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Fans gear up for Game 6 in Philly

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Blackhawks are back in Philadelphia for Wednesday's game against the Flyers. A win will give the 'hawks a Stanley Cup title.

The mood in Philly is calmer than last Friday when the Flyers tied up the series at 2-2. Now, after a big win Sunday, the Blackhawks could take the Stanley Cup on Wednesday night.

You will find love in the strangest places in the city of Philadelphia. A sign welcomes Blackhawks fans at the airport. And a premier vintage sports outlet proudly displays Blackhawks merchandise.

"We are the city of brotherly love so we showed a little bit of love there by putting the Blackhawks in the window along wit the Flyers. But we hope we have a Flyers victory at the end of the day," said Damon Briggs, Mitchell & Ness Nostalgia Co.

In fact, all things Chicago have pride of place at the century-old sports haberdashery -- even designs for limited edition 1961 Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita sweaters to commemorate what was expected, and in Philly is still expected, to be next year's 50th anniversary of the last Stanley Cup in Chicago.

At the John F. Kennedy Plaza where Robert Indiana's iconic LOVE statue radiates its message to journalism students attending a humanities conference, the one Blackhawks fan in the crowd knows even love has its limits.

"I try to keep it under wraps knowing they can get a little rowdy sometimes," said Matthew Coyne, a Blackhawks fan from Connecticut.

And regardless of how Wednesday night's game goes, one fan says hockey is growing.

"Before...they used to fight all the time. I didn't want to watch that. But now, these guys can skate. Some of them going behind their backs, between their legs. It's a good game to me now. I actually watch," said Greg Brown, Philadelphia fan.

After Chicago's powerful win in game 5, ticket sales have ebbed at area ticket brokers. Getting in to Wachovia Center Wednesday will cost less than $300. Had Chicago now been trailing in the series, that number could have been as much as 66 percent higher.

"A lot of sellers don't want to see is the 'hawks skate around with the cup afterwards so I think that has a lot to do with it," said Daryl Fein, Stub Hub Philadelphia.

And where alcohol is present, so too is the familiar Philadelphia attitude. It's a force to be managed for Chicago-born server Nemanya Popovich.

"I will be in full regalia. I've got my Jonathan Toews jersey and I'll be wearing it proudly as soon as they win the Stanley Cup," said Popovich.

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chicago blackhawks, local, ravi baichwal
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