When it comes to hockey, the people in this town are the biggest pushovers in the NHL.
The mindless whinging that followed in the papers and on the sports radio talk shows after this week’s firing of coach Paul Maurice just provided more evidence. As one headline aptly summed up – No GM, No Captain, No Coach... No Hope.
If is isn’t clear yet to the doofuses in Leaf Nation, those running the show at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment could care less what product they put on the ice, as long as there are dumb asses filling the seats. For MLSE the emphasis is on entertainment, not sports. And Richard Peddie and company provide more off-ice charades than a bad Benny Hill rerun. There are always bigger fish to fry, more fans to filch, for the big boys on the board.
Lately, its been the much-rumoured purchase of Sheffield soccer club of the English Premiership. MLSE, it seems, is done playing footsies when it comes to the beautiful game, now that their small investment in Toronto FC – helped by a sweetheart deal from the city – is paying huge dividends.
Not on the pitch, of course, but that’s not the point.
Whether it’s hockey, basketball or soccer, in this town mediocrity for the masses will do. It’s all about marketing. Keeping alive the illusion that things, no matter how pathetic, are looking up, moving forward – even if those names most mentioned as the next hires to take the Maple Laughs over the top – if they can make the playoffs first – are tired retreads from yesteryear. See Pat Burns. See Cliff Fletcher. Haven’t we read this script before? Maybe we should put Tie Domi on the MLSE board. Wait, we may be too late. Ah the nostalgia. Poor Leafs fans have been sucking on that one for 40-plus Stanley Cup-less years and counting.