Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Time to Watch the Leafs Fail

The Toronto Maple Leafs are amazing. They haven’t won the pinnacle of hockey – the Stanley Cup -- in over 40-years, yet they still draw sell-out crowds to their home games.

Most professional sports teams usually go out of business or are bought out by someone in some far off city or country elsewhere when they continuously lose, because the fans stop going to the games.

Not the Toronto Maple Leafs – nope. In keeping with the meaning of the word “fan” (it comes from the word “fanatical”) they continue to spend millions every year on tickets, jerseys, gloves, sticks, bobble heads, and other merchandise, all of which continues to fund the worst professional team ever.

If the fans weren’t so fanatical about their Toronto Maple Leafs, maybe they’d actually start to play professional level hockey and win a few trophies.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are owned by a teachers union, and those teachers are sure smart. They know they don’t have to do anything to keep fans coming back year after year. Most professional sport franchise owners have to spend millions on marketing and promotions, to ensure they fill the bleachers. Most professional sport franchise owners spend millions on the top athletes, so that the team as a chance to play professional-level games, and even has a shot at the playoffs.

Not the owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs. They don’t have to do anything to keep fans coming back, because the fans somehow just keep showing up for more of the same crappy results every year.

Oh, every year around this time of year, when the hockey season is fresh and new, there is always talk about how “this will be the year.”

But it never has been or will be “the year” the Leafs win the Stanley Cup. Not so long as the fans keep lining the owners pockets with wealth, without forcing them to spend.

The owners aren’t stupid – they know if people will continue to spend their hard earned cash on their losing team, they don’t have to spend their not so hard earned cash to attract people to their losing team.

Which is why I don’t go to Leafs games. I don’t buy Toronto Maple Leaf bobble heads, or other merchandise either. I’ve never really been a big hockey fan – my sport of choice is baseball – but even if I was a hockey fan, I wouldn’t spend money on the losing team.

Why cheer on someone when you know the outcome already?

But I suppose I’m just yelling into an empty void, because my one person protest won’t stop the masses of fans from continuously spending on the worst team ever.

And that is why the Toronto Maple Leafs will never win the Stanley Cup. Not because they don’t have the players (even though they don’t) nor because they don’t have the solid coaching (even though they don’t). The Toronto Maple Leafs will never win the Stanley Cup because the fans keep going to games.

So, if you’re a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs and you actually want them to have a chance in your lifetime of winning Lord Stanley’s Cup, maybe you too should stop spending money on the team.

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