HBO Sports Begins Production On Broad Street Bullies,
Debuting During The Stanley Cup Playoffs In May
NEW YORK, Jan. 14, 2010 — HBO Sports has begun production on BROAD STREET BULLIES, a documentary about one of pro sport’s most polarizing teams, the legendary Philadelphia Flyers Stanley Cup championship squads of the 1970s, it was announced today by Ross Greenburg, president, HBO Sports. This exclusive presentation will tell the backstories of these engaging and colorful athletes, who won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1974 and ’1975 with a bold, aggressive style that sparked controversy and criticism. BROAD STREET BULLIES debuts during the Stanley Cup Playoffs in May.
“This film will explore how a group of characters, who also happened to be an extraordinarily talented collection of hockey players that enjoyed contact on the ice, formed one of the most prominent and controversial teams in pro sports history,” said Greenburg. “We are going to re-trace the steps that led to the love affair between the city and the team, and show how to this day these players are revered in Philadelphia and despised elsewhere.”
Playing before adoring fans at the Spectrum, the Philadelphia Flyers rose to prominence in the 1970s under the guidance of shrewd coach Freddie Shero. With larger-than-life figures like Dave “The Hammer” Schultz, Bobby Clarke, Bernie Parent, Ed Van Impe, Bill Clement, Rick MacLeish, “Moose” Dupont, Bob Kelly, Joe Watson and Gary Dornhoefer, the team won many games, fought in just about all of them and made numerous enemies. The club’s popularity soared as their physically imposing and sometimes bloody style generated headlines across North America.
Although the franchise did not exist until 1967, the team rose to national prominence in just a few short years, and some NHL teams would see their home attendance double when the Flyers came to town. The club became a favorite of other hardscrabble cities and towns where blue-collar communities were taking an economic beating.
In a bizarre twist, singer Kate Smith’s rendition of “God Bless America” became the Flyers’ good luck charm. Eventually, the team that showcased players with gap-toothed grins, funny hair and goofy nicknames evolved into one of the NHL’s elite franchise. In 1976, the Flyers engaged the vaunted Soviet Central Red Army team in the finale of an exhibition series that would do little to ease the cold war tension between the two nations.
The executive producers of BROAD STREET BULLIES are Ross Greenburg and Rick Bernstein; produced by George Roy.