This afternoon, The Dark Ranger received this letter from an anonymous guy about his beloved home town heroes the Toronto Maple Leafs. It's a good read and it sums up the Toronto experience last night against the Rangers:
About 85% of a full house at the Air Canada Centre sat and typed on their Blackberry's while a boring hockey game was being played on the ice. A couple of them looked up from their mobile screens when Orr and Boogaard started fighting, but they were too shy to make any noise because nobody else was.
Leaf game attendees (couldn't tell if they were fans because they didn't show any emotion) walked away disappointed on Thursday night. Those passionate and somewhat delusional fans who create memorable sound-bites on local sports talk radio had their superb mathematical instincts intact, still glowing in the fact that their beloved Leafs are 4-1-1 and in first place!
I don't know what's worse. The privileged, quiet, apathetic live audience who smothers the fun out of the rink every game, or the fanatical shlubs watching from home plotting Stanley Cup parade routes. The people who go don't care, and the people who care can't go. (A)pathetic. Now, Rangers fans were treated to a stinker when the Leafs game to our place last week, but New York Leaf Fans were, if nothing else, present and audible. I think they were Ranger fans who defected when we signed Redden to cheer for a team whose D-men have backbones.
Typically, teams count on a home ice advantage because their fans put some emotion into their team, and heap hostility onto the bad guys. Problem is Leaf fans, your team can't hear you screaming in your living rooms! And those people occupying the seats at the ACC aren't going to lower themselves to clap or whistle or (God forbid) cheer.
Maybe they'll pump some crowd noise off of one of the floats at that Stanley Cup Parade next Spring.
How right he is.