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Sports & Play

Why I just don't get Toronto Maple Leafs fans

Posted by Guest Contributor / January 11, 2012

Toronto Maple Leafs FansThe Toronto Maple Leafs. Where to begin?

In the interest of full disclosure, let me start off by saying that I don't know a whole lot about hockey. To me, icing comes on top of a cupcake, Face/Off is a John Woo movie (and an excellent one at that!), and hooking is the oldest profession in the world.

It's damn near impossible to avoid hockey in Toronto. Despite limited exposure prior to my arrival in this city, I've learned a few things about the sport in my two plus years here and have had numerous debates with Torontonians on both the Leafs and hockey in general.

Here's my thing: Torontonians are so into their beloved Maple Leafs that it completely turns me off. I just can't get into it. Hockey, and the Maple Leafs are tantamount to religion here. It's just too much. Now, don't get me wrong — I've been to a lot of live sporting events, and hockey is up there with the most exciting of them. It's great to watch, and the level of skill and athleticism is extremely impressive. I just can't get behind the Leafs.

The problem is that the rampant fandom is just too much. During the NHL season all you see on sports channels is hockey. During off-season, all you see is... hockey. You can't avoid it. It's an assault on the senses. It even takes precedent over other sports that are in season!

I find it quite astounding that there is such a strong following for a team that, let's face it, has been terrible for 40+ years. When was the last time they won anything? I lived in Cleveland for a year and that's the most depressing sporting city in North America, but at least the people there are realistic! They know their teams are useless. It's actually impressive that there is such a loyal fan base here. That's one thing that I like about it. It shows true love!

Or madness. Don't get me wrong — I'd love to see the Leafs do really well. I think it would be great for the city, and that Brian Burke chap seems like a great guy.

Toronto Maple LeafsThe apartment I live in is occupied by three Irish guys and one poor chap from Canada. Let's just say that if he wants to watch hockey on TV, there's a sports bar down the street. As a group we've adopted much of the so-called Canadian way of life, but hockey hasn't been a big part of this. I think we can share the blame — we could have done more to get into it, but have been completely turned off by the saturation of hockey in the city.

And that's not to mention the pragmatics. Leafs tickets are expensive and hard to get. Plus as a team, they're not that good (current four game win streak aside!) and don't have any bona fide superstars (sorry, Phil — score 50 and we'll talk). Where's the incentive for us? Granted Toronto is the biggest hockey market in North America, and I'm sure the franchsie could care less about trying to get me and my kind to go to games, which is absolutely fine.

I'd like to think that one day I'll be a Leafs fan. In an effort to sway me, my roommate (the Canadian one) bought me a Maple Leafs cap, t-shirt and mug for secret santa this Christmas. He even wrote a nice Christmas card with a message saying that this is the year they win it all... and that hopefully we'll be able to watch some more hockey on TV.

See what I mean...

Guest contribution from Ian Byrne.

Ian moved to Toronto from Ireland just over two years ago and loves the city (if not the Leafs). He's here as a temporary resident and hopes to make it permanent sometime in the near future.



alan / January 11, 2012 at 10:27 am
i can't agree more...
Graham / January 11, 2012 at 10:34 am
That sure is an awful lot of words to say "I don't like sports".
Iihh / January 11, 2012 at 10:35 am
If you have had enou with the leafs or leafs nation, go to another city and write your useless articles, either follow them and love them or just ignore it and don't waste my time having to reading this shit,

Retard replying to a comment from Iihh / January 11, 2012 at 10:36 am
No one is forcing you to read it dipshit!
Go back to trolling YouTube.
np / January 11, 2012 at 10:37 am
Sounds like you're more interested in arts.

Enjoy the ballet.
Derek replying to a comment from Iihh / January 11, 2012 at 10:37 am
Spoken like a true Leafs fan! Argh.
elseldo / January 11, 2012 at 10:38 am
"has been terrible for 40+ years" it hasn't. hasn't won a championship, but that's doesn't mean terrible.

Made the conference finals multiple times and were legitimate contenders for some good periods as well.

but hey, with an attitude & knowledge like you currently have you can be a sports reporter for the Star or Sun right now.
Chrs / January 11, 2012 at 10:39 am
Welcome to Canada - this is a country that is unnaturally obsessed with hockey (much like England and Scotland, and to lesser degree, Ireland, is with football). It is by no means unique to Toronto. In fact, I would say its actually easier to get a reprieve from hockey than it is elsewhere in Canada, because the city's so big and there's many many other things going on.

Besides, real fans cheer for their team through good and bad, not just when they're on top.

Jamie / January 11, 2012 at 10:39 am
Ok, first off. You don't know a lot about hockey and you've only lived here a little over two years. Right off the bat you're not making a strong case for objectively criticizing Leaf fans. That's like if I were to move to Manchester and start complaining about all the whacky 'footy' fans, and arguing that it's really not that big of a deal. Because for any fan, of any sport, it is.

For many it's the team you grew up watching. The same team your dad watched and even his dad watched. There's a lot of history there.

I'm realistic about the Leafs and I'm well aware of how long it's been since they've won a cup. But I'd never let that get in the way of rooting for my home team.

I really just don't think you get it, which is fine. But I'd recommend you then don't go write an article complaining about it.
The Ghost of Pat Quinn / January 11, 2012 at 10:44 am
Trollbait, eh BlogTO.
Seymour / January 11, 2012 at 10:48 am
Leaf fans are mostly people from the 905... go to a game and it's blatantly obvious.
Steve / January 11, 2012 at 10:51 am
As someone who doesn't "follow" hockey but enjoys the game quite a lot, being a Leaf Fan is infinitely easier than other sports/teams where you need to have some idea about the players and statistics. It's much more palatable, and especially so since hey don't particularly play well. You can just root for them because you want to root for them.

And also, what Jamie said. I don't know how you approach football or rugby, but I'm willing to bet that the sentiment is exactly the same back in Ireland, you just don't notice it because you grew up with it.
peanut gallery / January 11, 2012 at 10:52 am
If you watch hockey you're from the burbs.
lister / January 11, 2012 at 10:54 am
Just replace hockey with football (soccer) and you'll have most Canadians opinion of that game. In fact I think it's worse. Very little scoring, very defensive, HUGE field, players that act like sucks when "fouled." I've never understood using your head to hit the ball. (I also have a laundry list of complaints about basketball too.) I think hockey is the best combination of skill, speed and physicality.

I'm a realistic Leafs fan. Coming out of the lockout in 2004-2005 I wanted the see the team blown up and suck for a number of years getting high draft picks. That didn't happen and the team sucked until Burke came in to retool. It's taken a bit of time (as it should) but I think the ship is headed in the right direction now. A playoff berth this year is realistic, finally. Stanley Cup? That would be awesome but no. The team still needs work to get to that level.

There's no doubt about it that there are some Leafs fans that live in la-la land with unrealistic expectations. I know that's the case for fans in other sports too so you shouldn't be surprised by this.
morga / January 11, 2012 at 10:55 am
Leafs fans, even though our team loses a lot, and we don't have a lot to look forward to, we have a lot more fun than the anti leaf crowd. You tend to find people who are anti leafs are anti everything. Just suck it up, have some fun and cheer for the home team. How is that so hard to get?

I don't suppose the writer has ever heard of the Boston Red Sox and the curse of the babe. Loyal Red Sox fans waited 86 years for a world series win. Can you imagine that feeling of winning after that many years? It probably blew all Yankees celebrations out of the water. Its like marriage, for better or for worse. It would be easy for me to just switch teams and cheer for the the Canadians, or the Red Wings ( my chances at seeing my team win a cup would sky rocket), but loyalty is part of being a good sports fan.

You don't get it because you are thinking too hard. Sports are supposed to be fun. Cheering for the underdog is always a good time. If you don't like the leafs, try the Marlies, great hockey being played at Ricoh.
belvedere / January 11, 2012 at 10:55 am
this article is tantamount to treason. irish bugger shd be deported.
Yawn / January 11, 2012 at 10:58 am
"has been terrible for 40+ years" Yeah, when they were one game away from making the Stanley Cup Finals in 93 it was such a shitty season. Not exciting at all. Non-sports fans writing about sports is just dumb. What a waste of BlogTO space this is.
Al / January 11, 2012 at 10:58 am
There are fans who only support a team when the team is winning. That way, they feel better about themselves.
tripper / January 11, 2012 at 11:06 am
I'm not a hockey fan either and I manage to avoid it and ignore it just fine. It's actually very easy to ignore things that don't interest you. You start by not writing blog articles about them.
KB / January 11, 2012 at 11:08 am
@yawn - I love that you're come back to not being good for 40 years is a reference to a season where they lost the conference finals almost 20 YEARS ago! Sweet jebus.
TS / January 11, 2012 at 11:09 am
How dare the sports networks air programming that earns them money and brings in viewers! You wouldn't see me moving to Europe and complaining about being unable to watch hockey for all the soccer.

It's also a nice touch to condescendingly mention our "so-called" culture.
cd / January 11, 2012 at 11:12 am
the problem with this article is simply for the fact that he is basing his opinion off the actions of others. who cares? how does this really effect you? if you don't want to be a leaf fan, fine. but writing an article (not to mention publishing it) expressing distaste for a game, team, and its fans based on 'fanatics' just seems weak. start thinking for yourself. its great :)
Yan replying to a comment from Jamie / January 11, 2012 at 11:15 am
Very well spoken. I couldn't agree more.
RexdaleRex / January 11, 2012 at 11:18 am

Go Leaf Go!...Go Leaf Go!
Mike / January 11, 2012 at 11:20 am
A)BlogTO-what a douchey move to post this
B)If you have a problem with how ppl are about the leafs/hockey-get the fuck out of 1)Toronto 2)Canada
C)Just leave Toronto, now
D) Go Habs Go
yawn replying to a comment from KB / January 11, 2012 at 11:20 am
ha ha true, true. I'm not a Leaf fan but I was just trying to point out one of many successful seasons over the past 40 years. A transplanted Irishman not understanding hockey passion?Can't relate that to soccer passion in his homeland? I can't waste any more of my life talking about this useless crap.
keven / January 11, 2012 at 11:22 am
I thought this was a great article. He's not writing about sports, he's writing about this crazy-obsession based fandom that are Leaf Nation.

He also makes a good point about how our broadcasters show too much hockey, especially in the off season. If you don't like hockey in Toronto, you're pretty much screwed in getting any other sports content, unless it's some sort of championship.

It also seems unique to Toronto. Being from the west, I've never a level of fanboy-ism in hockey until I moved here.
bob / January 11, 2012 at 11:24 am
Don't worry about it. I don't get you too.
Ryan / January 11, 2012 at 11:27 am
You don't enjoy sports, you admittedly don't know anything about hockey, so logically, you do a write up about... sports and hockey? Way to utilize the Maple Leafs in order to gain a modicum of notoriety. Your opinion is far from valid. Go take in a opera.


The People of Toronto.
Jane / January 11, 2012 at 11:27 am
...And then you have Habs fans like Mike.
KDizzle / January 11, 2012 at 11:28 am
"I don't like the Leafs because EVERYONE LIKES THEM WAHHHHH"

Goddamn Irish hipsters.
zxc / January 11, 2012 at 11:30 am
I think if you stop watching TSN, you might get something other than hockey. I think TSN is just sad that they can't show a single Blue Jay on their channel so they might as well talk about hockey. Also keep in mind off-season in hockey is only 3 months which is probably the shortest among any team sports.
Jason C. / January 11, 2012 at 11:32 am
Sports fill a spiritual/emotional void in us.

What does that say about Toronto?
Dave K / January 11, 2012 at 11:33 am
I disagree with your contention that "it's damn near impossible to avoid hockey in Toronto." I've lived here almost my entire life, and barring a few years where the Leafs were contenders (early 90s and early 00s), I've been able to go about my business in this city without encountering much of anything pertaining to the Leafs. It's a big city with multiple major sports teams, to say nothing of its thriving arts and culture, live music, etc. There are many other things to get excited about without having to get all hot and bothered about hockey. A previous poster already said this, but I'll say it again: Toronto is probably the easiest place in all of Canada to avoid hockey, whether at the NHL level or otherwise. Don't like the Leafs? No problem. Just find something else that interests you and, more likely than not, you'll find it Toronto.
Greg / January 11, 2012 at 11:33 am
Im not even reading the comments above, but this was a truly pointless post/article.

People here like hockey, people here like the leafs. To the authors point, I should stop supporting the Leafs because they haven't won the Stanley Cup recently? You do not stop supporting your team when they lose. Thats ridiculous. You think true fans only support winning teams? No, true fans support their team always.

Go certain cities in the U.S., and see how much they support their football team. Go to Europe and see how much they support their soccer teams and see if Toronto/Leaf fans are still obsessed.

And yes ticket prices are expensive, supply and demand...

Really ridiculous, irrelevant and pointless post for Leaf fans or haters.
Dave K / January 11, 2012 at 11:34 am
Argh....Last sentence should read, "Just find something else that interests you and, more likely than not, you'll find it *in* Toronto.
Jane replying to a comment from Jason C. / January 11, 2012 at 11:34 am
What does that say about other cities and countries that put a lot of weight behind other sports beside hockey?
Bill / January 11, 2012 at 11:35 am
This article has about as much as you'd expect when someone writes about something they don't really like and know little about. I love the Leafs and hockey, always will, and I'm sorry that upsets you.
Bill / January 11, 2012 at 11:36 am
..About as much *insight*... (Oops)
Kenji / January 11, 2012 at 11:36 am
Troll bait. 4chan must be down.
Adam / January 11, 2012 at 11:37 am
Okay, so the writer doesn't understand what loyalty is. It's something you can't just turn off like the flick of a switch. Having an emotional connection to a sports team shouldn't be new to you, being from Ireland. I'm sure you knew people in Europe who were the exact same way. Nothing wrong with a little hope and optimism, is there? Besides, we have Harper as our PM and Ford as the Mayor of TO, what else is there to be joyful about right now??? :P
Andrea / January 11, 2012 at 11:39 am
Wow, we get it.. you don't like sports, or understand hockey. What a waste to read!
Veronica replying to a comment from Seymour / January 11, 2012 at 11:39 am
You're an idiot.
Trini / January 11, 2012 at 11:41 am
I don't care much for hockey myself, but one thing I do care for is loyalty. Toronto fans are more loyal then anyone. That is why they are the best, because of the fan support. That is something to be proud of. Who cares if the don't win championships. Besides there is no where else to go if you are on top. Best part is attempting to get there. Loyalty is something that is getting increasing rare these days. Be grateful you live in a city that still has it. I live in Vancouver, I'm not even going to start about these god dam fans... Go Leafs
Greg replying to a comment from Veronica / January 11, 2012 at 11:45 am
Sophia replying to a comment from morga / January 11, 2012 at 11:47 am
Spot on
Bob / January 11, 2012 at 11:47 am
If you're trying to rationalize passion and loyalty, well then, good luck with that. You're not supposed to "get it"...that's why you're an outsider. We get that it's ludicrous - don't think we don't know, but there's an intangible that you, Mr Byrne, or any other non-fan won't understand unless you're part of madness.
Original 6 / January 11, 2012 at 11:48 am
Our corporation is better than your corporation...
Lavender / January 11, 2012 at 11:51 am
Certainly a debatable issue, but my problem is more with the delivery. Saying that something is "just too much" - twice, no less - without articulating your reasoning - that's just weak writing. What makes it "too much"? What have you actually witnessed or experienced that makes you question the sanity of Leafs fans? It's not like there isn't plenty of material for a good article here. I realize this is BlogTO and not every contributor will be a Pulitzer Prize winner, but it doesn't look like anyone even proofread this entry for tired clichés and typos.
JP / January 11, 2012 at 11:51 am
I'm a big sports fan (born and raised in Toronto), and I have to admit the hockey/Leaf overload here does turn me off the game too.

It's really the intensity and sensationalism of the hockey media coverage that irks me. Canadian hockey media reminds me of American cable news - the coverage is so over the top. Also, being cynical by nature, I don't enjoy the way the game gets tied in with a sense of nationalism and patriotism (ie you're Canadian, so you must enjoy hockey, or there's something wrong with you).

As a result, I follow the Jays and Raptors very closely, but just maintain a casual interest in the Leafs. I'm a fan, just find myself unable to get too invested.
Reading Comprehension / January 11, 2012 at 11:52 am
Some reading comprehension tips for a number of those commenting above (and likely below this post):

1. What is the thesis of this article? (Note well: it is not "I hate the Leafs")

2. What is the subject of this article? (Note well: it is not "strictly about the Leafs")

3. Can the author write about his experience of fandom in Toronto without being a hockey expert? (Hint: "yes")

4. When someone calls this article troll bait in the comments section, he/she is calling herself a troll.

Happy reading!
ginkgo / January 11, 2012 at 11:52 am
Pretty ignorant of the writer. First of all they have not been bad for 40 yrs. Many times they have made good playoff runs. research was obviously not done, aside from listen to the regular Leaf detractors who have their own facts.

If he/she doesn't understand something doesn't mean it can be slagged. It takes a lot more than a couple of years to understand the love of hockey Canadians have, those that do have it. The Leafs are a part of it for some Torontonians. Does the writer fail to understand Yankee and Red Sox fans?

The point is, they are in no position to write negatively about it. Its like if I were to write about Opera, that I dont understand the love for, and say its mind goggling how someone can sit there and listen to it, not knowing the language and enjoy it. It would be ignorant of me to say or think like that. I cant understand the beauty of it, doesnt meant the next person cant or is an idiot for doing so.
ginkgo replying to a comment from Jason C. / January 11, 2012 at 11:52 am
What does that say about those who take up Art or hobbies? Same concept.
Flames replying to a comment from Chrs / January 11, 2012 at 11:54 am
I have to agree with CHRS, I lived in Calgary for four years and Toronto Leafs fans have NOTHING compared to the Flames Fans. They are crazy and everywhere!!!

Also, have you been to Saskatchewan, the Rider Fans are probably the biggest, most loyal fans out of all professional sports in this Country and that is Football. It is a 365 day a year love obsession.
Crapcutter / January 11, 2012 at 11:54 am
This article is stupid, and Toronto Life is obviously just trying to up their website hits by putting this crap online. Any good sports town has rabid fans. Go catch a game in England and see those lowly soccer/football teams in dinky towns that don't even play in the top league, and you'll see a sell-out every week, fans singing along. Do you think the Boston Red Sox fans decided to mellow out after decades of not winning? Hell no. The list goes on, pretty much ad infinitum. Local examples? Saskatchewan Roughriders. last place team, but crazy fans who still come out. Buffalo Bills? Shit ya those fans love their team. Why? Man, it is fun. It is that simple. It isn't depressing. Who cares? It is just a sport, and Leafs fans just like to cheer for their home team. The only people who don't get it are those small-minded bloggers who would only cheer for something that already has proven results. For them, there is always the New York Yankees. Enjoy. To Toronto Life. Who are you kidding? You know nothing of sports.
Derin / January 11, 2012 at 11:55 am
Well I just don't get Irish Football fans. Every time I go to Ireland I just can't avoid it, it's everywhere! In all honesty I know a lot about soccer (as it should be called) - I mean you put the ball in the net with your foot - what more is there to understand? How can such a simple sport have so many rabid fans yelling about nothing? Crazy Irish.
Crapcutter / January 11, 2012 at 11:56 am
uh, haha, jeez why did I think I was reading toronto life. Argument stands, but I guess this is the kinda stuff I'd read there... they know nothing about sports either...
Friar Canuck replying to a comment from Steve / January 11, 2012 at 11:58 am
Now THAT is spoken like a true Leafs fan.
PW / January 11, 2012 at 11:59 am
I'm a lifelong Leafs fan who works in the arts. There are many of us. I also kind of wish BlogTo would sign over some space for coverage of the team instead of just linking to The Star. There's an attitude with some of the alternative weeklies that reporting on the Leafs is betraying the culture of the city in some way, but the team is a huge part of life in the city for a lot of people and it would be nice to see this reflected.

To the writer - if you don't like the Leafs and their fans, but like the game, you can always pick another team to follow. I know lots of non-fans who became fans after watching 24/7 on HBO because the show was so good at defining the differing mentalities and histories of the teams involved. The great thing about the NHL is that teams generally have fairly consistent identities and so it's easy to pick a style of play and players that you like, in the same way that most football fans I knew in England often supported "their" teams over a hometown squad.
Cyril Sneer / January 11, 2012 at 12:02 pm
Anyone who feels the need to identify with any kind of jingoistic ___-Nation is someone to avoid.
N. Young / January 11, 2012 at 12:05 pm
Such a pointless article. Its very easy to avoid the Leafs in Toronto. Hell, I've done it for the past 10 years.
Darcy McGee replying to a comment from np / January 11, 2012 at 12:11 pm
I surprised you didn't add " fancy pants wearing fairy!" on the end of your sentence just to reinforce the stereotype more!
AdamTO replying to a comment from Cyril Sneer / January 11, 2012 at 12:11 pm
You sound like such a fun person to be around!
Kyle Newsome / January 11, 2012 at 12:11 pm
I can't wait to bandwagon so hard the day the leafs actually go somewhere during the playoffs. That's right, I'm a proud bandwagoner! I don't give a shit or a dime until everyone's already pumped for a good reason. I's logical thing you can do as a non-fanatic resident of the city.
rs / January 11, 2012 at 12:12 pm
I would recommend you watch "the passion returns" to gain some much needed perspective...the last 2 years is not a good sample period

anthony / January 11, 2012 at 12:17 pm
Look what you've done!!
Nancy Sweetapple / January 11, 2012 at 12:29 pm
I am an enormous hockey fan, although not a Leafs fan (and in the interest of avoiding angry comments from rabid Leafs fans, I choose not to disclose my 20-year hockey allegiance, lest I get pulled into a childish "my-team-is-better-no-my-team-is-better" debate.) I don't really get Leafs fans either - that blind optimism and delusion and the "spirit is everything" mantra that somehow is supposed to substitute for 40 years of disappointment.

That said, you can't start an argument about hockey by claiming that you don't really know anything about the topic. No one is going to take you seriously. It would be like me saying "Now, I don't really know anything about flying, but I'm going to give piloting this passenger jet a shot." People will not be supportive of this idea. Just as Leafs fans - or hockey fans in general - will not take kindly to told why they're stupid from someone who knows nothing about the sport, beside that "It's everywhere!" If you can't make an educated argument you should probably just keep your opinions to yourself.
Brandon / January 11, 2012 at 12:32 pm
Your roommate is such a dick for buying you a nice present and trying to blend in with the group. I can't believe what an ass that Maple Leafs fan is. Seriously, how dare he try and get his ROOMMATES to watch something on TV that he enjoys for a change?

Seems like the Leafs fan is the only considerate one in your place.
Alex / January 11, 2012 at 12:35 pm
Why write an article solely to say you don't understand something? Isn't the point of articles to write about something you know? I don't understand why people watch Basketball, Baseball, or Football, since those sports are incredibly boring to watch for me. I don't write an article about it because I understand that not every single person is exactly the same. People like different things, and since Toronto is a major Canadian city most of the city loves the local hockey team. I'm pretty sure that is normal for most Canadian cities. Since we also seem to have more people, and more affluent people, than other Canadian cities our hockey team is the richest.
Marc / January 11, 2012 at 12:37 pm
Wait. Toronto has a hockey team?
np replying to a comment from Darcy McGee / January 11, 2012 at 12:46 pm
No need.

I made my point.
AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGOOOOOOOOS replying to a comment from Flames / January 11, 2012 at 12:47 pm
There's nothing else to do in Alberta or Saskatchewan than chear for the goddamn CFL.
Jason replying to a comment from ginkgo / January 11, 2012 at 12:56 pm
Arts and hobbies can be productive and good. Key point being productive.
Steve M / January 11, 2012 at 12:58 pm
The problem I've always found with the Leafs, and their fans, is that they never stop going even if the team is under performing. So there is never any cause for the leafs to improve, lower ticket prices, or even try for your affections.

Let the team try and do something for you for once, or the abusive relationship will continue.
Jason replying to a comment from Jane / January 11, 2012 at 12:58 pm
It says the same thing about the people in those cities and countries.
Tim Tebow / January 11, 2012 at 01:13 pm
Golf Leafs Golf!
AdamTO replying to a comment from Steve M / January 11, 2012 at 01:13 pm
I always laugh at this argument. Do you not think that the team/organization knows that nothing makes more money than winning championships? They're working at it, trust me.
ginkgo / January 11, 2012 at 01:18 pm
How would you define productive in this context? Paintings are productive. Possible, but that may not be another's definition of producitve as it does not produce anything of substance.

As a stress relief and distraction, sports as entertainment can be defined as productive as well.
Mike / January 11, 2012 at 01:19 pm
Hey, BlogTO. I don't really like bagels. Don't get me wrong. I really like bakers and I think some of them are very skilled, but I just don't understand seeing people going into Tim Horton's every morning and ordering them...wait, maybe you'd like me to write this out in a full essay? I think I'll call it "Some Things I Like Are Different than the Things That Other People Like."
OOOO_+ replying to a comment from Mike / January 11, 2012 at 01:23 pm
F*ck TSN / January 11, 2012 at 01:30 pm
I think it's deplorable sports channels broadcast NHL news during the NHL season too. You tell em Ian!
dr.fever replying to a comment from Mike / January 11, 2012 at 01:32 pm
Well said Mike.
This piece, and 90% of the comments following are a complete waste of time.
Gabe / January 11, 2012 at 01:46 pm
How could you publish complete crap like this, blogTO? This site is getting dumber by the day.
DS / January 11, 2012 at 01:51 pm
I don't care about the Leafs, hockey, or sports, but this was an extremely poorly written editorial.
Lex / January 11, 2012 at 01:52 pm
What was the point of this post aside from trolling?
Nick / January 11, 2012 at 01:52 pm
As someone mentioned, total troll bait. And as another person mentioned "lets write about how stupid people are for being into things that I'm not into and how I don't get it."

But I'll be nice. Here's your crash course on hockey.
- Leafs haven't won a championship in over 40 years, but during that time, they've missed the playoffs 20 times. Hardly terrible.
- There are roughly 800 players in the the NHL. of that, 29 players last year scored 30 or more goals. That means 9.6% of players are regarded as true offensive talents. Kessel has been in that echelon for 3 consecutive seasons.
- "Superstars" transcend sport, and in the NHL there are only two. Crosby and Ovechkin. Your Brodeurs, Lidstroms, and Iginlas are future HoF. Your Stamkos, Duchene, Giroux, Chara's, Toews, are just exceptionally good players. Only two superstars.
- The Leafs are actually a good team this year. No, not the best. But far off from being "not very good". They sit 6th in a tight Eastern conference and 3rd in a competitive division.
JRT / January 11, 2012 at 01:54 pm
So, the argument against Leaf's fans is that they're terrible for following a team even if they don't win? That's what a fan is. Now, if Leaf's fans were simply fans because the team consistently won and did well in the playoffs then that's a different story. So what, Canadians love hockey even if their team, like the Leaf's, aren't exactly winners. Welcome to Toronto.
Nicholas Cage / January 11, 2012 at 01:54 pm
I stopped when the writer said Face/Off was a good John Woo movie. You could consider it a good Nicholas Cage movie, but that's stretching it, and not saying much.
Chris / January 11, 2012 at 02:02 pm
Right, so you've never heard of football hooliganism when you lived in Ireland. F*ck, even Irish people in Toronto pack pubs here with their stupid scarves watching football and rugby matches early in the morning.

This is in no way exclusive to Toronto. Pointless rant.
Jon / January 11, 2012 at 02:03 pm
That was an in incredibly useless article.
Do Not Taunt the Happy Fun Q- / January 11, 2012 at 02:10 pm
I think this evening, I'm going to walk into a Christian Church with a copy of the Qur'an and preach about how I don't get Christianity. This is akin to what you have posted here.
Eric replying to a comment from Jamie / January 11, 2012 at 02:55 pm
Well said Jamie.

Ian, you think seeing hockey on TV a lot is a big deal? Football and college football let alone is a certified religion in the US. Some teams are dreadful yet they sell out every season. In terms of winning... Yeah Toronto hasn't won the Stanley Cup but if that is your sole measure of success then the whole concept of competitive sports must seem like a foreign concept to you.

Oh and who is a NHL superstar in your opinion? There are few "showstopping" stars in the NHL. And Kessel is doing better than Ovechkin, Crosby, and most of the rest of the league.

I don't see Leafs fans as being any more irrational than any sports franchise with the history the Leafs have.
keven / January 11, 2012 at 03:25 pm
98% of this thread have missed the point of this article. 98% of this thread also proved the author's point.

Sun website down today or something?
Toronto Sun 4 Lyfe replying to a comment from keven / January 11, 2012 at 03:35 pm
Not all of us are as great a philosopher as you and Ian. I bow down to you, oh great one.
BoomChoom / January 11, 2012 at 03:40 pm
I don't get it. He's talking about God's Team, The Toronto Maple Leafs, right? Cannot process.
This Is My Name / January 11, 2012 at 03:44 pm
So you won't cheer for a team because their home city cheers for them so radiantly and to enthusiaticly? Has that ever been heard of before?
Mike replying to a comment from keven / January 11, 2012 at 03:52 pm
Count me among the 98%. I clearly must have missed the point if the point was anything other than an Irish ex-pat not getting the love that a foreign city has for a sport that he doesn't understand. I wonder if BlogMelbourne has an article by Dougie from Moose Jaw who just can't get into Marmite?
keven replying to a comment from Toronto Sun 4 Lyfe / January 11, 2012 at 03:59 pm
What does observation have to do with philosophy in this regard?

Joe / January 11, 2012 at 04:35 pm
Haha even on BlogTO you write a leaf article and the number of comments is triple the average for any other article
Jay / January 11, 2012 at 07:08 pm
Wow. The reviewers really sharpened their knives for the responses to this blog, eh? I guess it proves the point of the bloggers post. He obviously didn't sense just how passionate we can be about the Leafs.

Note to Ian - don't visit Montreal and post the same blog. If you think this is bad. Try this with Habs fans. Hehe.
AB / January 11, 2012 at 07:47 pm
I think Leafs fans are great and they make greats parents. I bet they never give up no matter how useless their kids turn out to be.
Dan / January 11, 2012 at 10:34 pm
You clearly know nothing about hockey....why write this article?..

"sorry, Phil — score 50 and we'll talk"

Um, there are nine active players who have ever scored 50 goals...
Mogat / January 11, 2012 at 10:49 pm
Best. Article. Ever.
Wits End replying to a comment from Seymour / January 11, 2012 at 10:49 pm
You're kidding, right?
Wits End replying to a comment from peanut gallery / January 11, 2012 at 10:51 pm
Err... do you even live in Toronto? If so, do you look around when you ride around on your vintage bike?
Wits End replying to a comment from KB / January 11, 2012 at 10:53 pm
Conference finals in 1999 and 2002. Catch up.
Wits End replying to a comment from KB / January 11, 2012 at 11:00 pm
Well, unequivocally, this will be the highest traffic the site wil get all month.

Mission accomplished, hipster. Mission accomplished.
Shawn / January 11, 2012 at 11:11 pm
"I don't know a whole lot about hockey." Up next on BlogTO: a vegetarian reviews a ribfest and a guest appearance by McGuinty, where he'll talk about the importance of being competent.
chris / January 11, 2012 at 11:27 pm
I have lived 22 years in Toronto and also dont understand the Maple Leafs Fans. Due to thier religious worship of the team the owners and shareholders defy business logic by raising prices and not putting a winning team (even if its to make the playoffs). They dont have to because continually losing does not mean empty seats so why spend money in bringing quality players.

Compare the Carolina Hurricanes in the last five years with the Leafs...true devotion to hockey should not be blind and stupid.
Krista / January 12, 2012 at 12:00 am
The religious obsession of hockey is just bizarre. Seing teams from Florida and North Carolina where no one gives a shit about hockey beat the Leafs is just a true joy
Gravy Train / January 12, 2012 at 12:35 am
Looks like poor Ian Byrne isn't a hockey fan nor rep for his adopted city. Revoke his temporary residence and deport him back to his homeland.
Alex replying to a comment from chris / January 12, 2012 at 09:13 am
Umm, for people commenting that don't know anything about sports, here's a quick tip: Making the playoffs makes you a ton of money. The farther a team goes in the playoffs, the more money you make. So no matter how rabid the fans are the Leafs management will ALWAYS want to make the playoffs because it makes them MORE MONEY. Hope that was clear enough for you.
Hockeyfan / January 12, 2012 at 09:16 am
The leafs are shit, let's face it.
oz replying to a comment from Mike / January 12, 2012 at 10:30 am
I'm know you meant vegemite, but thanks for trying!
iSkyscraper / January 12, 2012 at 11:24 am
Every city has its dominant sporting culture. What you are describing is literally no different than football (soccer) in London or baseball in New York. Wall to wall coverage bordering on obsession, fans who don't seem to notice the lack of winning, etc. You are living in Canada, just accept it and enjoy it. If I was living in Ireland I would be all over gaelic football - stop fighting the system.
Grammar Rodeo / January 12, 2012 at 07:51 pm
I still can't get over the fact that they're not called the "Maple Leaves." That alone makes the whole thing illegitimate in my eyes.
Mark replying to a comment from Grammar Rodeo / January 12, 2012 at 08:23 pm
You can't get over it because you're a moron? I don't understand.
Mark replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / January 12, 2012 at 08:24 pm
That's what I found hilarious about this guy's article. It's probably the same reason he left Ireland.
electric / January 13, 2012 at 01:52 am
Don't question anything sit back, get fat and enjoy your bread and circus.
Dave / January 13, 2012 at 04:38 am
I have always hated the Leafs for one simple reason. If a product sucks and isn't up to par, STOP buying it. How anyone can think spending over $120 for a somewhat decent seat is worth it when the team is a joke is beyond me. Also hockey is the easiest sport to make the playoffs in, 16 teams make it each year, try baseball where only 8 make it. MLB has changed that for the future but as of last year it was only 8.

I will give my props to the fans for their loyalty but it has to end at some point. If you are not happy with the performance by the Leafs STOP showing up to the game and maybe management will get the memo. Why up the payroll and get better players when the mediocre product on the ice packs the ACC every night regardless.

It basically comes down to this, the Toronto Blue Jays are a MUCH better team compared to the leafs. Granted they haven't made the post season since 1993 but they have to beat the Yankees and Red Sox each year to get a playoff birth, a lot harder than finishing 4 games above .500 with some lame overtime losses and still make the playoffs like a typical Leaf season. How you get points for losing is beyond me....

The Jays are an EXCELLENT young team with the MLB leading home run king for the past 2 years with tickets starting at $14 and a great seat will cost you only $60. You can't even get in the ACC front doors for less than $80.... The Jays are 7 wins away from returning to the post season and they might do it this year but this city needs to get behind them and support a real team, not the Leafs.

When the Rogers Centre only gets 15 000 fans per game in a 55 000 stadium, it is a crime. It is disgusting when the Leafs have waiting lists for tickets yet in a city of over 2.5 million people can't fill a stadium of 50 000 people for a fraction of the cost of a Leaf ticket. Typical Toronto mentality...
Dan Levy / January 13, 2012 at 12:28 pm
That license plate is genius.
JR replying to a comment from Graham / January 15, 2012 at 03:01 am
Wow, this guy is completely lost. I bet if you put him in a strip club he would be over saturated with woman and decide to like boys.
notaleafsfan / January 16, 2012 at 09:43 am
Why are Cleveland fans loyal when they support their losing teams and Toronto fans are not? How are we different from them? I don't see a problem to support a team you've liked all along and continuing to support them even though they are not winning a championship. If everyone only supported a winning team, everyone would be bandwagoners. I am sure you're going to have much to say about that as well when that happens.
Marc / January 16, 2012 at 12:56 pm
When these athletes (some of them are "so-called) start to feel the pinch of today and have a more realistic salary, then you'll really see improved play and them really battling it out.
DC replying to a comment from Jay / January 17, 2012 at 08:40 am
I agree with Jay. Toronto is not special in terms of it's obsession with it's local NHL team. Other cities in Canada are even more in-your-face about it, Montreal topping that list.
mada / January 17, 2012 at 09:35 am
haha wow ur an idiot...first of all they havent been awful for 40+ years, not winning it all doesnt mean ur awful....get used to it or leave the city u douche.

let me guess, u love soccer. i knew it
Mark Dowling / January 17, 2012 at 01:48 pm
As a fellow Irish immigrant, I think Ian Byrne should lay off Leafs fans. After all, hockey is a core part of the identity of many Canadians. By contrast, look at the coverage of soccer in Ireland - a country where most people will profess allegiance to Celtic (Scotland) or Manchester United/Liverpool/Everton etc. (England) and watch hour after hour of the Champions League yet have near zero interest in the soccer teams that actually play in Ireland itself. Before I emigrated here I was one of those people myself.
keven replying to a comment from DC / January 17, 2012 at 03:47 pm
and other cities are LESS in your face about it. Winnipeg topping the list. Wait, what's your point again?
Artur / January 17, 2012 at 04:26 pm
The Leafs might not be a successful playoff team, but I love Toronto. I also love hockey. I just can't find the passion or meaning in cheering for a hockey team that doesn't represent my beloved city.
Rocco Venezia / February 15, 2012 at 03:07 pm
The leafs have no desire to win the cup ever and will always be what they are a team with no cup
Rocco Venezia / February 15, 2012 at 03:11 pm
40 years without the cup wait another 800 years for the cup.
I have never seen the leafs ever in the cup finals.
When will this happen what years 8012.
They seem to fool the people in this city all time year after year
Hannah / March 14, 2013 at 04:14 pm
I'm not even a leafs fan but this dude is a complete idiot -_-
Matt / August 21, 2013 at 06:37 pm
I agree with the author. I was born in Toronto but Leaf fans have turned the Leafs and hockey (something I have no interest in) into something that I can say I truly despise. I wish Leafs fans would quit asking "Did you see the game last night?" because no I didn't see the game, or any other game. Stop assuming everyone gives a damn about the corporate franchise "The Maple Leafs". You like them then good for you, but keep it to yourselves.

Joe replying to a comment from Iihh / March 2, 2015 at 12:49 pm
The Maple Leafs suck as a team, but are great as a corporation. They ass-rape their customers, who keep coming back for more. This only reinforces my position, that Maple Leaf fans are the most stupid people. Every year, a crappy team, and they raise ticket prices, and the customers just say "oh well".
paul maxwell / April 27, 2015 at 08:44 am
first of all im not even canadian im american,but unlike a lot of americans especially in new york,the south,or los angeles,i care about hockey,more than any other sport.and i realize there are some canadians that dont like hockey,most of them living in los angeles,and some like you matt in toronto.but all i can say is especially to you matt,how dare you tell leaf fans (keep your opinion to yourself) you pompass jerk,they dont tell you to keep your stupid hockey hating emotions to yourself.
jon / February 12, 2016 at 09:33 am
The Leafs are terrible.
Other Cities: Montreal