I've lived in Toronto my entire life and out of all the hockey people I've ever met, Leaf haters are the overwhelming majority. These people seem to think they're doing the world favour by informing me that "LOLOLOL THE LAFFS HAVEN'T WON SINCE 1967 LOLZ" as if a) we didn't know that already, and b) that fact had any bearing on anything whatsoever. Sure, it's been a long time. But you never see anyone chanting "NEVAR LOLZ" to Caps/Kings/Blues/Sabres/Nucks/Caps/Jets fans, especially in their home cities.
Why do we have so many haters? It's mostly because we have so many fans. The team has been the butt of jokes around the NHL for years, and hasn't even made the playoffs since the lockout. And yet, we still get prime-time coverage. The media talks about the Leafs more than it talks about any other team. Now, that's understandable for the local media; after all, it's their job to cover local teams (their incompetence at it is another matter altogether). People get angry when they see the national media fawning over the Leafs. What they don't understand is that these media people have a goal. That goal is to earn money. How do they earn money? By talking about (praising or bashing) the most popular and hated team in the english-speaking population. That team is the Leafs.
It's been over 24 consecutive hours of the 9-3-1 Leafs sitting on top of the standings. We know it won't last. We know we don't deserve it. We have the worst PK in the league, for goodness sake. Our goal remains the same: to make the playoffs. We're sorry if we're making fans of the Hawks and Caps and Pens and Nucks uncomfortable by hanging out at the top of the league for a while. We're still rebuilding, but we've been really lucky so far. We know that and we'd like to enjoy winning it while it lasts. You can stop reminding us.
And finally: you know when you click on that article about why the Leafs will never make the playoffs? What about the one about how Brian Burke is stupid? Yeah, you know the ones. Thanks for giving them pageviews. Because that makes them write even more about the Leafs.
So to people in BC: we're sorry you have to hear about Reimer missing practice, especially now that you have your own little goalie controversy going on. To people in Alberta: we're sorry more people don't care that one of your teams sucks and the other is profiting from tanking. Try rebuilding without draft picks, it's way more fun. To people in Manitoba: we know you're still honeymooning with the Thrashers, and it's kind of cute. We won't pick on you yet. To people in Ottawa: we're sorry you suck. You get on a hot streak and are now in a playoff spot, and no one hates you for it. What's up with that? To people in Quebec: I'd rather not have my car burned so I won't say anything. To people everywhere else: shut up. And now, to my fellow Torontonians: we won't apologise for watching our team, for cheering our team or for spending so much money on our team, because then we'd be apologising for being Leafs fans, and we're not doing that.
Now excuse us as we go have a group hug with the rest of our fanbase. Go Leafs Go.