Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dear Toronto Maple Leafs: I quit*

Go Leafs Go!

Dear 2009-10 Leafs. You have no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I hate you.
I tweeted that after the Florida loss. It was an throwaway comment, a little bit of online venting. But it apparently struck a chord, because it became the most retweeted thing I've ever posted. The National Post even picked it up, using it in their weekly power rankings. (It's in the Leafs' section, so you have to scroll down. Way, way down.)

The irony is that I was only half right. This year's team does indeed have no redeeming qualities. But I don't hate them. I hated the JFJ/Muskoka Five teams. But not this current team. I can't. Hatred requires passion.

This current team doesn't inspire passion. They inspire something far, far worse: Boredom. There is no reason to watch this team. It's the same story, every night. They give up the first goal. They blow a lead at some point. They have a bunch of breakdowns. They outshoot the other team by a mile but you can't remember them having any actual scoring chances. And then they lose.

I'm tired of watching them.

The team looks like they've quit on the coach, but he's not going anywhere. Home games are depressingly quiet. There's a handful of decent young players, but nobody that makes you feel like you're seeing the early stages of something special. For all the talk of truculence, the team isn't remotely difficult to play against.

They have no identity. No passion. No point. They're just... there. Drifting their way through year five of The Rebuild That Refused To Start.

So I'm going to do something about it: Quit. I'm tagging out. I'm done with this team. I'm not watching the Leafs anymore.

For a month. Then I'll be back.

Yes, I'm going to try a little bit of a Leafs cleanse. I'm not going to watch a game until the end of February. For the first time since I was four years old, I'm not going to watch any Leafs games during the regular season for a full month.

The idea came to me after the Kings game. I didn't get to watch the game, and afterwards I realized that I hadn't missed it at all. I kept up with what was happening on twitter, reading updates while nodding and muttering "Yeah, that sounds about right". But I was happier. Or at least less miserable, which is a start.

The timing seems right. Obviously the Olympics will eat up two weeks anyway, so I'll only be missing seven games. And the next week brings three games against Brodeur and the Devils and one against Luongo and the Canucks, so it's not like I'll miss any Leaf goals.

If all goes well I'll be back in March, re-energized and ready to enjoy the Leafs again. It will even be just in time to catch the current team's last gasps before Brian Burke blows them up for good at the deadline. (You know, assuming the CBA doesn't mean that making the occasional trade is too much to ask from the highest paid GM in the history of the league.)

I realize I'm opening myself up to charges up bandwagon hopping here. I don't see it that way. I'm a diehard Leafs fan and always will be, and that hasn't changed. I'll still be a fan. I'll still follow the team, I'll still read the blogs and the columnists. I'll still write about them here, and in fact I'll probably have time to write more.

I just won't watch. I don't see any need to suffer through almost three hours of misery every few nights.

What will I do instead? I have no idea. I might try to introduce myself to these other people who seem to live in my house. The blonde girl is pretty cute, so maybe I'll try listening when she talks to me, which she seems to do quite a lot. Maybe I'll even get to know that tiny one who always follows me around crying and waving an empty food bowl as if that's somehow my problem.

I'm also going to catch up on my reading. I used to spend a lot of time with those... what were they called... you know, the things with the pages and the words. Pizza menus! That was it. I've got a backlog of those to work through.

And I'll keep watching hockey. I'll be following the Olympics of course. But I'll also watch other NHL games. Whichever one seems most interesting, I'll watch. But not the Leafs. It will feel like the playoffs.

But mostly I'll probably watch old youtube clips and play some NHL 94. After all, I'm still a Leafs fan. I just need to find a version of the team that's worth caring about.

*Offer null and void if the Burke somehow lands a star defenceman and cup winning goalie without giving up much of anything.




75 comments:

  1. What will I do instead? I have no idea. I might try to introduce myself to these other people who seem to live in my house. The blonde girl is pretty cute, so maybe I'll try listening when she talks to me, which she seems to do quite a lot. Maybe I'll even get to know that tiny one who always follows me around crying and waving an empty food bowl as if that's somehow my problem.

    Here's hoping that the blonde doesn't turn you down.

    Anyway, enjoy the break. Hopefully there's something for you to make jokes about in the meantime.

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  2. Touche!

    I feel exactly the same way - even poking fun at them has lost... well fun

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  3. I found this required listening for this required reading:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgAFcvIw8J4

    See you on the other side dgb

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  4. I used to be upset about how bad the Leafs are, then I more or less numb to the pain. Now I am almost starting to enjoy the suffering, like a hockey masochist or something. The only thing keeping me relatively sane is the promise of Colton Orr punching somebody in the face.

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  5. and miss all of the Mayers/Exelby trade talk?

    your loss dude, your loss ...

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  6. High five, fist pump, secret handshake.

    You're a good man, respectable.

    Blog in the meantime though...please.

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  7. Be sure to keep us updated, telling us how fresh the air seems; how green the grass is; how much your liver is now thriving.

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  8. Well man, even though i fell pretty much the same way like you, i won't quit.
    I thought of quiting, only i referred to it as "becoming a Winnipeg Jets fan for a certain time"
    See, i'm not Canada or anywhere near, but i get to watch the Kings game. At one point, i thought to sleep over the game, cause it will end at 03:30, local time. I said to me, first period is enough. We gave up a usual goal, but then one thing happened: Kulemin goal. I knew, the goal was bad, one of the few flukes that went in for us this year, but it reminded me of something. Something that you showed me, sir.
    I said to my brother, this is the exact same goal as Nieuwendyk on Lalime. See, i'm a fan for 4-5 years, but this is the first season i get some good Leafs TV coverage(Thank you ESPN America)and i get to watch one team who sucks bad.
    My writing is confusing, sorry about that, but my point is that you, with other blogers such as Bloge Salming, general borschevsky, Pal Hal Pall and others, showed us, the post lockout generation of TML fans, something we never get to see for real: GLORY DAYS! Don't quit, because without someone who'll show us the way, there's a whole young generation of young hockey fans who, facing team such as this, would simply abandon it. So for the glory of the Leafs Nation, we need to get through this pile of shit, and while doing that, give hope to other people who feel this way about this team!

    I just want to apologize once again if my post is too confusing, thats because English is not my first language.

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  9. I'm going to follow your lead. This team makes me long for the Ballard-era teams!

    It also makes me wonder why I bothered paying for the Center Ice package.

    Oh well, at least I can watch the Avs.

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  10. Do what i do. Follow the raps until next season. They sure could use our support

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  11. Yeah, it's pretty bleak. The lack of a first round pick really takes the season from crappy to pure pointlessness.

    Maybe the Raptors will keep it up?

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  12. Your thoughts pretty much echo mine. This team is pointless. I went through the roster and concluded 9 players would still have NHL jobs if the league folded the Leafs tomorrow. It shouldn't be a secret who those 9 players are. 9 out of 23 is a horrible number. Even the two teams who are worse than us can at least use the excuse of injuries. We have no excuse.

    Reporters like Damien Cox used to call out players for being cancers. Domi, Tucker, Corson, Sundin, etc. I think the biggest cancer in the organization right now is Ron Wilson. Just now he was on my TV responding to Exelby by saying:

    "Play better. Nobody is entitled to ice time."

    Meanwhile Rickard Wallin is being inserted into the lineup tomorrow.

    QUE? I deserve more ice time than Wallin and I can't even skate!

    Wilson is a cancer b/c he's lost the team (as DGB stated) and his BFF has no intention of removing him so he knows he can get away with whatever he wants. He'll get a new team to work with next year. He knows that. If things don't work out again (and they won't), he'll blame inexperience due to a young team. Is Wilson a good coach? Maybe. Maybe not. But the Toronto market is not for him. He seems more concerned with soundbites rather than coaching.

    Bottom line is I can stand watching a team lose. What I can't stand is watching a team lose while not giving a damn.

    Don't worry though folks... the Leafs will win 12 of their last 13. This is the way it always goes.

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  13. I dunno DGB, would your wife approve of you talking to blondes? :P

    Don't the Leafs usually have a decent push in mid/late March anyway, just to confuse people? I know I've noticed something like that the past few years

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  14. I'm an Oilers fan, and I understand you.

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  15. You won't miss much, literally (there are only 5 games in February) and figuratively (they suck).

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  16. Well now who am I gonna make videos with?

    BUSHKORN????

    Wait...that's not such a bad idea.

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  17. I'm with you DGB!!! I'm taking a month off too. Awesome idea. I'm sick of watching Blake do nothing and hearing Burke say stupid things like "no one works harder than Jason Blake." Um, maybe nobody on YOUR team Burkie, but lots of 4 mil guys do outwork Blake, and many of them actually score some goals too! I'm sick of watching the defensive breakdowns and the soft Vesa goals. I'm sick of the inevitable turnovers and the lost battles in all 3 zones. I'm sick of Wilson acting like a hockey god even though he can't inspire his team to play better than 28th place. I'm sick of that stupid fast dance song they play after goals! Somebody please make them change that already. I'm sick of them acting like they outplayed their opponent because they shot 15 to 20 Blakers from the outside that were somehow miraculously saved. I'm sick of watching Phil Kessel try the same things over and over and over and over again. Is he more talented than he is one dimensional? I'm even sicker about the 2 top 5 picks we traded to get him. Yes... I need at least a month off. Cheers

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  18. Un bee lee ba ba!

    The Rebuild That Refused To Start Gold. Instant classic. I also like the bit about the tiny crying one with the empty food bowl. I can relate. You should write a book on parenting - it would be really hysterical.

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  19. I can barely watch more than five minutes of a Leafs game anymore. To replace it, I'm playing GM mode in NHL 10. I went into full rebuild and simmed ahead a couple years. It's amazing what a few decent draft picks can do for a team. Too bad the Leafs only have them in video games.

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  20. While on your Leaf exile, would you mind taking up the Flames? We need some kind of comedy to keep our heads up right now.

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  21. I'm guessing this means you'll be ravenously eating up the off-season moves of the Blue Jays. I'm hoping an announcement of a Mark Eichorn Flashback Friday will seal the deal.

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  22. As a serious note,
    I'm a Finn ( that's not the serious part ) and a fan of one Finnish championship league team. For 17 years the only thing to wish for was basically for them not to finish last and maybe once in a while to get to the first round of playoffs.

    Last year they won.

    And it's weird how liberating that was. You could actually feel joy. Years of losing make you a bit bitter even if you don't notice yourself. And atleast after that you can let others enjoy their wins too. It's not anymore about you just losing.

    Here's hoping you get to that point too.*


    * Even though I'm a Sens fan. :D

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  23. I couldn't agree with you more. The Kings game was a perfect example of just how boring the Leafs have become this year. Here's a team that, in mid-November, I would have been excited to see how Toronto played against them. They have lots of young talent, and some exciting players to watch. But come game time, I found myself more interested in my alma mater's college basketball game on ESPN than I was in the game. Can't wait for the Olympics, though, thank God.

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  24. This article is exactly what most Leafs fans are going through this year.

    The Leafs wonder why new Canadians and kids who were born in the early 00's don't care about the team?

    What's there to care about?

    I'm more excited about Buffalo coming from nowhere and if they somehow win the cup I'll take the risk and go downtown Buffalo for the parade.

    Are they taking the Leafs place? No. I won't switch teams, but goddamn, whats the point of watching the Leafs anymore?

    The Icedogs are in 2nd last, but they still have a shot with 20 gamnes left i nthe season.

    The Leafs are in second last and they are already eliminated from the playoffs with almost 40 games to go!

    I'm not mad at you Leafs, I'm sad and disappointed. Is this how you feel before you dump someone? Maybe, I don't know.

    But you're on notice Maple LEafs, and you have to do something.

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  25. Down goes Down Goes Brown! Its cool man, we all have our breaking point. As long as you keep with the funny and make the odd movie with Bloge Salming i'll be happy. You guys make a good team

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  26. Man, I can't be bothered anymore either. Right now it's Ron Wilson that discourages me the most. I can't listen to his voice anymore.

    -Maple Leaf Mole

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  27. You should use this new found free time to break into PPP's place and leave him with the dreaded "upper decker".

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  28. Another Good Kingston BoyJanuary 29, 2010 at 9:55 AM

    My wife got me tickets to the Ottawa-Toronto game next Saturday as an Xmas present. Thanks DGB for helping to get me excited about it. The only thing I have left to get psyched about now is a $10 dollar hot dog from Burkie's Dogs. Yippeeeee....

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  29. Become a Flyers fan. They find new and exciting ways to lose everyday. Also, we're mean.

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  30. Thanks for all the comments so far everyone. Glad to hear I'm not the only one.

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  31. It's been a soul-sucking season. Is it because Wilson's lost the team? Definitely. But if Burke still feels Wilson's the right man for the job, he's not on the map anymore, either.

    I'm not too happy with most of Burke's other dealings, either. The price for Kessel seemed very steep at the time, now it's absolutely horrifying. Not because Kessel's a bad player, but because we're looking at a lottery pick for this season's first rounder, alone. Getting rid of Kubina to make room for Komisarek seems a lateral move at best, thus far.

    I wouldn't be fully comfortable with Kaberle leaving, but in my eyes getting a good deal on him is the only way for a partial redemption for Burkie this season. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like he's even trying. I know I'm probably exaggerating, but he hasn't shown anything beyond tough talk to be considered much of an improvement over JFJ so far. With the money he's being paid, talk is really, really cheap. If the talk won't turn into action, the worst contract in the organization is by far that of the GM's.

    And yeah, if Wilson is still coaching come next season, then Burke's in the wrong business. Loyalty towards a friend is admirable, of course, but this isn't a recreational league, and the point of loyalty becoming futility came and went a while back. Now that futility manifests itself as loyalty towards a coach who probably was elite some ten years ago, is today just uninspirational and over-the-hill. It's just embarrassing to even just watch.

    Yeah, I might be somewhat bitter. Now that I'm done venting, I'll go do something more constructive. Like drinking.

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  32. But please keep blogging! The Leafs angst distracts me from the smoke and flames of my regional minor hockey league as it disintegrates.

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  33. Finally I dont feel so bad being unable to stomach watching this team. Glad there are others out there who see this team as probably the most boringly, painfully predictable and incompetent ones out there.

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  34. If theres anything I love more than the Leafs, its surely Pizza Menus.

    On a serious note, I'm disappointed, DGB. When you love something, you stick with it, through thick and thin. It is clear the Leafs do not love us back though so I can understand your dismay. I will continue to watch, however, and wait for these dark times to end, knowing(believing/praying) brighter days will follow.

    Harvey Dent said it best: "The night is darkest just before the dawn". So don't lose faith!

    He also went on to add: "And I promise you, the dawn is coming." But thats just crazy talk in this situation so I am not gonna promise that.

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  35. I posted on PPP a few days ago that I've turned off more Leaf games halfway through this year than every other year since the lockout combined.

    The team is boring, gutless, unskilled, poorly managed, and poorly coached. The only sort of consistency we've found has taken up the form of our gut-wrenching PK.

    I'm not watching hockey until the Leafs are done with the Olympic Goaltending God tour. We'll be lucky to win a single game; hell, we'll be lucky to score a goal.

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  36. I'm from the UK and have only really started watching hockey recently, decided to follow the leafs because I spent a chunk of time in Toronto this summer, that and my home football/rugby teams over here have had just as much recent success (Everton/Widnes), and up to now in my 'rookie year' the biggest positive has been this blog.

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  37. I'm sure more of us would follow your lead if we had a 'cute blonde girl' living with us. Sadly, the closest thing I've got is a poster of Mikhail Grabovski.

    Come back and make us laugh again soon, DGB.

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  38. Thanks everyone...

    And just to be crystal clear, I'm taking a break from the Leafs; not from blogging.

    In fact, expect some good stuff coming up in February.

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  39. DGB's next letter to the Barilkosphere (with apologies to Brooks Hatlen):

    Dear fellas,

    I can't believe how fast things move on the outside. I saw a Leafs’ winning streak once when I was a kid, but now they're everywhere. The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry.

    The parole board got me into this halfway house called "The Eklund" and a job making up trade rumours at some blog store. It's hard work and I try to keep up, but my hands hurt most of the time. I don't think the store manager likes me very much.

    Sometimes after work, I go to the park and feed the birds. I keep thinking Wendel might just show up and say hello, but he never does. I hope that whichever restaurant he’s in, he's doin' okay and makin' new friends.

    I have trouble sleepin' at night. I have bad dreams like the Leafs are falling into last place and don’t have a first round draft pick. I wake up scared. Sometimes it takes me a while to remember that it’s not really a dream.

    Maybe I should get me a gun and rob the blog store so they'd send me home. I could shoot the manager while I was at it, sort of like a bonus. I guess I'm too old for that sort of nonsense any more.

    I don't like it here. I'm tired of being afraid all the time. I've decided not to stay. I doubt they'll kick up any fuss. Not for an old Leafs fan like me.

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  40. We will welcome you to watch and cheer for the Senators this year, DGB. But, during that time, we may have to refer to you as DownGoesOrr until your hiatus from the Leafs is over.

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  41. Hey DGB I don't think that's a good idea. I'm a diehard Leaf fan but a few sundays ago I watched the detroit chicago game. I didn't know that's what hockey looked like. I've watched maybe like 11 games that didn't involve the Leafs in the last 10 years. I think the Leafs seriously damaged my perception of what hockey is. You might find the Leafs unbarable to watch if you spend too much time watching real hockey. i almost did after 1 game. I knew if I watched 1 more chicago/washington/deroit game I might just never watch the Leafs again. So i decided to not watch other teams. I suggest you enter this territory carefully. Other teams passes don't bounce off the player's sticks.... I know .. but it's true.. be careful it's addicting to see players recieve passes crisply.

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  42. To Kevkev, keep being a Leafs fan. When they are good it is amazing. You're just going to have to wait a few years.

    I've already quit watching Leafs games on my own time. If I'm out somewhere and it's on I don't mind, but I won't go out of my way to watch a game this year.

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  43. Sheldon KannegiesserJanuary 29, 2010 at 7:11 PM

    That means you'll miss tomorrow night's Canucks game. Too bad. That's damn good hockey.

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  44. You're post describes what it's like to be a Rangers fan these days, only with a goalie capable of stealing some games keeping them mathematically alive. Of course, we have no confidence in Glen Sather doing anything positive, so perhaps you guys have us beat on that one.

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  45. I live in CT, USA and have been a Leaf fan for 54 years. I don't know why---I think I hit my head when I was alittle kid. I am the only fan here I have ever met. My friends have at least stopped laughing out of pity. The other night I actually cried for the first time in years and hit my brick wall. I give...but geez I love that logo. I need to get a life while I have a little left. I too just can;t watch anymore. Someone have my Center Ice package......

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  46. I am deeply hurt by Mr. Brown's decision to stop supporting the Buds. This is like leaving your foxhole because its too cold and there are too many Germans. I will always watch and follow my favourite team and know for the rest of my life that I never ever turned my back on them. But I will turn my back on this website. (It will be difficult to go without stale Wellwood jokes and endless mentions of the Senators but I will manage)

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  47. I agree. Never turning your back on the Leafs is what makes Leaf fans so special and different from the rest of the league and its fair weather fans

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  48. Try the Tiger Woods treatment. Go to a Sex Rehab clinic because you're tired of getting f@#$%^. But be back in time for the 1st major.

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  49. I find this even more depressing than the Leafs' performance this year. The fact that real Leaf fans are giving up/having a timeout/whatever, even only temporarily, is an awful thing. I'm not going to criticize anybody doing this, in fact I can kind of understand it, but it just shows how far things have fallen this year. And that's the most depressing thing of all.

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  50. maybe this guy could help?

    http://www.youtube.com/downgoesbrown#p/a/u/0/deyINv6RY0g

    3rd time's the charm.

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  51. I will totally play you NHL 94 online. That is the best way to kill time while doing hockey related things.

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  52. I took the purge during the JFJ years, and I've been watching them since 1957. They were really bad then as well, but they had young stars on the rise.
    Every once in awhile I tune in, then depart after the first bonehead play. You would be surprised how many times that takes less than a minute. Well, maybe you wouldn't.
    You are on the right track. Dump out the kool-aid, screw the Teachers Pension Fund, and get a life. Believe me, you feel lots better.

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  53. DannyD: I'm almost 4 weeks into the 'I'm not watching the Leafs' zone, going for 'I'm not even going to look up the final score'. Last time I watched a game, it was awful. It wasn't the end result, not even the game itself; it was the players - demoralized and unhappy to miserable. I'm not saying you're supposed to do back flips when things aren't going well, but everytime I looked at one Leaf or another I wondered if torture was legal in Canada.

    Oh, if you need any suggestions for your extra free time, I've seen the lacrosse team in action and they weren't bad at all. In fact Toronto Rock is 3-0 so far.

    Also, Sportsnet is broadcasting CHL games and regardless of the fact that they're younger, less experienced and don't get paid to play, these kidz put on a fantastic show. Can't wait for the Memorial Cup playoffs.

    And, as you've mentioned, there's Olympic hockey coming up, both the guys and the gals. And there's the IIHF later on, and there's the NHL playoffs, so there's still plenty good hockey ahead of us all to watch. :))

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  54. I understand your viewpoint tremendously but...

    Will that mean a month long hiatus from this blog?

    Look, I've never posted on this blog and I'm not even a fan of the Maple Leafs BUT... this blog happens to be hands down THE most hilarious, true to life, honest, compelling saga behind the fandom of a hockey team in existence today.

    The Chris Durno thing is PRICELESS! But I can't abide by an absence.

    Fargo, North Dakota (Go UND Fighting Sioux! Chicago Blackhawks (except Huet. Sieve for life)!)

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  55. Sheldon KannegiesserJanuary 30, 2010 at 11:00 PM

    When the go-ahead goal went in with 2 minutes left, the camera first panned the bench, and then went to the GM's box. Ron Wilson looked way too serene. He had to be thinking, "I wonder if Burkie will mind if I add Gunnarsson's name to my list." Then Burke, looking all frowny, had to be thinking, "That thin-lipped little pecker better have 20 names on his list."

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  56. In these tough financial times, I've saved some money by not having cable TV to watch - I hate watching TV and in the past the only reason I had it was to watch the Leafs. Being a horrible nightmare of frustration makes it much easier to save that much more a month.

    What's worse, is that I don't see any conceivable way out of this mess with no first round picks in the next couple years and no UFAs available in the summer that would be any true upgrade to play with Kessel. And, keeping in mind Kessel will be a UFA himself in 4 years, they have an extremely limited window of opportunity to build a bonafide winner/contender in the next 4 years which I can't for the life of me convince myself is actually going to happen, nevermind possible.

    Watching some of your YouTube stuff of the 90's Leafs, I am reminded of the immense joy of that victory over the Wings in Game 7 and the reasons why it felt that way. The sad, sobering fact is though that the Leafs and their fans were celebrating because they hadn't won a playoff round in 5 years. That also happens to be the same duration between the last time the Leafs were even *in* the playoffs. At least those fans in '93 had a few 1st round exits to console themselves with. This streak of futility is actually worse, and that is the only thing giving me any kind of hope as a fan - that when they eventually *do* get back into the playoffs, the absolute elation of actually just being there could quite actually *dwarf* the feelings of '93... and by God if they actually won a round, '93 will be a footnote to that victory. But sadly, there is no Gilmour / Clark / Potvin / Andreychuk / Burns to lead the way out of the darkness. Kessel is good but he's definitely no blood and guts leader. He should be a complimentary sharp shooter to a Gilmour / Clark type who will stop at nothing in service of the team in any situation. There is no Burns like system in place to make a marginal team competitive and dangerous, there isn't even a hint of any kind of system at all. Gustavsson might be the new Potvin, but he's going to have to amaze us next year in order to do so. But what good will that be if there are no players brought in to at least form a 1st line, much less a 2nd scoring unit.

    Funny you say that you've regressed into playing NHL 94 - thankfully most Sega and Nintendo games are online... I've regressed into play NHL '97 to cultivate the what-if dream of what-if Fletcher's panic moves actually paid off and instead of the wheels coming off the Leafs in '96 and ending that era, what if the trades actually turned things around and made them competitive? What would that pixelated dream, alternate history feel like? Play NHL 97 online and find out. And then continue working on the time machine model to bring '94 Clark and Gilmour into the present to save the present.

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  57. @ editorinleaf and the man with the jokes,

    I'm Canadian, but I've been living in Europe for the last 3 years, and I follow all the leafs highlights on yahoo. I agree there are some serious problems, but I wouldn't go so far as to bash how the leafs played against the Kings - in my opinion, that was one of the best games of the season! Even though they lost, it was top quality hockey with lots of beautiful shots. Seemed to me that both teams were really fired up.

    I hear ya on the lead-losing - which the Canucks game was a perfect example of - 2-0 lead, successful 2 man penalty kill, and moved on to 3-0 - still managing to lose.

    Here in Europe, where soccer reigns, if a team was behaving like this, the coach would be fired. Period. It doesn't even matter what he's doing or saying - his job is to get results. I mean, you can train up on weak aspects of the game in practice, and even though there are no mega super-stars, it's a team game.

    I like to pretend that the leafs have reverted into youth - and that youth need young parents. Ron looks like a senile child-beater - a young passionate coach would change everything. What's Gretzky doing these days?

    Seriously though, The sad thing is that there's no clear sign of progress, which is why I get why you're taking a break.

    Here's hoping that something spectacular happens in the meantime.

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  58. Good luck during your haitus. The first half of your post sounds JUST like the Blueshirts, so don't bother to watch them either.

    As a Rangers fan, I'd love to try the same thing--sell the rest of my tickets and maybe take in a movie on a game night with friends who don't follow the sport. But old habits die hard. And I'm as weak as Redden in the corners. So we'll see.

    Glad you'll still be posting, as the demoralized masses can use the laughs. Like how every back-up goalie in the league becomes Ken Dryden when facing the Rangers. Hil AIR ious.

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  59. 1. @ DGB: I know we all know this and everything, but can you add in a big bolded "...AND WE HAVE NO FIRST ROUND PICK. FOR THE NEXT. TWO. YEARS." somewhere? Maybe near the end. Awesome.
    2. @ Jerseyleaf: Best use of a Shawshank Redemption quote ever.
    3. I haven't watched a Leaf game in years. I get by on boxscores, highlights and hockeyfights.com. You'd be surprised how much time it frees up for other activities.

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  60. Hahaha try not watching with Phaneuf in the lineup

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  61. Hahaha try not watching Phaneuf in the lineup

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  62. Hahaha try not watching with Phaneuf in the lineup

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  63. Not sure if any of you follow the Sports Guy over at Eespeen, but he had a column late last week re: the most tortured fanbases in North America.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/100129&sportCat=nfl

    A solid seventh for Leafs Nation, though I think we could squeeze into the Top 5.

    @Jerseyleaf - so hilarious, but a little too telling. F$%CKen Leafs!

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  65. not supporting the team because they are losing? Sounds like a Senators fan type of move to me. Anyways, I guess you'll wait till after the olympics to see Phaneuf in a Leaf uniform?

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  66. Burke hears the weep of a distant child and it melts his heart of ice. He's becoming soft in his old age.

    Have fun getting Jiggy with it.

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  67. hahaha!!! funny, I don't rememeber that fine print being there the last time I visited this site... lol good on you! welcome back to the fold! :)

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  68. Haha, I love you DGB. Great on the fine print! LOL.

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  69. I'll be sure to keep watching the Leafs, if only just to see how they'll keep working Johnny Bower into the opening ceremonies. I'm sure they're trying to find a taxidermist who can keep an ageless Johnny available for future generations of starving Leaf fans.

    What else to watch after cleansing my colon of all the chips I've downed while watching another weak goal slip by the "Monster"? Nancy Grace looking for the latest Florida trailer girl gone missing? Maybe she could help find Dion Phaneuf's game. Criminal Minds? Sorry, too much like the Brian Burke post-game review and just as enlightening. Maybe I'll just watch the CBC News and perhaps before the playoffs (when real hockey starts and we get to watch those other teams) I'll have figured out what "proroguing" is and how we might apply it to the Leafs season.

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  70. I feel for you man, the only team I'm a fan of that I'veconsidered giving up on is the Detroit Lions, 26% winning percentage this decade, playoff hopes over before the halfway point, you know how it goes. At least you got some trades to talk about now!

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  71. So I'm a diehard bruins fan, and I got to the part about reading in-game tweets and not feeling as miserable...

    ...it saddens me that I can't agree with those statements more. I mean, I'm glad I can relate to someone (other than my boyfriend who is also a diehard leafs fan like yourself) who is feeling just as miserable about the state of their favorite team.

    I'll be watching you guys with hopes of a turnaround, because I have no idea wtf the bruins are gonna do haha

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  72. Hillarious. My sides are splitting after reading this.

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