A "superhero" that befits the Toronto Maple Leafs
In an effort to hype up the 2011 All Star Game, the NHL commissioned comic book writer and hockey nut Stan Lee to dream up superheros for the 30 teams in the league. Known as the Guardians, each superhero is based directly on the team's name. So you know what that means... Yup, our representative is "a giant walking and talking maple tree. An immovable object that can grow exponentially larger at will."
Whether intentional or not, Lee's Toronto Guardian aptly gestures to the size of the average Maple Leafs' ego and, perhaps worse, his skating ability. There's a word hockey players use to describe big, "immovable" players who don't sake too quick -- pylons. Worse yet, further description of this character reveals that "The Maple Leaf, or 'Trunk' as the rest of the Guardians know him, is one of the funniest of the Guardians. Always quick with a joke or a sarcastic barb, the Maple Leaf often disarms his opponents by bringing levity to tense situations." Translation: the sight of the Maple Leafs inspires laughter on the part of their opponents.
While our hockey team's name certainly didn't give Lee much to work worth, one wonders what the mighty and powerful Leafs management think of all this. Beyond the All Star Game, the Guardians will make appearances at each team's arena (kind of like a second mascot), and could be used for other marketing purposes like video games. I'm sure it's not that big a deal, but if I was Richard Peddie, I wouldn't want my team represented in such a pitiful manner (oh, and I wouldn't have hired John Ferguson Jr. either).
What do you think of the Maple Leaf Guardian? And for a brief history of athlete/superhero hybrids, check out EYE Weekly.
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