Monday, September 29, 2008

Life, Universe + Everything

I guess I was secretly hoping that the Leafs would be that team that goes 10-1 in the preseason and 26-52 during the real one, but at least no one can accuse these guys of having any pretension of greatness. I appreciate honesty, I think, and truth in sports is hard to come by. The Leafs are as honest an organization as you will find these days. It's a nice change, actually. It's like, with no chance at a Cup, everyone can just be real with each other, just be honest, just be like, hey man, I never get a chance to say this but I really appreciate all the little things you do, there's no more pretending and we can sit back and laugh and share a beer and we can make jokes about McCabe that we don't really mean because he had some pretty good years even if it didn't end all that well and god I hope he does well in Florida because he's a bang up guy I don't care what any of you say.

This is going to be a chill season. This is your last summer before college, you know? Take it easy, don't strain yourself. Figure some things out. The Leafs will still be there when you're done.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Conspiracy Theories

Hey this cool: When the Leafs finish 26th or 25th this season, you know, just good enough to be out of of first pick contention, anyway, when they have the 5th pick again guess who is projecting out at 5th? It's Brayden Schenn, lil bro of Luke Schenn, the Leafs first round pick at the last draft. Brayden is a (surprise) physical centre playing for the Wheat Kings.

You know people tell me that there is no plan in Toronto, but then I see this and I just have to laugh at them. No plan? You telling me this stuff happens by coincidence?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

We are looking at a new kind of "Winning"

This is going to be a good year, I think, for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Ha ha! Not in terms of wins or losses or whatever arbitrary bullshit you are used to measuring the success of your sports teams; no, this season is going to require a completely new definition of the word "good". But that's ok. If you are anal retentive or whatever I guess you might say that Leafs are in for a "bad" season, but then, what is "bad" if not a completely false idea set up by the "winners" in life to validate their own futile and largely empty accomplishments? Exactly! I'm glad you agree.

So the Leafs are going to "bad" this season, by which I mean to say that they will not win very many games, and there are those out there, still stuck measuring success in completely obsolete terms, "Games Won" and "Goals Allowed" and "Powerplay Goals For," who will see this as a failing. Ok. Not everyone is perfect, say, like me, and I understand that not every Leaf fan has quite caught up to my advanced Nirvana-esque state of Hockey tranquility. That's ok too! Don't worry about it. Leaf fans have never been noted for their intelligence anyway! So it's not personal.

If you want a playoff team to cheer for, might I suggest Montreal? They are a pretty good team, I think, and hardly anyone really cares about that rivalry anymore. I know it won't be easy, because it is easy to get stuck in the past when you are a Leafs fan. After all, some of the best moments in Maple Leaf history could arguably be said to have happened in the past! For example: Stanley Cups.

The Leafs are not going to win the Stanley Cup this year. Some people probably consider the Cup to be a measure of success. Leaf fans! Don't listen to them. It has been forty years since the last Stanley Cup, and we've turned out pretty ok. What is another five or ten extra years of waiting? Will it not taste as sweet? Sweeter even, just ask the Boston Red Sox, those famous losers who could only keep their streak going 86 years, didn't even have the fortitude to push it to a hundred, and people call them "winners". I don't know. I just don't.

Don't get hung up on Mats Sundin. He was part of the problem, remember? He's the one who picked this team up and dragged it kicking to the end of the season and for what? Just heartbreak and trauma and nothing good. We don't need that and we don't need him. If the Leafs are "bad" then there is no risk. Sundin is risk. Let him sign with Montreal or New York or Vancouver and maybe he can be happy and we can be happy and live vicariously through his new team.

The point of this season is to lose. Never forget that. It will be difficult, I understand. You will see this team rally in the third period from two goals down and force overtime and your primitive lizard brain instincts will kick in and you will want to cheer so hard. You will watch them outscore Ottawa by embarrassing margins and you will want to crow and stick it to very jerkass Sens fan you know.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Success will be measured in the Loss column. Readjust your self accordingly, savvy Leaf fan, and maybe we can enjoy this season, together.

Monday, September 01, 2008

I don't want to play anymore

Here's the dilemma the Jays marketing arm must be running into: how do you sell a product that every Jays fans has already seen before? We've seen this season before is the problem. We know how it ends. You don't make headlines by tanking out in August. But look, it is another September, and oh golly the Jays are out of contention, again, but whatever we have next year and good prospects and whatta pitching staff hey guys? Just imagine what the season woulda been like without all those- haha I won't insult you with that word. The Jays are overpaid and boring. They can pitch but they can't hit, and even with a feel good love guru new manager there is no life at this party. And it's worse because we got to see Tampa Bay shoot past us for the first time, like worrying about New York and Boston wasn't bad enough. Ten years ago Tampa Bay was awful and the Jay's were mediocre. Today Tampa Bay is amazing, and Toronto is still just mediocre, the team that gets sympathy votes at the beginning of each season from sportswriters, "well, a darkhorse to watch maybe," yeah watch them spin their wheels for three straight seasons.

Our only consolation is a new GM next year, and won't we be happy to hear him say, "well obviously we need to cut payroll and compete on a budget, just look at what teams like Tampa are able to accomplish with so little," and then we get a re-made farm system (allow three to five years) and before you know it our new GM is wearing expensive sun glasses and being an arrogant dick to fans.

Anyway all this is to say that I am happy to see that the Jays traded David Eckstein today but I am still pretty pissed that he was ever signed in the first place. I don't get to be right very often so let me quote myself, briefly, from what I wrote nine momentous months ago when Mr. Eckstein was signed: "Essentially now the Jays have pitched out 4.5 million dollars for a utility infielder because even if Eckstein starts the season at short you have to imagine that by September that somebody will have become frustrated enough to put MacDonald back where he belongs..." (even when I am right I am wrong; it is of course Marco Scutaro who made Eckstein unnecessary).

This should have been the Jays year to make noise. They had the payroll and the pitchers and apparently a new winning attitude but the warning signs were there in the off season as we watched Ricciardi stumble around signing players ad hoc. He was trying to save his job of course, using his familiar throw spare part players against the wall and hope somebody sticks strategy.

Why do we put up so much mediocrity. The Jays will finish well out of contention this year, the Leafs will be happy if they end up dead last, and the Raptors will squeeze into the playoffs again but only because the NBA's tendency towards bad teams so outweighs Toronto's.

Anyway, all this negativity is no good for anyone so good night.