Even non-hockey fans know that New Jersey's hockey team is the New Jersey Devils. It's a great organization and has had some great teams in recent decades winning several Stanley Cups. For those who don't know, that is the top prize in the National Hockey League. It's like winning the World Series or Super Bowl.

So why does the lower half of the state not have any interest and even some contempt for our state hockey team? Access, tradition, history and geography.

Most hockey fans living in the southern half of the state root for New Jersey's other hockey team. They're called the Philadelphia Flyers, but their practice facility is in Voorhees, New Jersey, and many of the players make their home in South Jersey too. By the way, the Devils are out of contention but the Flyers are in the playoffs in this weird abbreviated season.

The arena they play at in Philly is well within an hour drive from anywhere in South Jersey and the local media outlets cover them and carry their games. Plus they were around long before the Devils and won two Stanley Cups before the Devils came on the scene. Also factor in that it would take many of us close to two hours to get to their arena in Newark and there is no media coverage in the South Jersey area about the team.

Now that you understand why half of the state's hockey fans cheer for the Flyers, you'll understand why they're all in a good mood today. The Flyers won their first exhibition game in the restart of this hockey season yesterday beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 in overtime. It was such a relief to finally watch hockey again this year, even though the air conditioner was on full blast in my living room.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy. Any opinions expressed are Dennis' own.

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