Thursday, January 19, 2012

Entitled, Whiny Babies are back at it again

I'm a Toronto Maple Leafs fan. That means my country hates me.

On some level, I can understand that. The Habs and Sens are rivals, and we hate them just as much. The Oilers and Flames don't really do much except complain about the Leafs being on CBC, so I guess we just tolerate each other. Jets fans will probably find something to complain about soon enough. 

But Nucks fans?

We play this team like twice a year. About the only major interaction we've had in recent memory (which counts for a lot because the franchise is still new) is that Mats Sundin has played for both teams. That should make us the bitter ones, right? But we as a fanbase didn't really care about the Canucks. Until we see all this anti-Leafs propaganda coming out of that city. The Vancouver Sun recently came out with this article, which is basically just a crapload of crap. Now, it would be stupid enough if it was just the Sun, but this is a prime example of a trend we've been seeing for a while, which has only escalated since the Nucks' SCF appearance last year. Because, y'know, that counts for so much. Now, let's go through this article, shall we?

one of the National Hockey League's most traditional rivalries*
the Detroit Red Wings play host**
Bridgestone Winter Classic***
college football fans****

... and it goes on to 7 asterisks. The writer looks like a kid writing an essay after having discovered the pretty star symbol on the computer. Professionalism and writing style aside, the content after the asterisks should raise legitimate points, right?

*Traditional, as in ending a half-century ago.

The Leafs and Wings were divisional rivals until 1993. That was 19 years ago. I wasn't alive then, but even I appreciate this rivalry, and especially the Original Six days. And even ignoring that point, this is the Winter Classic. Classic. You know, old things.

** Not exactly "host," since the hockey will not actually be played in Hockeytown, but on a college campus, 45 minutes away.

It's a rare thing to see in North American professional sports, but sometimes the host city doesn't play in the game it's hosting. But really, it's not like hockey fans will travel a whole forty five minutes to watch a hockey game, right? Geez.

*** No guarantee of quality is implied or should be inferred from the word "classic."

Do I hear some bitterness? Because that's the only explanation I have for that negativity. It reminds me of when Leafs fans were hoping an asteroid would hit the Nucks and Bruins. I can't imagine why Leafs fans would dislike Nucks fans, the innocent things.

**** Few of whom are hockey fans.

Yes, they're still whining about the stadium. According to this man's logic, the only people who are capable of getting to Michigan Stadium are college football fans.

And so the asterisks go on. It's the same bitter bullshit, but if you'd like to read it feel free to click on the link and give the guy pageviews. I mean, if there's one thing he can't argue, it's that people love reading about and watching the Leafs, right?

And let's face it: the Leafs have been so long out of the loop as an actual hockey-playing force, it's hard to imagine a large chunk of America's sports viewing public turning eagerly to a match that features a team that last won the Cup when most TVs were still black and white.

I'm not going to argue that the Leafs haven't been pretty mediocre since the lockout, but that in no way qualifies as "so long out of the loop." And, oh look, a thinly-veiled 1967 reference! Of course. Hey, there's another team that hasn't won the Cup since then either. Not sure who? I'll give you a hint, they start with a "Can" and end with an "ucks" (also the Blues, Sabres, Panthers, Kings, Sens, Jackets, Wild, Preds, Sharks, Coyotes, and Caps). And finally, the first coast-to-coast colour broadcast in America was in 1954. Assuming there were enough people with colour TVs to watch it back then, I'm sure colour TVs had become a thing in 13 years (fun fact: they weren't introduced in Canada until 1966, but I thought we were talking only about Americans here).

... but does it crackle with anticipation the way a Habs-Bruins game would or even (dismissing the Original Six part), a Bruins-Vancouver Canucks hatefest?

A Habs-Bruins Winter Classic would be great. And since they're not the ones whining over here, I'll leave them alone (short story: the Habs' situation's a mess right now and the Bruins already got a freaking Cup).

And, uh, he wants a Bruins-Canucks Winter Classic? Let's think about this for a second. 

This "hatefest" he's talking about started at the end of last season, essentially because both teams were classless and immature, and the Nucks were mad they didn't win the Cup. So apparently, one year's rivalry will somehow bring in more fans than a rivalry lasting seventy years? And hockey fans don't like either team. This "hatefest" is basically both teams and fanbases being really stupid, and it's really annoying. Long story short, it's a bad idea. And there is absolutely no way that Vancouver and Boston are larger hockey markets than Toronto and Detroit.

...the announcement will be made and Winter Classic merchandise can go on the shelves in Toronto, allowing Maple Leaf fans to start getting nostalgic about the old days when hockey was played outdoors.

Um. Hockey's still being played outdoors. Check the local pond.

Not by any player in the league today, or even by many in the generation before them, but you know, by the guys who won the '67 Cup. When they were kids.

..So, we're not allowed to remember our last Stanley Cup win, but they're allowed to remind us about it via pathetic little jokes. I still don't get how Nucks fans are so self-satisfied. Sure, being a top team in the league is nice, and getting to the Stanley Cup Finals is nice too. But it doesn't mean jack squat if you haven't won the Cup. Let's just remember who built that wonderful, heroic, epic, perfect team you love, shall we? Yeah.

Shut up Vancouver.

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