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The Blame Game

We all know that one of the favourite hobby horses of the mittenstringer crowd is to blame the fans for the failure of the Leafs to win a Cup in 41 years (and counting). CoxBloc and Torontosportsmedia (blogwar!) for pointing out that sometimes a certain Working Class Howard has mastered the ability of typing out of both sides of his hands by pulling that argument out of his hat when it suits him regardless of how ridiculous it makes him appear. That's true courage in my book.

But if not the fans then who do we blame? The Man of course. Specifically, any man that has owned the team since 1967. The saddest part of that article in the New York Times? This comment:

Unfortunately for one of the great franchises in the sport, the Leafs will probably not again achieve greatness while Ballard is on this side of the grass. A quick gander on YouTube can tell you everything we Hawks fans thought about Dollar Bill, whether it be Savard’s number retirement or Dale Tallon’s attempt to eulogize him on Opening Night last season. The fact that Rocky Wirtz merely bringing the team up to basic modern standards is seen as a deliverance is testimony to how far behind the franchise was. The same holds for the Leafs.

What part is saddest? Hard to decide. Is it the fact that Dollar Bill Wirtz had to die to save hockey in Chicago? (sidenote: Does that make him Hockey Jesus?) That the only Original Six team with a longer Cup drought than the Leafs has a much brighter immediate future? Or that a Hawks fan is trying to assuage our fears by assuring us that once our own draconian owner is on the right side of the grass the Leafs will be re-born? Too bad that day came and went April 11, 1990 and our owners since then have not been the most capable. I guess if I went with anything it would be that the saddest part was that Forklift (the commenter) has observed the Leafs for so long and assumed that Ballard was still running the Leafs.

What can fans do to fight The Man? Not much. There are too many of us and too many corporations and too many benefits for them to ever turn their back on the Leafs in an attempt to create 'change'. Or maybe the Bulgarians have a solution:

Yavor Bluskov, a fan of the soccer team CSKA Sofia, is suing the former president of his beloved club for almost $250,000. You see, it was owner Alexandar Tomov’s fault that the team didn’t succeed, thus resulting in the "immaterial damages and mental torment" alleged in the suit.

Anyone have any idea just how much 20 years of mental torment and immaterial damages runs these days? Seriously though, any lawyers have any idea what the odds of a case like this succeeding in Canada would be? I would imagine the odds here being none with the American odds being slim but is there a young, hungry attorney looking to make a name for himself in Toronto. This looks like it could be the most profitable class action lawsuit since Vioxx.

Links are after the jump.

I wanted to highlight this passage but couldn't find a way to work it into the body of the piece. From the CoxBloc link:

This year, no matter what the results on the ice, I will be fascinated watching the progress of Tlusty, Stralman, Kulemin, Pogge, Steen, Stajan, Schenn, hopeful that the Leafs have started to ice a team not built on veteran mercenaries who didn't really want to be here, or who you could never totally embrace (hello, Shayne Corson) but on a group of young guys who will grow together, jell together, thrill us as we see them take next steps, figure out defences, back each other up in a war against Philly or come together to surprise Detroit or Pittsburgh, to learn to hate Montreal and Ottawa as much as we do. A team that belongs to us. Whatever Howard says, I think it will be a hell of a ride.

And just like that I have found some excitement for the upcoming season. This could be the year that we find out what the Leafs' next group of grizzled veterans will provide (hint: not beards judging by the baby faces) as well as what the current kiddie corps might show.

  • Down Goes Brown starts on the Leafs all-time nightmare team. He starts out with the defence and goalies. Finger being there is a little harsh considering he has not played a game for the Buds. Not including Gill is a sin. I do blame him for the giveaway in 1989 but only in the sense that it was all his fault and that even Ian White would have probably had the sense to throw the puck away once he saw any sign of a forechecker rather than leaving it in the slot for the Hawks player to score. If it was on YouTube I'd link to it and you could proceed to throw up it was such a sickening giveaway. Goalies are right on but what about Peter Ing for consideration? I barely remember him but he was brutal.
  • That Bouwmeester kid is kind of good.
  • I like Puck Daddy's work but of all the things to question about Mats Sundin 'heart' should be at the bottom of the list. The guy does nothing but give 110% of himself for the cause every shift of every game. Whether he is wants to win somewhere other than Toronto is a valid question but not whether he has a desire to win.