Friday, September 18, 2009

My First Rant

Well, here goes. I'll begin by giving you a brief description of who you're reading.

I'm an over 40 male, who has lived in the Toronto area of Ontario all my life. I am a very proud Canadian who supports our troops, home and abroad and all of the ideals and values that make Canada the undisputed, Greatest Country in the world. I'm also a loyal fan of Toronto's 3 major sport teams ... The Jays, The Argo's and most importantly, THE LEAFS. Like most Canadians I enjoy arguing politics but don't follow it nearly as closely as I should. Also, as a proud Canadian, I can think of nothing better than being near a lake on a hot summer day enjoying a very frosty CANADIAN beer with family and friends ... and yes, EX does say it all. But enough about me. Let's talk sports.

Being a Toronto fan is not easy, to say the least. While the Argonauts have treated us to a fairly recent Grey Cup, The Jays seems to be bent on challenging the Leafs 42 year record of futility. 42 years without a sniff. This by a team boasting the "best fans" in the center of the "Hockey Universe". Leafs Rule, ya right.

42 years without a Stanley Cup, cup appearance, scoring title, significant player award, or Superstar. Granted, we've had some nice players. Darryl Sittler was truly one of classiest and talented players of his era, and was in my eyes the best example of an NHL team captain ever, but never achieved superstar status. Mostly because of his shameful treatment by Imlach and Ballard. Borje Salming opened the doors to European players coming to the NHL, and was an absolute pleasure to watch. Dougy and Wendell were simply awesome to watch, and Sundin will always be one of my favourites of all time, but can any of these players be considered Superstars. If you're still deciding think about these names. Bossy, Trottier, Potvin, Dionne, Perrault, Esposito, Orr, Yzerman, Messier, Lemieux, Lafleur, Mahovolich, Richard, Dryden, Parent, Coffey, Kurri. I know I've missed all kinds of names but that's my point. And no, I didn't forget the best of them all. I wanted to use him to prove another point.

There is only one reason why Toronto hockey has been awful for so long. It's obvious. Ownership doesn't care and anyone who thinks they do is kidding themselves. Think about this. Wayne Gretzky, the greatest of all time, asked to play for Toronto ...At a Bargain!!! They said no. They fired Cliff Fletcher, who incidentally, approached them with Gretzky's offer ,in favor of ... are you ready for this ... Ken Dryden. Then ownership endorsed Dryden's decision to hire Mike Smith, the only choice available capable of doing a worse job than Dryden. Smith was replaced by Pat Quinn ... HIS COACH!! And then the icing on the cake. Leaf ownership hired John Ferguson Junior. A man who's only experience was as assistant Gm to the St. Louis Blues, one of the few teams with a worse history than theirs. To make matters worse, the following year they hired Fletcher back, (only after everyone else refused the position) as Ferguson's mentor!! What a flash of brilliance. A mentor for the GM of the center of the hockey universe. Enough said.