Unlike just about every other Leaf fan I know, I like Damien Cox. For some reason, I enjoy having a columnist who bashes the team at every opportunity -- it makes for interesting reading. Maybe that's because I've spent so much time in Ottawa, a city where the local media have had to learn to type with pop-poms in their hands. But for whatever reason, I've been a Damien Cox fan for years.
All that said, I think he's lost his mind this year,.
Of all years, this has been the one that's provided the most ammunition to anyone who wanted to bash the Leafs -- the team, the management, the ownership. Everyone has been an easy target. It should be a year full of open net tap-ins for a guy like Cox. And yet he keeps trotting out increasingly ridiculous columns, including this morning's jaw dropper.
I won't go into detail, because the guys at Cox Bloc will no doubt be all over this like Kyle Wellwood on a comfy couch, and they do this sort of thing far better than I ever could. But here's the money quote, which leads off the column:
After 50 years in the game, Cliff Fletcher has 10 days to demonstrate he's still got what it takes to be the smartest guy in the room.
Got that? After 50 years, Fletcher's entire reputation in the sport will be judged based on the next ten days. And guess who's going to do the evaluating? Damien doesn't say, but it's a safe bet that he'll be appointing himself judge and jury.
Gosh, I wonder which side he'll come down on? I can't imagine which way he'll end up going here. Will he think Fletcher did a great job, or will there have been room for improvement? The possibilities are literally limitless!
But just in case the suspense is too much to bear...
Spoiler alert: Mouse over white text below to find out what Damien will think on Feb. 26.
He hates everything Cliff did, hates everything he didn't do, and this sort of thing is exactly why the team hasn't won a Cup since 1967. Also, it's your fault. Yes, you. Personally. You dimwit.
(But try to look surprised.)