Wednesday, April 12, 2023

The 10 types of Maple Leafs fans as we head into the playoffs

Happy Wednesday, Toronto Maple Leafs fans. One week from now, you will be miserable.

OK, if you’re a Leafs fan, there’s a good chance you’re already miserable. You probably have been for the last few years, and maybe your whole life. It’s kind of our thing.

But a week from now, you’ll be a special kind of miserable, because the playoffs will have started. Maybe the Leafs will have won Game 1, or maybe things will already be falling apart. It won’t matter much, because we’ll be on the way to another gut-wrenching seven-game odyssey where failure is absolutely not an option. And this time, we mean it.

Sounds fun, right? It will be fun. But it will be different kinds of fun for different fans, so let’s take our last remaining days of semi-tranquility to get organized. Here are 10 different types of Maple Leafs fans when the playoffs arrive; use the list to figure out which one you are, prepare for the ones you might encounter in the weeks to come.

The Mandatory Optimist

The fan: Let’s start with a category that will cover a big chunk of any fan base. These are the true believers, who’ve picked the Maple Leafs to win the Cup since the start of this season, and last season, and the season before. You think this is the year because you’re a fan, and that’s what fans are supposed to think.

In fact, you don’t even get the premise of this post. Who cares what kind of Maple Leafs fans there might be? There are only two categories that matter: The type who believes, and everyone else who doesn't. And that second group can go screw.

After all, what are we even doing here if we don’t think our team is going to win? This is sports. We’re not supposed to be rational. You don’t sit there with a little spreadsheet and an abacus and calculate your favorite team’s odds of winning. You believe in this team, with all your sports fan heart. Anyone who doesn’t is a fake fan and you despise them.

Signs this might be you: You own an Ilya Samsonov jersey that used to be a Freddie Andersen jersey that used to be a Jonas Gustavsson jersey. You have unironically tweeted about having “THE PASSION”. You have dozens of holes punched in your wall and can name the exact season and circumstances around each one.

You are loved by: The MLSE accounting department.

You are hated by: All the other Leaf fans who get grouped in with you when other fan bases talk about how annoying we are.

The Circumstantial Optimist

The fan: You reject the premise of that first group, because you have no problem being pessimistic when it’s warranted. And there have been times when it was with this group, even for parts of this season. But now we’re at the end, the Leafs are about to face a worn-down Tampa team that hasn’t looked scary in a while, and you just feel like this might be the year.

Sure, we all know the story around this team, and how they’ll always choke in the end. You just don’t buy it. They’re better than the Lightning, they have home ice, and they would have won last year if one more call or bounce had gone their way. Nothing’s guaranteed, obviously. But they should beat Tampa, and once they’ve slayed the first-round dragon, who knows?

Signs this might be you: You’ve memorized the top of the expected goals ranking. At least once a day, you find yourself randomly muttering “Tanner Jeannot? Really?” and then laughing. You are Dom.

You are loved by: Other Leaf fans, who desperately want you to talk them into this optimism thing.

You are hated by: Crusty sportswriters who need you to buy into their narrative, dammit.

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1 comment:

  1. lets just have the Leafs renamed the Toronto 67's.
    The last year that TO won a Cup.
    And the last time the league was only 6 teams.
    Can TO win a Cup against more than 5 opponents?
    The results speak for them selves... No.