Why I Broke up With the Toronto Maple Leafs


I have been in a tumultuous relationship with my hockey team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, for most of the last decade. After years of disillusionment and heartbreak I have decided it is time to break up with the team and move on with my life.

Why I broke up with the Toronto Maple Leafs

The lead up to each season was like preparing for a blind date. Coaches and columnists would describe the new players that were going to be part of the team. Most of these players were strangers, toiling in the minors with little media coverage. Alternatively, they had been playing for other teams and had received little Toronto media coverage.

The best qualities of these new players were always promoted by the media and excitement would build for the start of the new season and the blind date would be revealed. The weeks before the big reveal the excitement would build and I would begin to plan my schedule around the evenings I would be spending with my new and improved team. When the preseason would roll around and the team revealed itself, I would be giddy with anticipation. The preseason games invariably showed a team that would dominate their division. My team’s best qualities would be on display as the season opened and one victory followed the next.

Just like any new relationship, I would become totally invested in my team. I would spend untold amounts of money paying outlandish prices so I could be close to my team as they showed off just for me. And then of course there were the gifts I bought to show my undying support, the home jersey, the away jersey, and of course the numerous ball caps showing every facet of my devotion.

But then the true colours of my relationship would start to appear. There would be some clues that my team was not the team that was advertised when I accepted the blind date. Leads in the third period that turned into losses, soft shots that squeezed by a goalie who had been impenetrable, and gimme goals that could not find the back of the net. And then just when I was starting to plan the wedding, I mean the Stanley Cup parade, my world would come crashing down.

Loss would follow loss and I would become embarrassed to wear my jerseys, afraid people would be snickering at my persistence to support a team that was not keeping its part of the relationship contract. And then there would be that fateful day when the ability of my relationship to move to the next level would be determined to be mathematically impossible. There would be no scheduling around best-of-seven series, there would be no late night sudden death overtime nail biters, and there would be no parade.

Instead, there would be fits of jealousy as friends boasted about their blossoming relationships with their Hawks or their Bolts. From my depths of despair I would entertain thoughts about watching the basketball playoffs or even worse, regular season baseball. But invariably I would begin to think about the possibilities of next season, who would be traded to my team, if we would pick up a top free agent or get the number-one draft pick, then my relationship would be saved.

But this year is different. I am not entertaining thoughts about next season. Instead I am thinking it might be time to go on a blind date with another team and see if a new relationship will be more successful.

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  1. So I guess you don’t know anything about the “Dollar” Bill Wirtz era of the Blackhawks where the games weren’t even televised and were PPV only for a garbage last place team, and the longest active Stanley Cup drought was ongoing. Or the Lightning and their expansion years.

    Fake fan who will come back in 5 years claiming to be the biggest Leafs fan in the world. Peculiar time to ‘cut loose’ too, considering the progressive management in place along with signing the best coach in all of hockey.

  2. I’m fine if someone can actually move on to a new team, good for them.

    At the same time…why now? Despite a lot of flowery writing and being overly dramatic, there wasn’t much of a good reason. The team is going to rebuild properly, gathering picks, focusing on developing the right group and now she wants out? I don’t get that. Where was this article every season for the last decade? It’s like being friends with an alcoholic for years and the day they decide to get help you say “well this friendship is terrible I’m out.”

    Good for her I guess.

  3. I would sympathize with this article and the author IF leafs were status quo like they have been in the past. BUT the new Leaf management and ownership has said enough is enough and are now talking about building a team the way it was supposed to have been built in the first place: Through drafts.

    I am still frustrated that SCRUB Bozak, Glassman Lupul, NoBrains Phaneuf and Fat Kessel are still leafs. I would live with Kessel being a Leaf but other three have to GO like yesterday.

    That said, I see hope like I have not seen in the last 10 years. There is NO management selling the idea of making the playoffs, or that we will be “better” next year; what they are selling is “Truth”and I am buying it.

    Ownership on Board with the reubuild: Check
    Coach on board with the rebuild: Check (one of the best coaches to have ever coached in NHL I might add)
    Management staff on board with the rebuild: Check

    Are three on board doing it the right way? YES!

    I am in! And because of the above I BeLeaf!

    • John Ferguson Jr. when hired: “We’re gonna build this team slowly via the draft and do things the right way. Ownership is on board.”

      Brian Burke: “We’re gonna build this team slowly via the draft. Ownership is on board.”

      • Wrong. JFJ never said that. He said he wanted to rebuild but ownership and the board did not. Get your facts straight.
        Why should someone have loyalty? Because while sports is just a business, you are showing you are not committed or have no emotion towards any team you follow. Once that new team starts to suck, you just going to switch again? And so forth? Such a ridiculous concept.
        I’ve followed the Leafs since I was a kid and I have become fed up as well. Instead of leaving the team, what did I do? I stopped buying merchandise, tickets etc…while it won’t make much difference, it is still something. I would never leave my team.

        • So because someone else feels differently and no longer wants to support a losing organization (and not just short term losing) they are a garbage writer…. I don’t see it that way. You want to support them go ahead… but what if someone called you “not a real fan” or a bandwagoner for not buying tickets or merchandise.

          • Suppose someone in your family got into an accident (it was their fault) would you say screw it I do not care about this family member; I want to find new family
            Would you do it right by your family member: stick around and do what you can?

      • WRONG!

        Burke didnt believe in a long rebuild program. He wanted a quick “retool”. 2 firsts and a second for Kessel
        JFJ was a biggest JOKE of a GM. FYI ownership was “NOT” on board.

        As for “now” Babcock himself said on record that He spoke to the board many times to make sure that they are on board for a “long and painful process.” Babcock may not be THE BEST coach but he is an HONEST man. Unless you are saying that Babcock is a liar?

  4. Good riddance. Leafs nation has no room for “fans” like you anyways. At the end of the day you’ve gotta support your team through the highs and lows. That’s what being a fan is about: passion for your team, and passion for the game. The ride to the top will be so much sweeter without you on board. Go ahead and let the door hit you on your ass on the way out.

  5. “Loss would follow loss and I would become embarrassed to wear my jerseys, afraid people would be snickering at my persistence”

    That’s really all you need to read people. This woman is more concerned about what random people think rather than being a true fan. True fans always believe in their team and dont give a horses butt about what other jabronis have to say about their team. Leafs #1 for life baby!!!

      • Don’t seem to remember posting anything saying that being a fan means being required to spend money on your team lol. It’s all about your love and support for your team, hoping they lay the smackdown on any and every team they play. not spending money/worrying if a stranger might hurt your feelings by making fun of you/whatever the heck else you people here think being a fan is about. True leaf fans: we ride together, we die together. Its not like you can’t have a 2nd favorite team anyways. I’ve been following the ducks since they day they took off the mighty off. If the leafs don’t make the playoffs I can just watch them. Plus it’s always fun hoping for a leafs/ducks final every year, as well as the two team’s history with trades/management members. Anyways, if you two could just leave leafs nation and never return in this world or the next one, we’d appreciate it.

        • Its funny how you judge what makes someone a true fan or not, but at the same time you pick a second favorite team. Some would argue that having a second favorite team makes you less of a fan than others who are leafs or nothing.

          As for leaving Leafs Nation, I’m not, nor have I ever been a leaf fan. I just find it interesting how you all judge Linda merely because she had decided she won’t cheer for the Leafs anymore after years of them letting her down.

          • Haha whatever you say, guy. Find me a leafs fan who would say having a no. 2 team means you love the leafs any less. It only becomes a problem when you start supporting your 2nd team more/rooting for them over your favorite. I’ll cheer for the ducks to win in 80 of their games in the season, and you can guess which ones I won’t be rooting for them. I truly feel bad for you guys, not knowing what it really feels like the be an actual hockey fan/lover. Not judging the author BECAUSE she switched teams, but because of the cring-worthy reasons why. “Oh no people might snicker behind my back!!! People won’t think I look cool!!” “They played well in the preseason but then didn’t have a fantastic year!!” Boo boo. get out of here with that garbage. Who’s your team, Ben? I’ll make sure to come back in a couple years when the leafs win the cup before they do.

          • Not a lack of faith in the least. Not even a “need” for another team. I’ve got a 3rd, 4th, 5th favorite team too. All the way down to 30. Yes, I have a preference in which teams I like more than others. That has absolutely nothing to do with being first and foremost a maple leafs fan. Maybe I were from Finland. Are you saying that I couldnt have been a maple leafs fan and wanted Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne to win with the ducks after the leafs were eliminated? I enjoyed Beauchemin’s time playing for the leafs. What does me wanting him to have success with the ducks have to do with my faith for the maple leafs? Being a maple leafs fan is having the passion that unites us all, and like another fan said once it’s in the blood it’s in the blood for good. If you can’t understand that or know how that feels, then you don’t know what it is like to be a true fan.

          • I know what its like to be a true fan….

            The only teams i cheer for are my team… and the team who is facing my team’s rival. Thats it.

            You complain about Linda’s bandwagon jumping, but isnt that exactly what you are doing, jumping on another bandwagon every year when the playoffs start and the leafs are sitting at home?

            I’ll watch every game of the finals, but I just want to see great hockey, I don’t care who wins between Chicago and Tampa.

          • except for the part where i’m not even on a bandwagon, nor jumping to a new one. bandwagon fans (like linda) jump on whatever team is good or popular at the current time. i stick with my teams through thick and thin. when i adopted the kings as my 3/4th favorite team in 2009 there are probably fans who have jumped on for the first cup win-off- back on the bandwagon again for cup #2- back off when they missed the playoffs this year. i guess it all boils down to your basic viewpoints though. you and linda think that being a fan is about spending money, hoping people will think you look cool, and not liking any other team but your own. i think that being a fan is having unconditional passion and love for your favorite team and always wanting them to be the best team in the league. and you never did tell me who your favorite team was 🙂

          • If you looked its not hard to find… its all over my twitter, all over my radio show, and in many of my articles. Anyone who is a regular reader of our site’s hockey coverage is aware of my favorite team.

            I also would say that I consider myself a die-hard fan, watch every game of my team, and make multiple trips to see the team every year (I don’t live in the city). I could never imagine abandoning my team.

            That said, I don’t take a holier than though approach and judge how others cheer for their team. You want to put down and insult Linda because she has a different point of view on what fandom means to her, and I’ve merely played Devil’s Advocate here. Why is your fandom better than anyone else’s? What gives you the right to ridicule how others feel about a team? Thats kind of my point here. There are no rules about how to be a fan.

            At the end of the day Sports is entertainment. Its not life and death, and if Linda is no longer entertained as a Leafs fan, why should she be ridiculed for that?

  6. Like the author I’ve ridden this bandwagon for decades and concluded that it’s been stuck in the mud for a long time and no sign of getting out any time soon. After decades of support, I’ve done my bit. Time for the club to do theirs, and having put my time in I have no qualms jumping back on when it suits me.

  7. i have been a leaf fan since i was five so that would make it 55 years ago seen one stanley cup in 67 since then not good but they were and still my team i’m 60 and want to see another cup before i go to the stars up above and even when they went through this drought and a lot of teasing by other guys they were still my team and the ones that threw sweaters on the ice you should never be let into our home there just fake fans

  8. all the leafs have managed to do is admit they have a problem. Everyone commenting here seems to want to give them credit for solving it. Leafs haven’t solved anything.

    There is no nobility in sacrifice to a corporate interest. They certainly wouldn’t or couldn’t do the same for you.

  9. Linda had already left before she dreamed up this ” article “. Just another glory-hunting bandwagon-jumper. Why not just wait until the playoffs start and then pick a team ? I got my parade this year with the Oshawa Generals winning the Memorial Cup. All I saw here was a poorly written diatribe by a typical Leaf-hater and her sympathetic ( and I stress the pathetic part ) boss. Don’t let the revolving door smack you both on the ass on your way out.

  10. As a long time leaf fan, I have come soooo close to breaking up with the absolute lack of patience shown by management. Trading young prospects for older quick fixes and worst of all trading draft choices. JFJ, Burke and Nonis worked hard at keeping the Leafs mediocre, not the worst in the league but no chance of being a contender. It now looks like the Leafs are keeping picks and even acquiring them and I would like to see patience (do not rush rookies in as in previous years)


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