff the other Detroit industries promote, the Red Wings sure do love the importeds.
- Or does all the weirdness stem from the Flyers' second-most recent win in Detroit, a 1988 game where the Flyers were down 5-1 and came back to win 11-6. That, my friends, is weird.
Whatever the reason may be, I believe I have the antidote. It is, of course, me. The Flyers are 4-0 in their last four games with yours truly in the building, with wins over Washington, Montreal, Pittsburgh, and Washington again. Not too shabby.