A few days ago, we ran a story about the proposed fan anger/raise money for "out of work" "arena employees" rally/protest/get-together/circle-jerk/something-or-other first put forth by the Brian Burke fan club website wewantacup.com. Their William Wallace, one Matteo Codispoti, is "mad as hell and not going to take it any more" with regards to an array of topics. You might remember when he first came onto the scene back in 2010 with yet another proposed rally/protest/get-together/circle-jerk/something-or-other aimed at voicing fan displeasure with the current state of the Leafs.
That rally/protest/get-together/circle-jerk/something-or-other was so influential on Leafs management and ownership, that after finishing 29th in 2010, the Leafs finished 21st in 2011, and 26th in 2012. That's a whole lot of undeniable progress made as a direct result of my grown men in hockey jerseys yelling at an empty building while carrying hand painted signs.
Despite this previous success, I scoffed at the notion of another protest (this time aimed at ending the lockout) and wouldn't you know it I got called out on it this morning by the renowned Mike Strobel at the always pertinent Toronto Sun:
"We're back to basics," Codispoti says. "We're concerned about the lockout's effects on local businesses, on this city's and this country's hockey traditions."
Hence the rally, called "Give Us Our Game Back." It seems a good, all-Canadian way for fans to commiserate, unite and vent.
Naturally, other top fan sites are enthusiastically onside, right?
Uh-uh. Follow the chum trail.
"Please, whatever you do on Saturday in Toronto, don't go to this (rally)," says pensionplanpuppets.com.
"We're all upset ... but this is hardly a cause worth taking to the streets over. It's just hockey."
So if we pretend it's not happening, it might go away?
Maybe. But with friends like that...
"I hear them," says Codispoti, diplomatically. "Their idea is if we act like we don't care (about missing hockey), maybe the NHL will get worried and end the lockout."
Sounds wussy to me.
I wish hockey fans had the collective cojones for true outrage and disgust.
But we puckheads only riot when we win a big game, or when we lose--not when we're getting the screws.
And Leafs fans are generally as ba-a-a-a-ad as the team. We'll pack the ACC like sheep when hockey resumes.
Four decades of losing teams and greedy regimes have beaten the uppity out of us.
So there's little chance the Saturday rally will get heated, even if Vancouver fans come.
Side Note: Do writers or editors at the Toronto Sun have any fucking idea what a paragraph is? Did they all miss that day in elementary school English class? Are they literally incapable of writing an article that is nothing more than a bunch of disjointed sentences given one after the other without any sort of adhesiveness?
Boy did (looks up author's name again) Mike Stro...(looks up again) Strobel ever call me (and vicariously mf37) out there for being complete wussies. Also, that was was sweet onamonapia usage, though he loses some points for not just calling Leafs fans sheeple.
Says Codispoti: "If three people show up, or 3,000, we have to start somewhere. Fans have to say something. Anything.
"Let's start acting like customers, and this is our complaint department."
Unhappy with a product, or delivery of said product, that a corporation is giving you? Well if you don't stomp your feet like a petulant child and simply stop buying that product you are a wussy. Only true patriots make their displeasure heard. That's right everyone, Mike Strobel stands with those who vocally protest such things as the rainbow Oreo, presumably because Mike Strobel and Matteo Codispoti have nothing better to do with their lives.
But I wouldn't be so all- Canadian nice about it. Public anger fixed the NFL referee dispute last month, real quick.
Look at what it did to baseball after the lost World Series of 1994.
When play resumed, fans booed and tossed crap on the field. In Cincinnati, they hired a plane with a banner that said, "Owners and Players: To Hell With All of You!" (Hey, Matteo, I wonder if they kept it.)
But, mostly, baseball fans expressed outrage by staying home.
Attendance plunged 20% in 1995 and took a decade to recover.
Owners paid for their obstinate greed, as did the players.
Their union, you'll remember, was headed by none other than Donald Fehr, now leading NHL players down the same garden path.
I bet all those billionaires and millionaires would sit up if the Air Canada Centre was half empty when, if, the season starts
Or we refuse to buy their hotdogs, sushi or overpriced beer for the first month.
Whoa. Sounds like Strobel is about to disagree with Mr. Codispoti and agree with an apathetic approach any second now.....
Didn't after the last stoppage, in 2004-05.
I guess baseball fans are made of sturdier stuff.
Pass me the chum.
It's your fault. You, the fans. You're spineless, gutless, hockey addicted wusses. You're far too weak, especially compared to hardened baseball fans, to ever be apathetic enough to hit the owners and players where it really hurts, their wallets.
Or at least you are unless you show up at the corner of York and Bremner this Saturday between 4pm and 7pm to let the NHL fat cats know that YOU'RE MAD AS HELL AND YOU'RE NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE! Be there or else Mike Strobel will think you're a wuss.