Celebrating Phyllis Foreman: Why Flyers fans should know her name
Phyllis Foreman passed away on April 11, 2020, at age 92, after losing her battle with cancer. Her passing occurred exactly four years after that of her younger brother, Philadelphia Flyers founder, Ed Snider.
While most Philly sports fans are quite familiar with Ed Snider and all he did for the city of Philadelphia, they should also be aware of the achievements of Phyllis and her husband Earl Foreman (who passed in 2017). Without the Foremans, Philadelphia would not be the city it is today and Flyers hockey may have ceased to exist.
After speaking with Phyllis’s nephew, Garrett Snider, about his great aunt, I felt as if I had been immersed in a part of Philadelphia sports history that many are unfamiliar with.
Despite the fame that Phyllis was constantly surrounded by, she always remained humble and truthful. Snider went on to describe his aunt by saying, “She lived her entire adult life in the world of sports, so it isn’t surprising that her approach to living was very rooted in team spirit.” Much of that team spirit was spent on those that she cared about, including her brother Ed, who Phyllis comforted during his fight with cancer. That love and support went both ways as “Granddad [Ed Snider] always protected and supported her” explained Garrett.
Phyllis and the Flyers:
The two were also incredibly close when it came to business. In fact, the Foremans were the reason Ed Snider became a part of the sports world in the first place. Earl Foreman had served as an attorney for a real estate investor who had purchased the Philadelphia Eagles and he became a part-owner himself in 1964. When the Foremans became involved with the Eagles, Snider moved to Philadelphia and became apart of the organization as well. Two years later in 1966, while Snider was deep into planning the inaugural season of a Philadelphia professional ice hockey team, Phyllis came up with the nickname “the Flyers”, and Snider loved it. While there was a contest occurring for the team name, Phyllis’s name and spelling were eventually chosen. She also helped with the team’s logo design, which unlike most NHL teams, has not been altered since its creation.
While Phyllis and her husband never lived in Philadelphia, they were here often for business trips. During these trips, they would spend lots of time with the Snider family. Garrett explained to me that these visits have become some of his mother’s and her cousins’ fondest memories. No matter how much notoriety the family received, it was just that which remained Phyllis’s top priority, family. Thanks to her dedication to her family, Philadelphia now has its own tight-knit sports family. Without the Foremans, Ed Snider may have never come to Philly and shaped the city into what it is today, and without Phyllis’s creativity and contributions, the Philadelphia Flyers would not be the same organization we have all come to love like family.