I went through a dozen different names for this post. "For Whom The Bell Coles", "FarCole", and "Coledboy" are probably the three worst, and being creative as I am, I fell back on an old twitter meme.
Unless you're as old as time or Harold Cook, all of your childhood memories of Leaf playoff games are called by Bob Cole. There's the screaming after the Borschevsky and Gilmour goals, the utter shock after Joe Nieuwendyk found holes through Patrick Lalime, or aside from the Leafs, the staccato of his reaction to Joe Sakic's breakaway goal at the Salt Lake City Olympics. Whenever we sit around with DownGoesBrown's youtube channel open, we instantly think of the way in which Bob Cole made the moment more awesome.
Unfortunately, a few years ago westerners, Quebeckers, and Senators fans showed exactly why they don't deserve as many votes as Southern Ontario. They bitched and moaned for the first year or two after the lockout (that's the second lockout), and got Bob Cole out. They said he was going senile, as if it really matters which player has the puck. They said he cheered for the Leafs, as if the entire Hockey Night in Canada crew had not done that for the last 50 years.
CBC, being the massive trolls that they are (I mean, they keep Don Cherry around just to piss everyone off), decided to make the entire country angry at once, by giving Bob Cole to the Canadiens, taking the west's beloved Jim Hughson, and giving him to Leaf fans, who being civilized citizens of a world power and not backwoods western yokels, understand that he's the most boring human being alive and essentially Canada's answer to Joe Buck.
So for the last 4-5 years, we've all suffered through a play by play guy who we hate and who doesn't like us, and Bob Cole is going to waste in Montreal.
But here's the issue. It's been so long since the Leafs made the playoffs, he still did their last playoff game. Jim Hughson has never called a Leafs' playoff game for CBC, and while he is the number one voice according to CBC, they generally let him call the Canucks games. This leads to a question: when the Leafs aren't in the playoffs, is Montreal the national game in the same way the Leafs are, or is it true that Habs fans are delusional idiots for thinking anyone outside of Quebec really gives a shit?
I guess it goes down to, is Bob Cole doing that game because Hughson wants to call the Canucks, or is he doing those games because Montreal now no longer could be the number one national TV broadcast over the Vancouver Canucks? It's probably the latter. If you remember, CBC didn't take the Canadiens' first round series against the Capitals in 2010. I've been told they get the first two picks of series', which would likely indicate they took BOTH the Canucks and Kings, and the Penguins and Senators over the Canadiens. CBC doesn't just prefer Vancouver to Montreal, they'd take Crosby over them too.
So we actually have no real precedent with which to figure out who would call our games, which are looking more and more like they'll be against the Winnipeg Jets, or possibly Carolina Hurricanes. We're in genuine danger of having playoff memories tainted by the monotonous drawl of Jim Hughson, and at that point, I'd rather we get the TSN treatment and get the call from Gord Miller or Chris Cuthbert.
But there is something you can do. Make your voice heard. I remember in 2007, one of the forum topics du jour was constantly the idea of letting Cole go. I doubt anyone physically complained to the CBC, but it was a topic of conversation. It was something everyone said. So, for the sake of DownGoesBrown's youtube channel ten years from now, we need you to say things about how Bob Cole should do these games. He's a thousand years old, and might not have much longer to do Leaf playoff games, and Vesa Toskala, Andrew Raycroft and Jonas Gustavsson have wasted enough opportunities to hear him. Tweet it, post it, say it to that guy wearing a suit at TIm Horton's who probably sells insurance, but hey, maybe he's a CBC executive or something. But this has to happen.
We've got a month. Let's hope it takes another eighteen wheeler to fuck this up.