...while the game was on (man the Bruins are a boring club).
10. Is there an easier punch line in Canadian sports media than the very tired, “plan the parade” that gets thrown around whenever the Leafs win a game? I know there’s a writer’s strike but can Mike Toth and and the brainless minions that fill my screen each night come up with something new. Please.
9. A.J. Liebling called it "‘on the other hand’ journalism" - that rare ability to sit on the fence or find fault with all courses of action. I think Damien Cox might be the true master of this school of thought. If the Leafs ever win the Cup and the series goes seven, half of this town’s media will file ledes about how the Leafs should have won it in five.
8. What are the odds that someone can write an article or a column about the Leafs without dropping 1967 or “40 years”. Seriously. We get it. It's been a loooooonnnnnngggggggg time.
7. Speaking of dry spells, the Leafs are hardly alone (not that this excuses any incompetence at MLSE) but here are some other clubs that are similar territory, look for these team names to be included alongside 1967 to provide some balance/context:
35+ Years Without a Cup
Los Angeles Kings
St. Louis Blues
Soon to be in the 35+ Years club
Philadelphia (33 years and counting...)
New York Islanders
6. Think back to last February/March when the Leafs were in the final stretch battling for a final playoff spot. At that time, the Leafs said they were approaching those end of season games as though it were the playoffs. They then went on to play .500 hockey, putting up stinkers against Washington, the Islanders and others (well done boys!). Well, it may be a few months early, but that same metaphor has been yanked out by the club yet again. Here's my question: if the Leafs lose four out of seven will they be eliminated from the regular season?
5. Does it really take death to engineer a change at the top for the Leafs? First Ballard, then Stavro...does anyone know how old Peddie is? How’s his cholesterol? Is he in good health?
4. Did you know that Leaf fans are in charge of programming down at the CBC? It’s true. Every year, 26 members of Leafs nation are chosen in a secret ceremony on Mutual Street and each one is given the responsibility to program a single 7:30 Saturday night game for Hockey Night in Canada. It’s funny, you’d think national programming decisions would have to do with ratings and market size - Toronto is the fifth largest media market in North America after all and the Leafs are a wildly popular team - but you’d be wrong. We members of Leaf nation get to pick what all Canadian viewers have to watch on Saturday nights. Our fellow Canadians cannot turn away, they cannot seek programming elsewhere and they must complain to me about it because I’m a Leafs fan…this is how things work. We must not stop and think about it nor question it. It just is.
3. Do people really believe that Leafs Nation is a monoculture? Can a fan base this large, every single mouth-breathing one of us, all believe the exact same thing: the Leafs are going to win the Cup each and every year. Look, the only trait Leaf fans all share is delusion – (we do cheer for the Leafs after all), but we’re not all optimists, we’re not all incapable of holding down the shift-key when we’re pounding out exclamation marks (Leafs are gonna win the cup, baby!!!!!!!1), very few of us want the Leafs to turn things around this year, yet the media sure would have you believe we’re all of one voice and of one mind (and a rather damaged/limited mind at that).
2. For those of you who think boycotting the Leafs will solve everything. Sure it will. Now please put down your petition, while I walk away slowly.
1. As much as I want the Leafs to have a top 3 pick at the 2008 draft, I find it very hard to cheer against the Blue and White. I was (unexpectedly) thrilled when Steen potted the winner tonight against the Bruins (although if MLSE thinks this makes the team buyers at the deadline, I will seriously circulate a petition and call for a boycott on all Leafs goods).