Same Old Song For Toronto Sports Media

“Maple Leaf fans – and the media, and the city, it seems – aren’t even patient for a retooling, or at least a retooling that some believe is doomed to failure.”
Damien Cox

“The point is, most hockey commentators in Toronto have rolled over for Burke. They blame goaltending, the defense, the coach and the forwards for the team’s awful start, but give Burke a pass.”
William Houston

” Hey Leaf zealots, why overreact this early in a season in which your team can still finish 78-3-1? Get off the high bridges and shut those upstairs windows. Better days – as always – are just around the corner, right? In the interim, here are some observations after a 5-2 trampling of the Blue & White by the defending Stanley Cup champions at the Air Canada Centre”
Howard Berger

“Even more ominous would be the aftermath of a seventh consecutive defeat – Saturday night at home to the New York Rangers. An anomaly in the schedule has the Leafs idle for an entire week, which means that Burke, Wilson and the players would have to munch on an 0-6-1 record for a full seven days.”
Howard Berger






So once again we are suckers, we are idiots and yes we are losers. Right, I mean, we still seem to love our hockey teams. The nerve. I mean, our team loses every game it has played so far and we are “panicked”. Oh the horror. Oh those idiot fans. Oh those losers. I know, let’s shit over the same people who indirectly put food on our plates. The more I piss them off the more they will read what I have to say the more money I will make. That’s the logic right? We all are sure that Stay At Home Berger is the world’s biggest closet Maple Leaf fan. He is negative, not because he believes it, but rather because the competition is and he thinks that he has to be in order to compete. He no longer is an insider. He hasn’t broken a story since I don’t know when. To be honest, I am no longer quite sure what the hell he’s an authority on at all. But I digress. Stay at Home Berger is doing what he thinks he has to do.

The question is, or perhaps the answer, I guess, is… What would these brains prefer? would they be happier if we stopped listening, reading, watching and going? No seriously. Would these guys prefer an apathetic fanbase? Look at the Jays. Do these think that their bosses would employ 1/4 of them if the ACC was as empty as the TED on a nightly basis? If the Leafs were 0-6 and the fans weren’t calling the talk shows, commenting on stories like the sky was falling what would these guys we talking about? If no one was reading, listening or watching would they really be happier? So the media would be happy if the love fell off the maple leafs, unemployed but happy…I don’t buy it. These guys are sellouts. They write what they believe will sell. No more and no more less.

The proof is in the Burke furor. Houston, the NY TImes and others are getting on the Toronto Sports Media for going soft on Burke. The problem these same guys have is they have sung the Burke song for so long they no longer have a choice. Seriously, go back in time as many years as you want, but I can’t remember the last time they had a GM that the press actually endorsed. They liked Cliff when he made the Gilmour deal. However the rose fell off pretty quickly as he dealt the picks away- TRADE SCHMAFT- remember that. Following Cliff in no specific order, Mike Smith, Ken Dryden, Pat Quinn, JFJ and Cliff part deux. The “experts” had issues with credentials of all of the above for a wide range of reasons. Each GM or acting manager had their own flaws according to those who are considered the brightest and best of our sports media team.

The battle cry from EVERYONE was to bring in a REAL hockey man. Someone like a Ken Hollan. Someone who had won. Someone who could build the modern day Maple Leafs. Go back over the last 10 years and read the comments on how the Leafs need a GM who can build a hockey department. One who will have total control and build the organization properly. As Burke became a possibility these experts zeroed in on him. In essence they wanted him here. Yes, he’s great for the media. He’s a great quote. There will always be a good story. Life won’t be dull under Brian Burke. The problem for each and every one of these guys is, they begged for and fully endorsed the hiring of Burke. When the team was struggling over the years they said that is what the team needed. Now that he is here they can’t start saying Ooops less than a year in. To do so would be to admit the unthinkable, that they don’t know shit. I mean if the guy they wrote about this team needing for years isn’t, what does that make them????

So, Cox’s article today isn’t all that surprising. Neither is the perceived hysteria over the current losing streak. The problem in his town is that neither the song nor the singers have changed despite lots of other things changing. GM’s, presidents, players and more have been run out of town. The commentators haven’t. The wise read, watch and listen to be entertained. The fools take it as anything more than that.

The numbers above, by the way, represent attendance at various NHL buildings over the last 2 weeks:

6899- announced in Phoenix

12,179 – Nashville announced attendance

13,103- Nashville announced attendance

13,280- Columbus announced attendance

5,000- number of unsold tickets in Tampa

So I ask the media, if the Leafs had numbers like that, do you think you would have a job???? Do you prefer the empty seats or the ship of fools?????



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