(The Phanatic Magazine) - When the Flyers missed their flight across the Keystone State and a listless group of impostors bowed out of the NHL playoffs in a 6-0 shellacking at the hands of the Pens, it was official -- Philadelphia has now suffered through 100 professional sports seasons without a championship.
It's a stunning accomplishment. For 25 years, management of all four professional teams in town share just one thing -- incompetence.
The Flyers are always the closest to ending the quarter-century of ineptitude for one simple reason -- they actually try.
Even when the Orange and Black ended 2006-07 as the worst team in all of hockey, I remained steadfast -- the Flyers were still the closest Philadelphia team to a championship.
Fast forward one year and that seems obvious.
The Phillies and Sixers have absolutely no interest in competing with the big boys, and your beloved Birds are too caught up in some warped sense of entitlement to be taken seriously.
That leaves the Flyers and they seem pretty darn close...I mean, they did reach the final four in the NHL.
Not so fast...it was folly to think the tough, gritty, overachieving Flyers would end the drought against the skilled Pens -- Stan Marsh's Park County Pee-Wee team had a better chance to knock off the Detroit Red Wings in Stanley's Cup.
The sad truth is the Flyers -- although they are the best team in town -- aren't really that close.
The organization is still living in the mid-70s, obsessed with the "Rocky mentality" their stereotypical fans love.
Unfortunately, that thought process comes at the expense of skill.
While the Penguins were playing the tic-tac-toe like hockey that the NHL is pushing, the Fly Boys were still ruminating about their love for "muckers" and "grinders," while dreaming of conspiracies hatched in Toronto.
The sad truth is that the NHL changed and the Ed Snider-led Flyers are stuck in neutral, longing for the days of The Hammer and The Hound.
So, while the Flyers can bask in the mythical title of "Best Team in Town," they still have a long way to go before raising the Stanley Cup.
Enjoy the second century.
More John McMullen
John McMullen is the irreverent co-host of the highly rated 'Johns on Sports' radio show on WTBQ in New York. Every Saturday from 7-9 p.m. (et) you can hear John along with his co-host, John Gottlieb, talk to the movers and shakers in the sports world. Recent guests have included Darelle Revis of the New York Jets, ESPN's John Buccigross and ComcastSportsnet's Ron Burke. You can listen on the internet at wtbq.com or call 845-651-1110 to be part of the program.
John is also the author of the upcoming book on Philadelphia Eagles football titled, "Philadelphia Eagles football: An Interactive Guide to the World of Sports." The book will be released by Savas Beatie in September 2008.