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Flyers fans boo rivals; alas, it’s during an anti-cancer commercial

There's no need to recall the litany of criticisms aimed at Philadelphia sports fan; cheering injured players and snowballs at Santa have long passed the point of cliché.

The fact is that Philly fans will never get a break because of that perception. For example, if a few of them boo images of rival players on the arena scoreboard, and those players happen to be in a public service announcement about the fight against cancer, well then the Philly faithful must just be classless right?

Sigh.

During Wednesday night's game against the Vancouver Canucks, the Philadelphia Flyers played a Hockey Fights Cancer commercial between periods inside Wells Fargo Center.

Featured in the video were players like Sidney Crosby(notes) of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Jonathan Toews(notes) of the Chicago Blackhawks and Ryan Miller(notes) of the Buffalo Sabres.

All of them rivals, all of them booed by a noticeable group of fans … and all of them asking for support in the fight against cancer. Which is admittedly awkward, as those watching the game noted:

Flyers fans boo rivals; alas, it’s during an anti-cancer commercial

(That last one was a joke but ouch.)

Look, you might feel this is an indefensible action. To that we'd say: Lighten up, will you?

Sidney Crosby is as hated as any pro athlete is in Philly. Jonathan Toews skated the Stanley Cup on Flyers ice. Ryan Miller helped push the Flyers to a Game 7 in last year's playoffs. Fighting cancer, finding homes for kittens, working in a soup kitchen … who cares? We'd be disappointed in any fan base that didn't exhibit this Pavlovian response to seeing a rival on their big screen.

And isn't the arena game operations crew a little at fault here? Tossing up an NHL-produced ad with three loathed players isn't going to attract a reaction like this? Really? They couldn't do a quick promo in-house with a Flyer instead?

We're as guilty as anyone for taking whacks at the Flyers fan piñata. But please tell us Flyers fans aren't now going to be labeled pro-cancer? Please?

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