Springfield electrician Bob Artese’s has been to 2,000-plus hockey games and, at 67, is a 50-year Flyers season-ticket holder, writes Frank Fitzpatrick for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
He’s chased down games from Washington to Allentown. He’s skated with retired legends.
He’s a fan.
Artese befriended Flyers star Andre Lacroix who moved onto his street.
When some NHL players were barred from training in Quebec, they went to South Jersey. Lacroix asked Artese to join them.
“That was a blast,” he said.
Retired Flyers in nearby Media joined Artese in pickup games that became a Sunday morning ritual.
Back in the day, it was a close knit community of 17,007 fans at the Spectrum.
“I’d know everybody seated around me, what they did, where they worked,” Artese said. “Between periods we’d all talk hockey or our personal lives.”
Now, 50 years in, older fans are disappearing due to health or finances.
More and more, the people around him are strangers.
“It’s entertainment for these people. And the Flyers do a good job catering to that. But me, I wouldn’t care if they didn’t have a scoreboard. Just give me the game. That’s all I care about.”
Read more about this fanatical Flyers fan here.