Tag: Toronto Maple Leafs

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

The 7 Deadly Sins of Leafs Playoff Hockey

Toronto, ON The Maple Leafs returned to the second season after a 9 year drought, and as a result the fans, both real and bandwagony, celebrated like they never have before. Sure, it’s been 9 years, but I personally can’t remember passion like this in the days when the Leafs always had a spot in the Top 8 in the East. And, I might add, I’ve been to my fair share of 3OT games at the ACC, so that’s saying a lot! However, perhaps depriving Torontonians of playoff hockey for so long caused a lot of us to overindulge in ways we just never did back when we took our playoff making prowess for granted. So, today we take a look at all the bad things a 9 year playoff drought will do to a Canadian NHL fan base. Enjoy!

#1 Lust

I don’t know about you, but the NHL playoffs make me horny, and they make me even hornier when I’ve got tickets to see my hometown team defend the honour of my city. Sadly, in keeping with my plan to not spend money on non-new arenas this season (post-Lockout) I only had free tickets to Game 4 of the Leafs/Bruins series. Furthermore, playoff OT makes me hornier still! So between Game 4 heading to sudden death, Game of Thrones’ Jon Snow (Kit Harington) being in attendance, and the fact that my “male companion” was literally built like a god (with a face to match!), I spent most of my 2013 ACC playoff experience sitting in an actual love puddle.

That being said, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been on the prowl due to raging playoff related hormones. With more people wearing their blue and white with pride, more men and women were able to break the ice like never before. There’s just something about a hockey jersey that makes strangers more approachable, so I’m quite sure random hook ups were occurring all over TO the past couple weeks. Of course, I play ball a different way. In fact, it’s when I’m NOT wearing Leafs stuff that I’m more likely to be on the prowl. You see, an explanation is always demanded from me for not showing my Toronto pride during the playoffs, and I’ve found that the only acceptable response to this wardrobe *malfunction* is, “My underwear is blue.” Checkmate.

#2 Gluttony

It has been 9 years. 9 years since we have gathered around the big screens at our favourite watering holes to cheer for important games that didn’t involve Olympic torches or World Junior Gold. Is it a shock that for 7 games we flocked to our favourite pubs? Is it a shock that for 7 games we consumed large quantities of grease and ale? No. Hell, I’m sure I packed on a few pounds over the last couple weeks. Luckily, most of that weight is likely just the swelling of my liver. I guess since the Leafs have been out of the playoffs for so long, we had a lot of lost time to make up for, and, perhaps, some of us were worried about the Leafs ability to make the playoffs next year with a full 82 game season. Personally, I felt guilty staying in on Leafs game night, especially since I won’t be here next year whether the Leafs make the playoffs or not.

If you’re like me, then the debacle that was Game 7 in the Leafs/Bruins series was likely your messiest night of the entire campaign. The drinks kept flowing as many of us sat in the bar stunned until we were finally ready to fight anyone in yellow in the back of the parking lot. After the game ended, and the highlight recap of the Leafs breakdown had been viewed no less than 30 times, cocktails became straight shots, classy establishments became filthy bars overrun with what I can only describe as walking blow jobs, and good decisions became 4AM Big Macs. Oh, and for the record, no NHL signing bonuses are now in my possession as per my usual Niagara misadventures. P.S. I watched Game 7 in Niagara…

#3 Greed

When I looked down at my Game 4 tickets for the first time, I noticed something odd. The letters T.B.A. were not only listed under date/time, but also under price. It seems MLSE was waiting to see how much they could bleed from their loyal fans after 9 years of incompetency. And, if that’s not bad enough, fans were also getting raped on the streets. It was rumored that standing room admission was going for $200 a pop!

#4 Sloth

If 7 late nights isn’t enough to make anyone lazy, then I don’t know what is. However, the playoffs in Toronto actually emphasized the laziness of the bandwagon/casual fans over the past 9 years. In Toronto we like to believe that we are somehow superior to a lot of the fan bases in the States. We like to think that we are a hardcore bunch of fans that never turn our backs on the team no matter how badly they might be slumping! Unfortunately, many of us learned the harsh and disgusting truth this spring. My Facebook timeline was assaulted by Leafs related updates from people I’m quite sure haven’t seen an NHL game in 9 years. Their constant status updates were delivered with such passion, which only succeeded in making them all the more vile.

Of course, it’s not just the Leafs fan community that has had to deal with the newcomers, those loyal “anyone but the Leafs” fans also had to deal with a lot of intruders, too. During Game 7 there was this “huuuuuuuge” Bruins fan at the bar. He was chirping everyone like an asshole all game long. Finally, as the game went into sudden death, everyone could hear him remark to his buddy, “So explain to me how OT works. Do they play 5 minutes, or what?” Enough said.

#5 Wrath

Uhhh… Did you actually WATCH Game 7? Up 4-1 and the Leafs somehow managed to fuck it up and lose the game! As Leafs fans, we were stunned, and yet not entirely shocked. You know, since they are the Leafs and all. Luckily the wrath of the city of Toronto in the wake of Game 7 seemed to be fairly contained, as riot police were brought in prior to puck drop to prevent any possible “situations.” However, if losing the biggest game in the last 9 years of franchise history wasn’t enough to make everyone angry, Leafs fans had to deal with being raped on tickets, a raging 2 week hangover, and the exhaustion of being tolerable to bandwagon fans and ultra fake “sports reporters,” who were suddenly “supporting” this team despite outwardly mocking fan favourite, Joffrey Lupul, for being traded here in 2011. Yep, I’m not above wishing suicide on such individuals. I never forget.

#6 Envy

Like most people watching Game 7, I counted my chickens before they hatched, and was pretty much planning what I was going to wear to the Stanley Cup parade. I was hoping for the Leafs and Rangers to advance to the next round, as I had a pair of Game 5 tickets with my name on them. I could practically taste the $15 ACC beer when I was rudely snapped back to reality with the EPIC meltdown from the boys in blue. Now I’m more than a little jealous of all the other fan bases in the NHL that still have live (local) hockey to watch. BAH!

#7 Pride

In sports we are told that pride is a good thing, but it is easy to see how too much pride can quickly go bad (especially on the bandwagon). Of course, this post wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the unfortunate individuals who brought those Toronto Stronger, etc signs to the ACC. Seriously?! As per my BB&T Center post, blue and white pride was getting to nauseating and douchey levels, as people donning the blue leaf were making giant asses of themselves in the home of the Panthers. But it takes a seriously disturbed individual to think that turning the Boston Strong message, and all it represents, against the Bruins was a good idea. Of course, I also question the cameraman who thought it was a good move to purposely pan to these signs as well, and give the sign makers the gratification of the camera’s attention. However, too much pride doesn’t  just lead to poor judgment calls when it comes to game day shenanigans, pride also has the power to blind, and, well, many people were quick to start making excuses for the Leafs within minutes of that notorious Game 7 breakdown. Remember, kids, excuses are the things 46 year Stanley Cup droughts are made of.

Top Photo: When you’re this gross, you pretty much have to wear NHL themed panties! (Game 4)

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Saturday, April 27th, 2013

Here comes the guilt & my return to BB&T Center…

Why do you come here when you know it makes things hard for me?

Sunrise, FL It was the morning after a crazy night in Vancouver. I was hurriedly throwing my clothes back on as I attempted to slip out of the strange hotel room and return to my own without alarming the token worn out male. Unfortunately, my stealth was no match for his spidey sense, and he immediately bolted upright in bed.

Take Down: Why are you running away like some kind of wild animal? (Yes, he really said that!)

Me: Umm… What?

TD: Don’t you like to sleep in a man’s arms? (Yes, he really said that!)

Me: … Sometimes…???…????

For the record, it wasn’t like I ran for the door 15 minutes after the encore. I mean, it was the morning, it was just very, very, very early! There was just something off about the whole situation. Something that told me I needed to run for my life. I can’t explain why I felt that way. I’m never ashamed of any of my indiscretions. If I thought them to be an embarrassment, then they wouldn’t have gotten the pass (no matter the circumstance) in the first place. Granted I am currently in Sex Camel Mode – that is, I’m trying to get my reserves up so I can survive my move to the Arabian Desert. I mean, what are the chances an acceptable man will be neighbours with me on the compound? Not high, so you can understand what needs to be done here.

As for this guy, he was attractive, built, and, well, loaded (if you’re into that kind of thing). There was no reason for me to be so put off by the whole thing, and yet I was. Anyway, despite my burning desire to run away like a wild animal, I succumbed to the guilt trip, disrobed, and gave him another pity hour. It was definitely a bad call on my part, though. By the time I got back to my room, I had reached complete and total revulsion. I couldn’t explain it. I was instantly bedridden and queasy as I began running through the events of the night in my head. Finally, I was able to stomach taking a shower, and then another shower, and then a bubble bath, but the physical disgust I was feeling stayed with me for a long time. As a last resort, I called the hotel spa and booked myself in for the entire morning. However, the magic fingers of my massage therapist weren’t potent enough to make me completely forget how creeped out and disturbed I was feeling. Little did I know that, once I got to Florida, things were going to get a lot creepier.

My night with Sir Creepalot was the first instance that the ugly face of guilt showed itself on my hockey trip. As a true hockey addict, guilt is a common component to the road trip experience. Whether it’s buyer’s remorse or guilt for neglecting your responsibilities to take said trip, that guilty feeling is always there. In Florida I actually had to remind myself that I was no longer in university, and I actually wasn’t slacking off on anything I had going on at home. The first time I visited Pantherland, I had a major essay due, and I hadn’t even read the books! Naturally, the illness I experienced on my doomed inaugural trip to BB&T Center back in 2007-08 put a stop to my plans to be productive on that vacation. Luckily, I was able to do some serious damage during my overnight stay at the Baltimore airport on the return trip to Toronto, which may be the only travel day I have had that could rival the hellish experience I had getting to Florida this time around. Coincidence? Anyway, I thought it was funny that I was instantly transformed in the South Florida sun to that irresponsible university student I once was. I was also amused to learn that the bathroom stall in the women’s washroom was really, really, really familiar. I did spend a lot of time on my knees in there, though! (Vomiting)

I did experience buyer’s remorse on the Florida portion of the trip, too. Florida was an afterthought, but there were soooo many things tempting me to go there, like the sun, for example. Of course, when I noticed that the Rangers were the Panthers‘ opponent, it was pretty much a done deal. I DID have that dream that I was at a Cats/Rangers game the night before the Lockout ended. Who knew that I’d actually end up seeing that game!? Sadly, nothing mysterious or dreamlike ended up occurring at the game, but it was still a bizarre coincidence.

BB&T Center also made me feel guilty for being a Torontonian! Despite the fact that I was actually heading home on Leafs game day in South Florida, I decided to switch my flight and stick around for another showdown in the home of the Panthers. Naturally, there was a large showing of blue and white jerseys. Unfortunately, it was also an obnoxious showing of blue and white jerseys.

I’m sorry, but the Air Canada Centre is one of the quietest arenas in the League, and yet here (in Florida) was a handful of Leafs Loyal screaming their heads off and waving around Canadian flags like Canada was somehow benefiting from a Leafs victory on American soil. That pisses me off on two levels. The first is that, if Leaf fans actually know how to be that loud, I’d like to see them show up on game day at the ACC once in awhile. Secondly, this sudden “patriotism” at an NHL game really irritates me, but that’s the same reason I hate things like the Olympics. Supporting sporting events doesn’t make anyone a patriot, and quite frankly, I was embarrassed to be a Leafs Nation native that night. Plus, I didn’t approve of the obvious smug superiority the Leafs fans were exuding over the hometown fans. It’s like the Leafs finally make the playoffs, and the last nine years didn’t happen. Now, I should also point out that there were other fan bases in attendance that night that were also giving the local fans shit. I saw quite a few Wings fans talking shit in the parking lot after the game, too. Anyway, needless to say, I was an honourary Panthers fan Thursday night.

Anyway, the last thing I felt guilty about on this trip (oh, other than the fact that the Leafs/Cats game was on my mother’s birthday) was for being a cold, hard bitch. You see, I didn’t really know how to deal with my mistake in Vancouver, so I just didn’t. What do you say in a situation like that? “I’m sorry, but the very thought of you makes sick to my stomach?” Yeah, I made the mistake of letting him have my number. I thought it would just be a formality, but sure enough the texts started pouring in within minutes of me shutting his hotel room door behind me as I fled. Of course, they were getting progressively more desperate the more I ignored them until I was in my seat for my first game on the Florida leg of this NHL tour. At that point they were getting obsessive, bipolar, and really fucking creepy. That was also when I noticed that a Twitter account had been made to follow me (and only me), too. I’m not sure what kind of witchcraft he used to track me down like that. I mean, A) I didn’t tell him my full name, and B) my Twitter account isn’t even associated with my real name.  Now, I’m not the type of person to throw the word “stalker” around to make myself feel important, so I won’t do that here. All I will say is that it was more than a little disturbing, but, to put a more positive spin on it, I will say, once again, YES, I am THAT good! ;)

I guess this guy made me realize that I’m guilty of making the assumption that all men are as hard as society portrays them to be. I also think that many of us are guilty of viewing athletes the same way. Hey, I was the first to think the players were being princesses during the lockout! It’s hard to get our heads around the fact that a hefty paycheck doesn’t automatically make them immune to stress, pressure, depression, and all sorts of other aspects of being human. When a player is struggling and possibly dealing with personal issues, we shit all over him, and assume he’ll magically start performing. That’s like treating your boyfriend like garbage, and then expecting him to still be able to get it up for you. People can only take so much, and I think that’s something the Southern Market fans have that we don’t. They have that unwavering almost maternal support for their players, and I think, in the long run, that may actually be the right way to encourage hockey players of any age.

Anyway, I shall close this post off by saying I’m pleased to announce that I haven’t heard from my least favourite mistake since Leafs game day in Sunrise. Here’s hoping he actually deleted my number this time!

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