In all the breakdowns we’ve done of the Chicago Blackhawks and the Philadelphia Flyers going into the Stanley Cup finals, there’s one debate that seems to really draw the line between the two cities. No, it isn’t the debate between the Philly Cheesesteak sandwich and the Chicago deep dish pizza (come on, they’re both delicious), it’s the debate over who honors America/fires up the home team the best way possible.
For years, Chicago has honored America by singing the National Anthem while the hometown fans at the Madhouse on Madison roar, cheer and go out of their mind “bizonkers” as Gary Bettman would say. For those of you doubting how long this has been going on, check out this footage from the All Star Game back in the early 90s at the old Chicago Stadium.
Crazy, right? And I don’t just mean the mullets on some of those fans’ heads either. Thankfully Patrick Kane is representing for them now.
As for the Flyers, they’ve been honoring America by having the long-since departed Kate Smith singing “God Bless America” before games since the mid-1970s. She became the Flyers good luck charm of sorts during the Broad Street Bullies days when she would come out to center ice and sing it back then, but now it’s a duo with a recording of Kate Smith teamed up with the live singing of Lauren Hart and it’s done pretty well.
So, now the question for you lovely readers of Pro Hockey Talk, who does it the best? Obviously we know where Philly and Chicago supporters will decide and some of the readers at NBC Sports have weighed in already.