Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Here we go again...

For every season there is a chronically disappointing team for me to follow. With the turning of the leaves comes the Toronto Maple Leafs. You'll see that my passion for the Leafs won't come through quite as strong as that for the Bills. This is likely due to my complete distaste for much of what comes with the Leafs - I love the team but I hate the organization. My issues with Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment have been mentioned previously, however, my problems with the Leafs go far beyond the ownership. Much of what I love about the Bills is the experience of being at the games in person. With the Leafs it's the exact opposite. The gameday experience has the authenticity of a film festival party and the excitement of C-PAC. I guess this is what happens when you turn hockey into a status symbol. Exit real fans, enter the broker crowd. Out with the jerseys and in with the embroidered, designer blazers and giant sunglasses. If I wanted to hang out with this crew I'd go to Bymark...then I'd kill myself. Not only are they aesthetically inappropriate but, more importantly, they are also bad fans. Perhaps it's the sense of entitlement that most of these fans carry with them that explains their disproportionately negative responses to the team. Indifferent applause for a goal, virulent booing for an ill-advised pass. Is this some sort of misguided attempt at tough love? Even Richard Williams has some praise for Venus or Serena when they do something well. This is the antithesis of what a sporting event should be. There is no excitement, no "letting loose". In short, the crowd at the Air Canada Centre may be the worst sports crowd in North America not affiliated with Los Angeles. The fans outside the ACC don't escape my wrath either. The random decisions as to who the scapegoat is every year are beyond comprehension. Nik Antropov is the current Leaf most despised by the "first time caller, long time listener" set. It makes sense as he was arguably their most consistent forward for much of last year and is still a young player with a reasonable salary (Take note: I'm agreeing with the Toronto Star here). Perhaps "Antropov" is the Kazakh word for "Larry Murphy". My advice to Nik, change your name to Nick Anderson. Something tells me Bill from Whitby and Joe from Brampton will suddenly embrace you.

All this being said, I am a dyed-in-the-wool Leafs fan. Mark Bell could rear-end me twice and I'd ask him to autograph my neck brace. The fact that I put up with a consistently mediocre team on the ice and a "fan" base that legitimately explains why the rest of the country hates us is a testament to the unconditional nature of my support. So, here we go again. $135 for the new jersey? I'll take two! I'm Tina, they're Ike. Let the disappointment reign. Go Leafs Go!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nik Antropov their best forward last year? That's a sad state of affairs.

Dyed in the wool Leaf fan? You wouldn't have said that 15 years ago....totally fairweather, you change affiliations as often as Marty changes his underwear.

Marty said...

I told you - doctor says I can only change my underpants once every three weeks, or I irritate the boils.

Anonymous said...

Wow this blog sucks. Where are the updates? It's not like you're employed.