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David Boreanaz

David Boreanaz was in New Jersey to play in a charity hockey game

Tuesday 10 July 2012, by Webmaster

Bones star remains loyal to Flyers

Flyers fan David Boreanaz was in Jersey on Saturday to play in charity hockey game

No one had to ask where the lead actor had disappeared to while everyone else on the television set of "Bones" was ready to shoot a scene late into a long work day at Century Fox studios.

The rest of the cast, the producers and cameramen all had a pretty good idea just where David Boreanaz was and what he was doing when someone called his cell.

"I just tell them I need 10 minutes ... or I’m in the bathroom," Boreanaz said by phone the other day.

No one believes him.

By now, they all know the deal.

And they understand that wrapping up episodes of his long-running FOX crime drama sometimes takes a little longer during the spring.

When late afternoon turns into early evening that time of the year in Southern California, Boreanaz often is near a television set keeping tabs on how his favorite sports team is doing in postseason hockey.

"They know when it’s the end of my season and it’s playoff season in hockey that it’s tough to get me out of my trailer," Boreanaz said. "I’ve got the NHL (television) package in my trailer and watch every game. It’s crazy. When I was directing the season finale of ’Bones,’ I had a monitor up with the Flyers game on. Yeah, I’m dialed in!"

Boreanaz developed a passion for the Flyers growing up on Philadelphia’s Main Line. Then after college when he moved to the land of stars to become one, nothing changed.

Now 43, Boreanaz is a celebrity with legions of fans, yet still a Flyers super fan who plays the part as well as he does in his role of FBI special agent Seeley Booth on "Bones."

He even takes his hobby to work: His character frequently is seen in episodes wearing Flyers gear, which was sent to his wardrobe department by Derek Settlemyre, the club’s head equipment manager.

"I didn’t know David was holding up production on his set, but there’s no doubt he’s a huge, huge Flyers fan," Settlemyre said. "I text and email David through the season after big games and he gets so excited. It’s actually pretty cool to talk to him because he’s so into it."

It’s also common for Boreanaz, who’s up on all the players, to engage with other Flyers fans on Twitter. He’s even blogged about the Flyers during playoff series for NHL.com in recent years and wrote a column detailing his love for the franchise that was featured in last season’s Winter Classic program.

When the Flyers were in Anaheim last December, Boreanaz made an hour drive from his home in Hidden Hills, Calif., and used connections to skate with players in full pads after a team practice.

Last Saturday, Boreanaz was in South Jersey helping blog site FlyersFaithful.com raise money for the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation by playing in a four-team tournament at Flyers Skate Zone in Pennsauken.

"This is a lot of fun," Boreanaz told teammates while playing.

Boreanaz, who is married to model/actress Jaime Bergman and has two children, son Jaden (10) and daughter Bella (3 in August), lives in Los Angeles Kings country, and he was hooked in watching their run to a franchise first Stanley Cup championship this season.

Boreanaz and son actually visited the Kings dressing room after their Cup-winning win and tweeted pictures of their joy afterward, both maintain their No. 1 loyalty remains with the Flyers.

"The Flyers are my team, but I support the Kings and have gone to many of their games," he said. "I get some crap for it on the Twitter feeds. People say, ’Are you a bandwagon fan?’ It’s such typical - how should I put it? - Philly smack-talk. There are some Flyers fans out there, and I love them, that are just so intense."

Boreanaz adopted the Flyers as his team at age 8, shortly after his parents moved to Philadelphia from Buffalo in 1977. His father is Dave Roberts, the now-retired Philadelphia weatherman who changed his last name for one that’s more television friendly.

The Flyers were just two years removed from winning their two Stanley Cups at the time and Boreanaz quickly dropped his allegiance to his former hometown team, the Buffalo Sabres.

For his first Flyers game, he went to see the Sabres and remembers sitting high up in the 400 level at the Spectrum.

"I responded to a Sabres goal and my dad looked at me like, ’Oh, this could be a problem,’" Boreanaz said. "By the end of the game, I made the switch. I think it was the heat of the moment, the intensity of the crowd."

Two seasons later, Boreanaz endured one of his worst childhood memories,

the Flyers losing the 1980 Stanley Cup Final to the New York Islanders on a Game 6 overtime goal.

"I was so distraught," he said. "When you’re a kid and your team loses, it’s like the worst thing ever."

Last weekend, Boreanaz helped give back to the community by volunteering to take part in a local open-hockey tournament when realizing it would take place during a scheduled trip back to the area to see his parents, who in Haverford, Pa.

"David definitely is a hard-core Philly sports fan and that he’s going to be here and playing is absolutely terrific," said Marcello De Feo, site owner and event coordinator for FlyersFaithful.com. "I imagine a lot of celebrities wouldn’t want to be bothered. Not that they wouldn’t want to do good, but it’s just as easy for them to write a big check. David has informed us that he’s making a donation and playing."

Boreanaz said was "geared up" to play open hockey and help a growing Flyers blog raise money for Snider Hockey, which focuses on improving inner-city neighborhoods in Philadelphia and Camden. Within the past year, Snider Hockey invested more than $13 million to renovate and enclose four area rinks for year-round use, plus build classrooms at the facilities.

"Our major focus is to take dead aim on the epidemic drop-out rate in Philadelphia and Camden, which exceeds 50 percent now," said Scott Tharp, president and CEO of Snider Hockey. "The kids learn to skate and play hockey, which include league and travel teams, but they also participate in a pretty rigorous education program, which includes tutoring and mentoring. As a result, 96 percent of our 3,000 youngsters are going from one grade to the next, which is keeping them on target for graduation."

Saturday’s hockey tournament in Pennsauken was Flyers Faithful’s fourth charity event in the last four months, all of them benefiting Snider Hockey. Prior to this one, they raised more than $3,000 holding a quizzo, a video game tournament and a roller hockey tournament in Mooresville in which native son/Buffalo Sabres rookie T.J. Brennan participated.

Today’s event, which will be held from 3 p.m., to 6:30 p.m., is free to the public and will include raffles for autographed items.

Down the road, Snider Hockey hopes to work more closely with Flyers Faithful to help turn their efforts into much bigger bucks.

"We’re appreciative," said Kathy Hanrahan, an area women’s league hockey player and Snider Hockey coach who is playing in today’s tournament. "You don’t have to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to make a difference."

As for Boreanaz, he’ll be a ringer in today’s tournament. After making it big in acting, he began playing a lot of hockey with people involved in show business, and now he plays year-round in pick-up games and leagues, sometimes with out-of-season NHL players.

"For me, it’s just a great way to get out and forget about things," he said. "When you’re on the ice, it’s like white noise for me. It’s meditative."

Growing up on the Main Line, Boreanaz spent his summers vacationing at the Jersey shore and not playing much hockey beyond messing around on the streets a little with friends.

"I played on the pond probably a couple of times as a kid, but never on a team," said Boreanaz, a 1987 Malvern Prep (Pa.) graduate. "If I did, who knows? Maybe I would have been like a puck-carrying defenseman. That would have been cool. I would have been a warrior."

Or maybe a goaltender.

"I had goalie pads and a mask that were plastic and foam, and I’d have friends shoot tennis balls at me," Boreanaz said. "I loved Flyers goaltenders ... Bernie Parent when I first came to Philadelphia, then Pelle Lindbergh, then Ron Hextall."

His favorite Flyer ever was Hextall, who led the Flyers to a Cup Final as a rookie in 1986-87.

"I liked the way Ronnie played the game and liked his mentality," he said. "He was so calm, then he’d switch."

Years later, they got to know one another with Hextall now an assistant general manager for the Kings.

"Seeing Hextall win a Cup was fantastic," he said. "He deserved that."

Boreanaz feels the same for all of the other former Flyers now with the Kings, namely former stars Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne.

"You look at every Stanley Cup team and there’s a model that is just a pure unorthodox style of intensity and camaraderie as well as talent," he said. "The Kings just got a run, and when you get on a run, it becomes a special team. I just hope it happens to the Flyers sometime."