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INDEX

Why Tocchet? (Why NOT?)

I'd like to share how I came to be, and still remain, Rick Tocchet's biggest fan (except maybe his mother!)

Early in the 1984-85 season, I was up late watching a west-coast road game, Calgary, I believe. After the linesmen separated a Flyer from his fight victim, I watched curiously as he mumbled and complained all the way to the penalty box. Even after he was seated comfortably, he was still muttering and scowling. I noted it was one of several rookies the Flyers introduced on opening night; his name, Rick Tocchet. I was so intrigued I hadn't even noticed how handsome he was (but that wasn't overlooked for long!)
With each passing game, the major penalties mounting, my admiration for the first-year winger intensified. I also noted that all my girlfriends had crushes on fellow-rookie Peter Zezel. "Yeah, he's cute," I thought, but he's not my type of player. I loved the physical part of the game, and Tocchet was as physically intense as I had ever seen.
By the end of that season, I had my first Tocchet jersey. OK, it didn't look much like a Flyer jersey, except for the colors, but it was inexpensive, which was important considering I was only 14! By early 1987, I had a REAL Flyers jersey...and proudly wore it nearly every day!
I got my first chance to see Tocchet in person 24OCT87 at the Spectrum (the game BEFORE Dave Brown's infamous crosscheck on Tomas Sandstrom.) Didn't get to meet him, but as I stood at the glass gazing during pre-game, he leaned against it right in front of me! I almost threw myself against it from the other side!
October 1, 1988 still rates as one of the greatest nights of my life! I finally met Tocchet for the first time. I was so scared I nearly didn't approach him. I had a cast on my left arm at that time, which he gladly autographed, along with my book, as well as posing with me for the picture on the previous page.
I also had another opportunity to meet him at a Flyers Wives Carnival a few years later. Despite a groin injury, he was again gracious.
His style of play captured my attention, his attitude toward this fan guaranteed my life-long loyalty. There is so much more I can say, but I AM trying to keep this brief! Thanks for reading!



1997-2006