It's been awhile since I last made use of the point of view of that lowliest of lowlife sports fan- a Toronto Maple Leafs fan. Oh, sure, their team is doing well this season, but inevitably at just the right time there will be a collapse that will shred hopes and dreams yet again. Perhaps on a game day like the following....
10:28 AM. Wakin’ up at home. Our boys are outta town tonight in Edmonton, playin’ the Oilers. So I’m gonna meet my buddies and we’re goin’ down to our favourite bar and we’re gonna watch the big game and get totally wasted while we’re at it. Because this year, baby…. This year is the year the Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup! Yeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!
10:47 AM. Everything’s about the ritual, baby. Gettin’ ready for the big game and getting’ myself into the right mindset. Because Leafs Nation? We’re all part of the team too. So the fans gotta get themselves ready for the game. And it starts with the Leafs Fan Prayer. O Father, who art in heaven with the legends from the 1967 roster who have passed away, hallowed be the Leafs, their kingdom come, on Earth as it is in Leafs Nation…
10:48 AM. ….and forgive us when we drift into despair, because five long decades of failed hopes and shattered dreams can be disillusioning, but we know in your infinite wisdom that you’re a Leafs fan, baby, so this is the year! And every year after that for a hundred years. The Blue and the White is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever infinity plus one, amen.
11:32 AM. In among all my Leafs paraphernalia. Jerseys and beer mugs and travel mugs and pennants and signed photos and the whole thing. My shrine. Gonna be an easy victory tonight. The Oilers aren’t havin’ that great a season, so they’ll fold like a wet blanket. They should just forfeit and save themselves the humiliation.
11:38 AM. Watchin’ my boy Don Cherry with one of his Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em videos. Another big part of the ritual for gettin’ ready for a game. Don’s the smartest guy on the planet, if you ask me. Totally cool, totally with it. I don’t get why some people ridicule him. Those mother****ers are just jealous of his greatness.
2:07 PM. Jack and Harry turn up at the front door. Hey, boys! What a night this is gonna be, am I right or am I right?
2:17 PM. Harry and Jack and I talk about our expectations for this year. We got all the right things in place. The right coach. The right players. The right everything. Nothin’s gonna stop us now. Not no curse, not no Bruins, nothin’! The Cup is comin’ home, baby, right where it belongs! And you and me, boys? We’re gonna be at the Stanley Cup victory parade. Yeah, I said it! It don’t matter that we’ve still got that restraining order against us bein’ anywhere near it after that whole holding the Cup for ransom thing we did. We’ve earned this! Yeaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!
3:48 PM. Finished watchin’ the sportscast preview for tonight’s games. Okay boys, so let’s say the Leafs win every single game from here on out for the rest of the season. Totally doable, am I right? Of course I’m right. So they win and we’re good and it all goes according to plan. I mean, nothing can possibly go wrong. In fact, I’m willin’ to lay it out there right now. Tonight’s game dictates where our boys go the rest of the season. If we lose- Punch Imlach forbid- then we don’t make it. But that’s silly, because we all know we’re gonna win. And if we win, we take everything. Are you with me, boys?
4:55 PM. Out the door to catch our cab downtown. Sure, our boys aren’t at home tonight, but a game like this? You gotta watch it somewhere close to hallowed ground. You gotta watch it in a pub with lots of other Leafs fans.
5:39 PM. Steppin’ into the pub with Harry and Jack and seein’ lots of blue and white jerseys. Boys? We’re home. Hey, Lou! Beers here!
6:07 PM. Talkin’ with Jack and Harry about my theory that the world revolves around the Maple Leafs. Makes sense to me, boys.
7:12 PM. Downing another beer. The game’s just gettin’ underway on television. Here we go, boys….
7:17 PM. How the **** did Edmonton just score three goals? And how the **** did our boy Tavares break his leg?
7:54 PM. First period already over. Edmonton’s ahead seventeen to zero. Seven of our boys are in traction. Not because the Oilers hit them, but simply because they fell on the ice in entirely the wrong way. Boys? I got a bad feelin’ about this.
9:02 PM. Third period gettin’ underway. All that’s left on the Leafs roster is the back up goalie. The rest of the team are all in traction. We’re down forty eight to zero. Oh, ****, now it’s forty nine to zero. Lookin’ around at the rest of the crowd. They’re lookin’ like their grandma just died.
Come on, Babcock, stop this, throw in the ****in’ towel…. Make the pain stop….
Fifty to zero now??? ****!
9:38 PM. Game’s over. Shakin’ my head. Boys, my heart is ****in’ broken. How the **** did they score eighty seven goals on us??? And we didn’t even get one???? What kinda ****in’ humiliation is this???
That’s it, boys. That’s it. I’m done. Done!
You hear me???
**** the Maple Leafs!
10:48 PM. Gettin’ totally wasted with Jack and Harry and tryin’ to stop the pain and all that. I’ve ****in’ wasted my ****in’ life rootin’ for a team that’s never gonna close the ****in’ deal.
12:38 PM. Me and Jack and Harry have been talkin’ it over. In between throwin’ up. It can’t possibly get worse than this. Our boys can come back from this, right? Well, they might have to call up some players from the farm team, because a lot of them are gonna be on the disabled list for the rest of the season.
But maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s the farm team players that’ll be our ****in’ salvation. Maybe they’re the ones who’ll win us the Stanley Cup.
Are you with me, boys? This is still our year! Leafs Nation, baby! Yeaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!!
1:23 PM. Staggerin’ in the front door at home. Got a five alarm headache that’ll mean a big hangover in the mornin’. Usually I might consider not drinkin’ so much, but hey, it’s not like I got a problem holdin’ my booze or anythin’, right?
Collapsing on the couch. I need some sleep. Gotta put one bad game behind me and concentrate on what’s to come. Because this is our year, baby! This is the year we take back the Cup. Leafs Nation, baby!
Geez, I gotta ****in’ throw up.