Monty Gee, in white, and other fans shout at a pep rally for the Flyers at Rittenhouse Square on Wednesday, ahead of their Thursday night playoff game against the New York Rangers. Credit: Charles Mostoller/Metro
Monty Gee doesn't need another rally. He's ready for the parade.
The loud, boisterous and colorfully clothed big man has lived and breathed Philadelphia sports from his South Philadelphia enclave for the entirety of his 44 years.
His signature air-brushed shirts can be seen at all Philly sporting events. He was wearing the same shirts splashed with orange and black as a youngster in the mid-1970s. He says he remembers those parades.
"Back in the day, oh, man," he said, shaking his head. "It reminded me of the Phillies when they won the World Series [in 2008], and we went way harder back then [1970s]. But hopefully we can do that again. Hopefully we don't turn over any cars. But it's gonna be crazy as hell and off the hook."
The Flyers start their journey toward another Stanley Cup championship tonight. They play the New York Rangers at 7 p.m. in Game 1 of the seven-game series on live from Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Ainslee Rhoads, center left, dances at a pep rally for the Flyers at Rittenhouse Square, ahead of their Thursday night playoff game against the New York Rangers. Credit: Charles Mostoller/Metro
On Wednesday afternoon, Gee and a few hundred others joined members of the Flyers organization for the Playoff Bandwagon Pep Rally on 18th Street between Locust and Walnut streets next to Rittenhouse Square.
Fans were invited to get "Flyered Up" at the outdoor festival, which included live music performed on a flatbed truck as well as a "selfie booth" and T-shirt giveaways.
The most popular event was the shootout, in which fans could take a shot on net to win a signed Vinny Lecavalier orange home jersey. A fan had to score twice to win the jersey.
Fans of all sizes, ages and genders took shots, but it was 28-year-old John Pars from Northeast Philadelphia playing hooky from work who came out on top.
He said he's going to watch the game at a neighborhood bar, "and I'm definitely going to wear the new jersey," he added.
Pars, who works for Blue Cross, said hopefully it will be good luck.
Gee, cheering and dancing from the outskirts, agreed.
He called out: "We gonna do something, baby, baby!"