It also reminded me of a story of a night out in Philadelphia many years ago.
Right after college I went out for a night in Philly with my friend Ted, who was in the Navy at the time and his friend Dermot.
Dermot was a decent enough guy when sober, but as the night wore on, and he got drunker, he got worse and worse to deal with.
After Dermot threw up on the rapidly decrowding dance floor at Dickens, we went to the Headhouse Inn to get calmed down and start getting Derm sobered up. We knew the bartender at the time, a pleasant and attractive redhead named Joyce, and as we denied Dermot more alcohol he began a profane rant, explaining to Joyce loudly and repeatedly, that she was a C-word.
As we quickly got into a cab, Dermot was not very popular. I rode shotgun, Ted and Dermot were in the back. In a matter of seconds Ted and Dermot started swinging.
The cab driver was perfect. His reaction? “Hey! Don’ mess up the cab! Don’ mess up the cab!
The cabbie stopped in the middle of an intersection, effectively blocking both directions of the one-way streets in Old City. There was already a line of cars behind us as I got out from the front seat and opened the door, letting Ted and Dermot spill out onto the pavement, still punching each other.
I grabbed Ted, who was on top, with a sort-of full Nelson and pulled him off and away to the sidewalk. By then two guys, one with a Flyers jacket, came up from one of the stopped cars behind us.
They picked up Dermot and in true Flyer fan fashion:
“Yo, you want us to do anything to this one?”
By the way, the first Flyers game I ever went to was on March 11, 1979. We got the tickets from our neighbor across the street who had seasons tickets and couldn’t go. It was pretty memorable. At the time I noticed that it took the announcers over two full minutes to read the penalties. It was also a record setter for the Kings’ Randy Holt.
And yet another reason to love the internet: Here’s some video of the actual brawl! (And I expected Gene Hart to be the announcer….I have no clue who is announcing.)
While I loved it, my dad hated every minute and he never took me again.