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Flyers fans deface veteran Canadiens reporter's car

May 18, 2010, 12:00 PM EDT

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nomercy.jpgIf there is one city in sports that has a reputation for taking things a little too far, it’s Philadelphia. Sure, it’s awesome that the City of Brotherly Love inhabits some of the most knowledgeable fans on the planet, but sometimes that passion manifests itself in some destructive and disturbing ways.

Take, for instance, the story of Montreal Gazette reporter Pat Hickey happening upon his vandalized car after covering Game 1 of the Habs-Flyers series.

I found myself the unwanted centre of attraction when I went to my car after the game. One tire was flat, the bug deflector had been ripped from the hood, a hubcap had been snapped in two and the trunk and roof of the car were littered with beer cans. The windows were covered with beer and soda.

These were minor inconveniences. I bought a new tire and took a run through a car wash. And when you have 565,000 kilometres on a 1999 Honda Accord, you don’t worry about a bug deflector.

But my biggest concern was that some yahoo tore off my license plate. I spent three hours Monday, shuttling between police stations before I was able to fill out a report on the theft. I’m hoping that the report will help me clear customs Tuesday.

To be fair, Montreal Canadiens fans have had their fair share of over-the-line moments too, as they’ve occasionally rioted after wins and losses alike. Still, this is an ugly moment for a city where sports hooliganism is becoming so rampant it’s bordering on a cliche.

There is, however, one good bit of news. Hickey’s next trip to Philadelphia might be just a bit safer. Here’s more from Hickey via Chris Botta of NHL Fanhouse.

As a result of Hickey’s misfortune, it appears the Flyers are considering a change in protocol. The press parking at the Wachovia Center is usually just for Philadelphia-based reporters.

“Word is, that might change for this series,” said Hickey.

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