Hello Leafs Nation. Maybe next year?
Sound familiar? Well, it should. It has been the battle cry of the Toronto Maple Leaf's faithful fan base since 1967. That's when the Leafs won their last Stanley Cup.
George Armstrong, Bobby Baun, Andy Bathgate, and Dicky Duff were the last group to hoist the cup in Toronto. Johnny Bower was the goaltender. I played pee wee hockey with his kid... That's a helluva long time ago!
The Leafs aren't statistically dead yet! They're surging late in the season! Every game is like a playoff game! They're the youngest team in the league!
You will hear this on all of the sportscasts around the city. Enough already.
The city's sports fans enable the Leafs to perennially finish two points shy of a playoff spot because, no matter what happens, they go out to watch mediocre talent, coached and managed with mediocrity.
No howls of outrage, no demand for better product. Just a whistful "Maybe next year..." Pathetic.
Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment knows precisely what they are doing. They are offering poor quality product at high price, maintaining margins and ringing up cash registers. Why? Because they can get away with it.
We enable mediocrity by enabling it.
Time to bring another team into this market. Then we'll see some real hockey at the ACC. Nothing like stiff competition to wake up sleeping dogs.
© Patrick O’Neill 2011. All rights reserved.