I admit it. Lock me up. Throw away the key. Sentence me to hard time. I’m guilty. I enjoy it now, and I will enjoy it when it happens again. Nothing tickles my fancy quite like the sight of the Toronto Maple Leafs in disarray.
Given the amount of newsprint that has been generated on this issue, an alien dropped into the centre of Toronto would not be too far off in assuming a catastrophic, apocalyptic event has occurred (i.e. World War III, natural disaster etc). In reality, all we are witnessing is a historically poor performing franchise, *gasp* still performing poorly. (Note: for all the Leafs die-hards who are typing/scribbling hate mail to me for calling the Leafs a bad franchise, save it. Don’t talk to me about what happened in the NHL of the 1940s. You have sucked since I can remember, and will probably continue to do so by the time I have forgotten how to remember.)
What I do not understand, is why people are surprised that the Leafs suck. All of the trademarks of a franchise in disarray are present and accounted for in Leafs land.
Top heavy, overly bureaucratic organization? Check.
General Manager who was hired for reasons other than being the best available candidate (hello, working for cheap)? Check. (Although it pains me to write that about an old neighbour—Ramsgate Bay in Winnipeg, represent!)
Poor scouting and thus poor entry draft performances? Check. (Can anyone recall the last homegrown Maple Leafs star? Anyone? Anyone? Beuller?)
Overpaying for free agents? Check.
Trades that “address” issues that weren’t a priority (coughVesacough)? Check
I could go on and on, because I am thoroughly enjoying this. However, I do feel a little bit bad for the real Leafs fans who have had to put up with a level of consistent incompetence which makes the presidency of George W. Bush look like a resounding success in comparison. (Note to Republican readers: it hasn’t been, no matter how many of those “Mooslims” he blows up.)
Unfortunately for Leafs fans, in contrast to the Presidency of George W. Bush which is mercifully coming to an end, there is no hope on the horizon, as I, for one, and call me a pessimist if you must, see no signs that the diseases which have plagued the Maple Leafs organization for generations on end, show no signs of abetting. The Leafs would be very wise to look down the hall at the Toronto Raptors for advice on how to resuscitate a floundering franchise. However, as we all know the words Leafs and wise rarely appear together in the same sentence.
For Illegal Curve, I am Andrew M.