Maple Leafs Hated Or Loved? Or Both?
If you were to ask the average hockey fan in Canada who his favourite team is, there’s a good chance he/she will say it’s the Maple Leafs. If you were to ask the average hockey fan in Canada which team he hates the most, it’s probably the Maple Leafs. Toronto fans are a proud…. Sorry, did I say proud, I meant to say overwhelming group of people. For the last few years, their team has played a lot like their fans. They’re the goons of the NHL. Months ago, Sports Illustrated took a stab at them, stating that they’re the most hated team in hockey. I guess it’s inevitable, considering Toronto has the largest fan base, that they’ll have the most fans and the most enemies.
If there’s a time of year where fans show their true colours, it’s during the playoffs. Anyone who abhors the Leafs in Canada, is a Senators fan. Anyone who’s an Oilers fan, Flames fan or Canucks fan, can’t stand Toronto. Montreal too. Anyone in Western Canada who wants to see their teams highlights, usually has to wait until the Leafs highlights are over. Hockey Night In Canada might as well be called ‘Maple Leafs Night In Canada.’ So you see, it’s easy to love the leafs, and it’s even easier to hate them. If you do love them, the media won’t allow you to detach, since there’s a story on them every 30 minutes. It’s probably very addictive for the fans. I wouldn’t know. Toronto is not the center of the hockey universe, however, it may have one of the longest histories, most fans, most enemies, most critics, most media people, most hype, most blah blah blah blah blah…….
Everyone gets the message, the Leafs will never go away. It’s not like we draw ourselves into hating you, Toronto draws us into them, like no other team. That’s why they’re hated like no other team. It’s too damn hard to avoid it. Hockey fans have about as much of a chance of blocking out everything Leafs, as the daylight does blocking the darkness of night. You’d have to think that even Toronto fans need a break from hockey once in a while, considering the circus frenzy never ends in T.O.
Toronto is proud of their team, even the outsiders can see that, but at the same time, seeing that helps other fans appreciate their teams even more. Truth is, the debate will never end. So answer this question, are you a Leafs hater, or a Leafs lover? Heck, no one said you can’t be both.