The Toronto Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs

Corey WilsonWednesday,28 January 2015

It’s been a rough decade for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Since 2004 the team’s only made the playoffs once; it’s gotten so bad that most of us fans don’t even remember what the NHL playoff structure is like. From what I remember, the aim is to make it to the third period of Game Seven with a three-goal lead and then lose in overtime—but my memory of that night is foggy, so don’t quote me.

Some have said that the Maple Leafs are a hard team to play for, which is why many big-name free agents (Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards, and Dan Hamhuis) head elsewhere. I can’t tell you if it’s true because NHL teams seem to have an aversion to drafting 5’6” 130lbs hockey players—which is a whole ‘nother article by the way! But what I can tell you is that sometimes it’s hard to be a fan.

That’s why when I heard Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) was charging three fans with throwing jerseys on the ice, I couldn’t suppress my rage boner.

If you’ve not heard, since October, Maple Leaf fans have been throwing their jerseys over the glass, and onto the ice in response to the team’s fucking crap performances (like their 9-2 loss against the Nashville Predators in November).

But why would a fan spend $200 on a jersey, even more on a ticket, and then just throw it away? The Toronto Maple Leafs don’t understand, many fans don’t understand. But as a poor soul making minimum wage putting fruit in bags, I do understand.

A quick Google Search tells me that a ticket in section 121 to watch the Leafs play the Montreal Canadiens (where I watched the Canadian Juniors play the Swedish Juniors for $40 CDN [$32 USD]) costs $581 to $1,382. Which is fucking retarded.

Here’s some perspective. The job I have to go to tomorrow pays me just under $12. Because math is hard, and I’m an idiot, let’s pretend my boss just gave me a raise to an even 12. For me to be able to buy a ticket I would have to work 48 hours. That’s over a weeks’ worth of work. The cheapest seats to a Leafs-Canadiens game costs $197—which works out to 16 hours, or two days’ worth of work.

Now imagine you’ve just saved up two whole days’ worth of putting fruit in bags for ungrateful assholes. You get off work, and you’re ready to see your favourite team play; you’re ready to watch the greatest rivalry in hockey. You spend your $197, spend your $60 on beer and food.

And then they lose 9-2. Most of the team—Captain Dion Phaneuf included—don’t even seem to skate as hard as the game wears on; they know it’s over, why try?

Perhaps because you’ve just wasted away countless hours at a job you fucking hate just to watch your favourite team play some good old fashioned hockey. However, instead of being entertained (like you were promised), the team shits the bed.

So, as you sit there drowning in the thought of how much money you just wasted, what do you do? After a decade of watching a team fail, and then fail, fail some more, and then fail again—at your expense—you take that jersey and you toss it onto the ice in a symbolic, “I’ll be back when you clowns respect me enough to play.”

Because that’s what it’s about. It’s about respect. Just ask Dion Phaneuf. It’s disrespectful to throw the jersey on the ice. But you see, this team is as far away from respectable as Phaneuf’s slapshots are from hitting the net.

Because you know what else is disrespectful to the jersey? Don’t worry it’s not a quiz; I’ve made a list.

Losing in Game Seven to the Boston Bruins after leading by three goals in the Third is disrespectful to the jersey. Losing 9-2 to the Nashville Predators is disrespectful to the jersey. Scoring only TWO goals in FIVE fucking games is disrespectful to the jersey. Taking banned steroids (TWICE) is disrespectful to the jersey. What you don’t realize is that these “few select fans” aren’t the only ones defacing the jersey.

What you’ve done MLSE is not detered fans from engaging in jersey throwing, but ensured that these poor souls won’t succumb to the heart that’s kept them Leaf fans over the years. You’ve simply made it easier for them not to bend over the table and spend another fucking dollar on your shit hockey team.

Take Action!

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Image Credit: Flickr



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