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Old 05-05-2004, 01:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Radio pranks enrage Flyers

Saturday, May 1, 2004

By CHUCK GORMLEY
Courier-Post Staff
TORONTO

A Toronto radio station muddied the line between humor and gamesmanship on Wednesday when it had someone knock on the hotel room door of Flyers goaltender Robert Esche at 5 a.m., saying he ordered room service.

Flyers Chairman Ed Snider, in Toronto for the Flyers' heated playoff series with the Maple Leafs, found no humor in the prank.

"I think it's a disgrace," Snider said. "And I don't think it's at all funny."

According to Snider, radio host Todd Shapiro of Toronto's 102.1 FM, The Edge , sent someone to the third floor of the Fairmount Royal York Hotel in downtown Toronto and had him bang on the door, waking the Flyers' 26-year-old goaltender on the same day he played Game 3 at the Air Canada Centre.

"I knew what was going on, so I didn't even bother answering it," said Esche, who said he also received phone calls before daybreak. "I put the `Do Not Disturb' on the phone and they still patched it through. Childish, but it's actually funny when you look at it."

Flyers General Manager Bob Clarke didn't think so.

"What kind of person walks up to a hotel room door and starts banging on it at 5 in the morning," Clarke said. "What's wrong with them? What crosses the line between doing your job and harassment?"

Flyers center Jeremy Roenick had a similar incident happen to him during last year's playoffs, but the savvy 16-year veteran looked through his door's eye hole to see someone holding a plant. He quickly filled a bucket of water from his hotel room sink and threw it on the unsuspecting prankster.

Shapiro's antics did not end at the Flyers' hotel. He also followed Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock and his assistants, Craig Hartsburg and Wayne Fleming, into a Tim Horton's doughnut shop, where he proceeded to ridicule him over a bullhorn live on radio.

"He just burst in and started yelling at them and tried to sit at their table," Clarke said.

Shapiro did not return a message left on his voice mail.

Clarke said Hitchcock was also verbally abused by a rabid Maple Leafs fan on his way from the Air Canada Center to the Flyers' hotel a block away after a practice this week.

"A car pulled over to him and this idiot sticks his head out and screams, `You're lucky you weren't walking in the road, you (bleep), or you would have been run over.'

"People up here are crazy. It wasn't like this when I played. It's gotten nasty. What gives people the right to do these things, just because we work for a hockey team?"

The Flyers are expected to return to the Royal York on Monday if a Game 6 is necessary on Tuesday night. If that is the case, the players are expected to book their rooms under aliases to avoid similar disturbances.

http://www.southjerseynews.com/issues/may/s050104d.htm
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Old 05-05-2004, 01:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Makes banning a rivals jersey in your home rink look pretty tame, doesn't it?
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Old 05-05-2004, 01:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Please don't start painting us all with one brush. There are idiotic fans in every city. The same crap went on for the leafs in Philadelphia as well as other teams in other citys. Its the nature of the beast. Good and bad all around. Not just leaf fans. I don't condone what some of these dinks do but you ask around and I bet most NHL players will tell you that this happens in most cities where they are very passionate about their team....

fa·nat·ic: A person marked or motivated by an extreme, unreasoning enthusiasm, as for a cause.
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Old 05-05-2004, 01:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Amoroq
Please don't start painting us all with one brush. There are idiotic fans in every city. The same crap went on for the leafs in Philadelphia as well as other teams in other citys. Its the nature of the beast. Good and bad all around. Not just leaf fans. I don't condone what some of these dinks do but you ask around and I bet most NHL players will tell you that this happens in most cities where they are very passionate about their team....

fa·nat·ic: A person marked or motivated by an extreme, unreasoning enthusiasm, as for a cause.

Did I mention any one of you fan's alone? No, I simply put the title because this is what Toronto fan's did, you can interperate the way you want it to, but I was just posting the article for fun, knowing some people later on will get into a hot debate and it will turn into trash talk, I put it in this section already.
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Old 05-05-2004, 02:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Amoroq
Please don't start painting us all with one brush. There are idiotic fans in every city. The same crap went on for the leafs in Philadelphia as well as other teams in other citys. Its the nature of the beast. Good and bad all around. Not just leaf fans. I don't condone what some of these dinks do but you ask around and I bet most NHL players will tell you that this happens in most cities where they are very passionate about their team....

fa·nat·ic: A person marked or motivated by an extreme, unreasoning enthusiasm, as for a cause.

Did I mention any one of you fan's alone? No, I simply put the title because this is what Toronto fan's did, you can interperate the way you want it to, but I was just posting the article for fun, knowing some people later on will get into a hot debate and it will turn into trash talk, I put it in this section already.
Oh I don't know how abut some idiot toronto fans? I just dislike it when some generalise. My point is however is this kind of crud goes on in alot of cities not just Toronto. Sorry I my back gets up when I see Toronto fans this, or Leaf fans that...Im a leaf fan and I think I've been pretty decent about not trying to offend anyone by being too trashy. Yea I know this is in the trash section....ahhhh dangnabbit give me a break the leafs just lost!!!! LOL
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Old 05-05-2004, 08:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Guess they should have left Esche and the Flyers alone and gave the Leafs a wake up call. ock: :lol: 8)
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Old 05-05-2004, 08:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I have no problem with fans doing this to other fans, but don't get the players involved. Leave them alone. They have a job to do and some maniacs shouldn't be waking up players, screaming absenaties in public (arena is fine) and bugging them when they should have a private life. I'm not just saying this because leafers did this, I remember hearing stories in 1997 when the OIL played the Avs in the second round and a local radio station was trying to pull the same kind of stunts and it wasn't something that impressed or entertained me.
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Old 05-05-2004, 09:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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At least they didn't cross that invisible line by hiring a small plane to tow a taunting banner all around the sky. :]

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Old 05-05-2004, 10:05 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Hmmm, maybe these 'spirited pranks' are bad karma??
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Old 05-05-2004, 10:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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MMMMM if memory serves me right Bowman employed that tactic for years.
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