Self-described "hockey mom" Sarah Palin will drop the puck at the Phildephia Flyers' home opener against the Rangers Saturday night. Flyers officials say the appearance isn't political (What could possibly be political about a major party VP candidate making a public appearance three weeks before the election? You guys are so cynical.) She'll be appearing with the winner of a local online contest to find the "ultimate hockey mom." Also-rans in that competition will, we are not kidding, receive a free lipstick — presumably so their friends and family can continue to distinguish them from pitbulls.
Pennsylvania is an electoral vote-rich swing state that's currently leaning Democratic, and the appearance could garner Palin (and McCain) some positive publicity. But, as Politico's Ken Vogel points out, Philadelphia sports fans are not renowned for their excellent manners:
In addition to rough welcomes for Santa Claus and pop star Beyonce, Philadelphia fans, arguably the most unforgiving in American professional sports, cheered as an opposing team's star player lay motionless on the turf after sustaining what turned out to be a career-ending neck injury, threw batteries at a player who refused to sign with the Phillies baseball team and last month jeered their own mascot for dropping a foul ball.
So how will the city that booed the Easter Bunny receive the (arguably more controversial) VP nominee? Tune in to Comcast SportsNet Saturday night to find out...