Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Leaf-Nation Spin Cycle

Once my Bengals locked up the "W" against the Ravens on Sunday, I started watching the Leafs/Craps game. In the third period, Leafs announcer Joe Bowen made the comment that Leafs always had to play at a disadvantage because every other team in the league (including obviously the lowly Craps) stepped up whenever they played the Leafs. He went on to say that in particular, the Ontario-born players were the ones who stepped up the most. The truth on Sunday was that they were out-hustled and out-disciplined by the Craps.

There are only four Ontario-born players on the Craps roster. Only two log any significant ice time (Willsie and Emminger). Washington's captain is American-born and their best player is a Russky. Jeff Halpern was born in 1976, nine years after the Leafs last won the Cup. Ovechkin was born eighteen years after that last Cup.

Delusions of grandeur remain strong in Leaf-Nation. The first step in fixing a problem is to accept that you have a problem. To Leaf apologists it's always somebody else's fault. Yes, within Leaf-Nation there is always plenty of name calling and back-biting. But to us outlanders, they want to be seen as the New York Yankees of hockey. The only problem is, unlike the Yanks, the haven't won squat in almost fourty years. Just once I want to hear somebody on Leafs TV tell the truth about this underachieving and heartless team without qualifying every utterance with the word, "but."

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