Long before there was Mama McNabb, the self-proclaimed "America's Favorite Sports Mom" (talk about delusional...), another athlete's parents were part of the Philly faithful's lexicon. Eric Lindros was famously represented by his parents, who were reportedly very meddlesome throughout their son's career, straining the young center's relations with the Flyers' front office, and particularly then-GM Bobby Clarke.
One of the fascinating aspects of the Alumni Game that will take place before the Winter Classic is for the first time since Lindros was traded, he and Clarke will be reunited. And while their bitter feud played out for all to see, and there wasn't much that was left unsaid, give both men credit as they both sound willing to let bygones be bygones. ESPN was able to get their thoughts.
"It’s no big deal to me," Clarke told ESPN.com. "Not at all. Lindros was an MVP; he helped our club. That part I like. I didn’t like the parents involved; I didn’t like what they did, and once it started hurting our club, then I was offended by it. But as far as Eric playing hockey for us, he played hard for us and he played good for us. He deserves to be out there."
"I hope so for his sake," Clarke said of Lindros. "Because he left with so much bitterness and so much anger. And I guess I did, too. I was bitter and angry, too. But once he was gone, I moved on, I didn’t care after that. Let’s hope we’re all mature enough now, enough time has passed and everything has healed."
As for Lindros:
"I've been excited since I received a phone call from Paul Holmgren inviting me to represent the Flyers and Flyer fans at the Alumni Game of the Winter Classic Weekend," he said. "Old friends from Philly have been blowing up my phone ever since word got out. I can't wait to get back there, see them and play for the fans again. Looks to be a great event. It was very nice of Bob to say some of the things he has said, and I too look forward to catching up with him.
Lindros goes on to say his representatives were simply looking out for his interests and safety, so it seems neither he or Clarke will actually admit they were wrong -- not that it matters. What matters is having them both on the ice for this celebration of hockey history in Philadelphia, and that the two of them can put the entire incident behind them once and for all.
Lindros did have one more thing to say about the game coming up.
Time to move on with more important things. I am so excited to be heading back to Philly in January and more than likely before that. It’s going to be a great weekend. I will not have played in a game this big for almost 5 [years]. Pumped!"
We're pumped, too.
As a side note from the same story, it appears Wayne Gretzky will not be a part of the festivities.
>> Lindros, Clarke hope to move on [ESPN]