At best I’m a casual hockey fan who tunes into the playoffs because… well there’s nothing much else on in Canada from April-June. Genetically, as well as geographically speaking I should be pre-disposed to worship the Leafs with the usual blind devotion. I’m not… As a matter of fact I find myself looking at a certain Montreal-based team at times (true Leafs’ fans would call that a betrayal).
I greet the Leafs’ season with eternal optimism tempered with skepticism. Where other Leafs’ fans say “This is our year” I say “Maybe this year?” My father always chides me that there’ll be no room on the bandwagon when they do well. I reply “that’s fine,” because there’ll be a second bandwagon added.
The trouble is Leafs’ fans have been repeating “this is our year” for the last 48 years. And the team hasn’t even made the playoffs for the last 2 (maybe 3) years. That all adds up to a lot of frustration for the die-hard fans, and it seems like this year it’s come to a boil. People have been throwing their jerseys on the ice as a sign of protest. In a way I can understand it; the money spent on them is about the same as a ticket. But to put it bluntly: why would you waste your own hard-earned money like that? And wouldn’t it be easier to just stop buying tickets? I think for the fans who did it last night, and are being criminally charged losing their jersey would be punishment enough.
The team isn’t exactly blameless here. They used to raise their sticks in salute to the fans at the end of every home win, and in what looks like a pre-planned move stopped doing it. It doesn’t make them look good; as a matter of fact they look like a bunch of overgrown, overpaid children.
And then there were Phil Kessel’s comments when Randy Carlyle was fired. He took on a Reporter asking if they thought Carlyle was fired because of him. He was fired because he the guts to tell them they sucked when that was the truth, and the players didn’t listen.
And now it looks like they’re tanking the rest of the season. Oh well, maybe next year.