I have made no secret in these spaces that I am a Toronto Maple Leafs fan. A huge Toronto Maple Leafs fan. With the Kings amazing run this year, understandably, 1993 has come up a lot around The Score offices and it’s gotten to the point that I have just started randomly yelling “KERRY FRASER” like an unstable person. I’ve been told it has to stop. I can’t imagine why.
Point is, it’s been a long time since the Leafs have done anything meaningful. This is not news. Because of this, I find t hard to remember what it’s like to cheer for a hockey team that is finding a measure of success. This was originally going to be a post about how to win graciously or something but then I realized I wasn’t qualified to write that cause I have no idea. If the Leafs ever won I’d be the least gracious person ever and wouldn’t care. So, I called a friend of mine who’s a die-hard New York Rangers fan (I know, fuck him) and asked him what it’s been like this year.
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s been 3, 5, 10 or 50 years,” he said, “any time your team is on the brink of winning it all, or at least having a chance to win it all, it’s just as magical as it was the last time.”
My friend has the benefit of remembering 1994. I asked him if not having that history of pain in any way cheapens the win. A stupid notion, I grant you, as winning is winning and any grace period of whatever is probably just a way to make people who cheer for losers (me) feel better.
“I could see how years of adversity could add something cathartic to a championship, but who really cares? If my team wins and I get to celebrate a win, then I’m going to celebrate a win.”
Which got me thinking about just how much we talk about how long it’s been since our teams won a championship. Cubs fans have been suffering in this regard for 114 years, the Cleveland Browns have never won a Super Bowl and the Leafs, well, you know. But with all the emphasis put on how long it’s been since a championship has been won, we start to lose sight that every victory is great, it just might not play as well in the media. The Kings have never won a Cup, they’ll probably play for one this year. The Rangers won in 1994, they’ll also probably play for one this year. The drought may be longer but to people like my friend, it doesn’t matter. A win is a win. Who cares how long it’s been?
ps. This may have just been a way for me work out my issues about being a Leafs fan. It didn’t make me feel better.
pps. This is true for every city except Boston. Fuck you, Boston. Stop winning everything.
Links To The Past
- Oh my God, I want to do this. Awesome way to show fan support. (New York Times)
- You know what might help the Coyotes in their series? If they could score. (Globe and Mail)
- Also winning a game. That would probably do them some good. (Arizona Republic)
- Headshots are spreading to the international game. This probably isn’t good. (Puck Daddy)
- Lots of Coyotes news today. They kind of have a lot on the line today. (ESPN)
- The Flyers are all sorts of banged up. This still doesn’t change the fact they don’t really have a goalie. Team Bryzzy, represent? (FOX Sports)
- Who is the next Habs’ coach going to be? I don’t know but I can promise you I’m not going to like him. Unless he fails. Then I might. (The Hockey News)
- Oh yeah, the Memorial Cup is happening. Or something. (Toronto Star)