It didn’t take any crazy predicting to see that the writing was on the wall that the Maple Leafs were likely to make wholesale changes after their latest disaster of a season. I have almost 32 years of mostly horrible memories associated with the Leafs, and since 2002, every season has somehow been worse than the one that came before. But maybe, just maybe things can finally get turned around.
This is just in the nick of time, since as many of you likely already know, the fact that I may be subjecting my daughter Abbileen to the exact same level of Maple Leafs-induced torment for the rest of her life has weighed heavily on my mind, well ever since Kate and I learned we would be having a baby. Which, as a side note, was around this time last year. It is amazing to think of just how much things have changed in our lives over that time. I guess I can count myself lucky, since both Kate and I barely had time to dwell on the Leafs’ dumpster fire of a season.
Maybe I’m overreacting though, just because I am a Leafs fan is no guarantee that my children will follow that same path. (By the way, that path is clearly marked with a trail of tears.) No one jumps on a bandwagon quite like little kids. After all, how else can you explain why so many people would choose to root for the Dallas Cowboys?
But, it’s not all lost, the Raptors are back in the playoffs, with another Atlantic Division championship banner hanging from the rafters at the ACC. I must admit though, there have been times this year that a real bit of sadness has crept in watching the Raptors. First of all, they’re 20 years old, which means that I am officially old since I can remember watching them on the New VR those first few seasons, even taping west coast games on the VCR and waking up well before school to watch them. Second, is the fact that anyone under 16 who might read that sentence will have no idea what I am talking about. And third, the highlight of the entire 20 years of Raptors basketball is a slam dunk contest from 15 years ago. Until this year, I stubbornly keep telling myself.
Spring is here and that means the Blue Jays are back in business. It was great to see the stadium packed last night, and the same excitement that grips the fanbase at the start of every season. I remember how hard it once was to get tickets to a game, and the thought occurred to me that maybe Jays fans were spoiled by those World Series championships, and that’s why attendance fell off the face of the earth so soon after.
After writing all of this out, I must admit that I am starting to really wonder if there is real truth to what I always say, “Toronto fans can’t have nice things.”
Luckily, I have soccer in my life.
This weekend, hopefully I will be able to bask in a Chelsea win over Manchester United, and the Blues will move one step closer to a Premier League championship. If the result isn’t what I’m hoping for, I’m fully prepared to hear all about it from the Man U fans in my social circle. But the joke’s on them, because they are after all, Man U fans.