So we are losers and idiots, that is the story that we hear all the time right. Dumb Leaf fans. Idiots follow the team through thick and thick. We dish out our hard earned cash in unwavering support day after day, time after time. As a result of this support, the theory goes, there is no pressure on the franchise to ever improve and therefore the team will forever suck. Right? Did I miss a point?
The good folks over at PPP had a brillant post today comparing Mr. Berger and comments made by Mr Hogan (that I didn’t hear) about the Toronto Blue Jays and the lack of fan support the Jays received on Sunday.
“Contrast this with the reason typically given for the lack of championships won by the local hockey team. “The Leafs don’t have to win because the sucker fan base show up all the time regardless.” So which is it? Jays fans don’t deserve a winner because they don’t show up. Leaf fans don’t deserve a winner because they do.”
Aint that the truth! However, let’s take this one step even further sports fans. Imagine for one second that interest in the Leafs starts to wane. Try to imagine that this team’s attendance starts to drop off to let’s say, oh I don’t know, the St. Louis, Chicago (in years past) or other struggling markets. Before you say it will never happen, anything is possible and, more importantly go with me here, it is my post.
So, what would happen if Maple Leaf nation was no more. Leaf fans lost interest. Did what the media wants, stayed away, stopped tuning in, turning on and paying attention. Would those who call us idiots be happy then? No really, where would the Howard Berger’s be then? Think about, suddenly readership on Maple Leaf centric blogs, Toronto Sports papers and audience on both Toronto radio shows dropped like a stone. You know all those folks who bash the shit out of their audience for “suckeredly” follow the team, do you know where they would be?
UNEMPLOYED IN GREENLAND!
It’s one thing to be suckers for following our teams. It’s quite another to be suckers for taking shit from the media. Now, I happen to side with Hogan on this one. I think that 36k to see Roy Halladay pitch vs. the Red Sox is sad. I know, it’s better than other teams draw, I know it’s better than most games, but it is still not a large number. However, Jays fans aren’t the cause for the teams demise. Their GM is. Their GM signed the contracts that are now “albatrosses” around the team’s neck. If you want to point the finger of blame in why the Jays are where they are, then it starts with the GM. This is his team. He put it together. He signed the guys. Ownership initially hired him to cut costs. The plan was to give in to JP when the time was right and spend as necessary. Ownership followed that plan. JP asked for more money, ASH money and guess what? He got it! Boy did he ever. The payroll swelled again and the team didn’t improve. Jays fans fault? Hell no.
One day, more guys will join the likes of Norm Rumack on the real sidelines. Norm is there as a result of tough economic times. There will come a day, maybe not in the foreseeable future that the good ship Maple Leaf will not be what it is today. The coach of the Maple Leafs will one day face a media scrum of less than 10 people. Free agent day in Toronto won’t garner hours of coverage, nor will the NHL trade deadline day. Nothing lasts forever, NOTHING. Then, I promise you those media types will be longing for the days when jobs in the greatest hockey city were aplenty. A time when the fans hung on every word, read every paper, listened to every show and saught information on the team as if it were more important than food. That day will come.
You can read the rest of brilliance here