The Flyers Could Have Been Named the Croaking Crickets

Philadelphia's hockey club was named 50 years ago this week. They ended up with a great name, but some of the fan suggestions were a bit better.

Fifty years ago this week, the Flyers were named.

The official unveiling of the name took place on August 3rd, 2016, and Bill Meltzer wrote a nice piece about it for the Flyers’ website yesterday.

Here’s how the story goes: The youngest of the four major professional sports franchises in Philadelphia, the Flyers were named by Ed Snider‘s sister, Phyllis. According to Jay Greenberg’s Full Spectrum, Phyllis suggested the name while at a rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike. Ed Snider and the rest of the ownership group liked the name, and that was that.

Well, sort of. Though they’d already decided on a name, the Flyers ownership group decided to have a contest at ACME supermarket locations — and would pull the winner out of whomever selected “Flyers.”

But Meltzer’s article also pulls out a few other suggestions from both the ownership group and from fans:

The internally proposed names, according to Jay Greenberg’s landmark Full Spectrum, included Sabers (the Buffalo Sabres franchise was not created until 1970), Lancers, Raiders, Royals, Knights, Bashers, Bruisers, Blizzards, Icecaps, Huskies, Keystones and Liberty Bells. […]

it was actually Liberty Bells (already considered and rejected by team ownership) that got the most votes along with Quakers (the name of a previous, short-lived 1930s NHL team in Philadelphia). Others suggested the names of defunct minor league teams from Philadelphia, such as the Ramblers and Arrows. Among the more whimsical entries were suggestions of various entrants’ own names, the Acmes (since the entry forms were obtained at Acme markets), the Philly-Billies, the Scars and Stripes and even the Croaking Crickets.

Most of the other suggestions were pretty bad — please, no colonial/American Revolution nicknames — though “Philadelphia Scars and Stripes” is pretty clever. I would also root for a team known as the Philadelphia Lancers.

But just think of a universe where the Philadelphia Croaking Crickets are our hockey team. Now that’s a squad that would probably have hoisted the Stanley Cup more than twice in its history.

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