It's pretty sad when a hockey fan faces criminal mischief charges for throwing a waffle onto the ice at a Leafs game.
How seriously does Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment take itself? How seriously do the Leafs players take themselves?
Obviously, pretty damn seriously.
Leafs forward Clarke MacArthur recently told the press: "It's not funny. The guy's an idiot, whoever's doing it."
Really? Maybe the guy responsible for the waffling is simply expressing some of the widely held outrage over the dismal performance of the Buds, who are a team that has failed to make the playoffs for years and are currently sulking near the bottom of the league.
Plus, throwing stuff on the ice is basically a right, provided it doesn't hurt the players.
In Detroit, they throw octopi onto the ice. When a guy nets three goals, hats rain down. In Calgary, 23,000 teddy bears got chucked into the rink. Fans in Sweden once threw dildos on the ice after a player became embroiled in a sex scandal. Yeah, that's right, dildos.
With sky-high ticket prices, ridiculous merchandising endeavors and the kind of exclusionary culture which used to be the purview of high-end country clubs, the entire organization has cut itself off from the city it supposedly represents.
I guess we shouldn't be surprised.
MLSE's ultra-by-the-book corporate culture has choked the passion, drive and excitement out of the team and turned it into a staid, money-making endeavor.
In fact, the ACC is essentially an extension of a MLSE boardroom: a reserved place where business is done and money is made.
Now, the fans are expected to fall in line, too: no wild behavior, no self-expression, no complaining.
Back in the day, hockey used to be about personality. Hell, Maurice "Rocket" Richard even knocked the stuffing out of a linesman once.
These days, hockey is about the bottom line, uniformity and power.
Sure, ban the guy from games, but don't charge him. After all, watching the Leafs lose game after boring game is punishment enough.
Leafs Nation? More like Leafs Totalitarian Regime.
This editorial was submitted through NOW's anonymous tips feature at the top of this page.