Thursday, July 12, 2007

Strange Harmonic Convergences in Philly Indoor Winter Sports

DISCLAIMER: As some of you know, I HATE basketball. Especially NBA basketball. So I will offer very little analysis of the basketball side of this Harmonic Convergence doo-hickey. Thank you.

When I was a lad of about 13 or 14, a strange happening...umm...happened with the Philadelphia NHL and NBA franchises. Both the Flyers and the Sixers employed young men by the name of "Derrick Smith" and although the Sixers' version spelled his name wrong (Derek Smith) they were pronounced in an identical fashion.

I had no trouble finding this picture. I also had no trouble not even attempting to find one of the Sixers' D. Smith. Who cares? He plays basketball.

Having two teams that had a player that shared the same name also share the Spectrum and occasionally even play on the same day there, was a very interesting phenomenon to young Jewbacca.

Now the Sixers have drafted? traded for? stolen? bought on eBay? somehow acquired a player by the name of Jason Smith. And lo and behold, in a cosmic event that seems to happen every 19 years or so, the Flyers have gone out and traded for a player by the name of.....Jason Smith! Imagine the odds. Two sets of Jasons playing for the tenants of the Wachovia Center, sometimes there on the same day, and both have the last name Smith.

Is this cosmic event a harbinger of good? Or is it a harbinger of bad?

Let's look at the 1988-1989 and 1989-1990 seasons, the last time the two indoor winter teams had players sharing the same name:

Derrick Smith joined the Flyers from his OHL team, the Peterborough Petes in 1984-1985. In the first of the two Harmonic Convergence seasons, hockey's Mr. Smith played 74 games, scoring 16 goals and ending up with 30 points and 43 PIM. In the second mystical season he played 55 games, scoring 3 goals and ending up with 9 points and 32 PIM. The Mr. Smith that played that other sport somehow arrived in Philly and played 36 games in 88-89 and 75 in 89-90 and did some stuff statistically (I looked it up and I realized that I could not care less what all those abbreviations met, suffice it to say: he did things).

In lieu of a picture of basketball's Derek Smith, enjoy Snoopy and Chuck Brown high-fiving.

How did this wondrous event of having two D. Smiths in town in the same year help the teams? The Flyers in 88-89 were 36-36-8 and made it to the Wales Conference Finals where they lost to eventual Stanley Cup runners-up Les Habitants. The Sixers that same year were swept in the first round of the playoffs by some team from New York. The Flyers in 89-90 were 30-39-11 and missed the playoffs. The Sixers that same year were 53-29 and lost in the Eastern Semis to some team named the Bulls or something to that effect.

So how does all this Harmonic Convergence stuff involving two Derrick (Derek) Smiths playing in the Spectrum during the same two seasons and two Jason Smiths also playing together in Philly during the same season affect anything? And what does this upcoming season's incarnation of the same name two teams phenomenon have in store for the Sixers and the Flyers?

I haven't the foggiest.

Thanks to The Internet Hockey Database and this place for the stats.

Can't argue that the Sixers' Dance Team could beat the Flyers' Delta Dental Ice Team (or whatever they're called) in a hot-off.


FFMatt said...

I'd bet heavily on the Delta Dental hotpants against the Sixer's dance team in a South Philly knife fight though. And trust those Sixer's girls to be rashy at all times.

FFJewbacca said...