Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Manifesto, Or Something

Sometimes you just have to get angry. If ever there was a time to get angry dear Leaf fans, it is now. This isn't about 40 years of no Stanley Cups. Most Leafs fans weren't old enough, or alive enough, to appreciate that last one. This wouldn't matter if the drought was ten years, or a hundred years. I don't care about Howard Ballard, Punch Imlach, I'm not angry with them. I'm angry, and so too should you be, frail reader, at the current cacophony of clowns running this team.

There is a sentiment out there, I think, that says that the Leafs many sins this year have been absolved, forgiven and forgotten for the last minute effort and grit they've shown over the last month. Maybe, maybe if this was your first time cheering for the Leafs, maybe if you weren't here last year, the year before that. Remember J.S Aubin and the undefeated run to the end of the season? What good did that do us? And now we're being treated to a redux, an encore performance, because gosh if we all didn't enjoy it last time. It pisses me off ok, watching this team bumble and stumble all season long, and then now, all of a sudden, with their playoff hopes essentially dead, now they decide to show up, now they play hard, now they want to be taken seriously. All too late. It's nice that Pavel Kubina has rediscovered his ability to score, but where was that in December? Back when it counted this team folded, but when the games stopped mattering, suddenly they start winning. Nuh-uh. Sorry if I'm not impressed.

So much about this team is frustrating; so much about this team makes me want to give up and cheer for Montreal. A good fan should support their team through thick and thin, but that doesn't mean we can't look critically, can't pause to re-evaluate whether our loyalty is being well spent. No where in our contract does it say we need check our heads at the door, only heart past this point. It's not about winning and losing; if the Leafs were the worst team in the league (and who's to say they aren't already?) I could still cheer for them, if I thought there was at least some design to it, that there was a plan in place, that there was some sort of hope for the future. But here we are, three years removed from the lockout, and witnessing our third straight thoroughly mediocre team. The Leafs will miss the playoffs again, pick 12thish again. Barring miracle trades by our as yet unnamed future messiah/GM, the roster will still be built around the same stiffs that pretended to give a crap for the first four and a half months of this season.

I wish more Leaf fans would try to hold this organization responsible for the inbred sense of complacency that pervades this team. There are no excuses why a hockey team in Toronto should not be consistently at the top of the standings. This is not an organization that ever has to worry about it's next dollar, and yet we continue to settle for mediocrity.

Our only gem of hope is this white knight general manager who will soon come riding into town. We've heard that this man will have only the highest pedigree, that this man will be a guy who understands hockey, who can make tough decisions, who won't have to listen to advice from a board of governors adept at making money, but useless at winning hockey games. If it wasn't for this prospect, I probably wouldn't be writing any of this, because I would have already given up. I'm writing this because I care. I want to see this team do well.

The Blue Jays start next week. You'll excuse me if I don't feel like thinking about the Leafs for awhile.

1 comment:

Down Goes Brown said...


If I hear anyone trying to call this season anything but a dismal failure, I think I might be sick.