But obscured by the headlines is a hidden dimension of this story. It’s about the sense of community, common cause and goodwill that a team forges among its fans in both good and bad times. We wear the same team jerseys and t-shirts. We check our gender, race and class identities at the door. Win? We laugh, hug and high-five. Lose? We grouse and curse together. A shared identity among 20,000 politically and culturally diverse people is precious and rare in today’s deeply divided society. Born in the late 60’s and lifted by the rising tide of rock and roll in the 70’s, the modern arena has become a city’s center, the crossroads of culture. . . .
People are asking what Ed Snider would have done? Having gotten to know Kate Smith personally over many years, I suspect he would have taken time to learn the facts before rushing to judgement. As a beloved member of the Flyers extended family, she deserved a full hearing. But times have changed. Teams and arenas are owned today by corporations and billionaires who made their names and fortunes elsewhere. When Ed Snider died three years ago, the family ethos was buried with him. . . . .