It all started back when I was a kid, around 6 or 7. In my living room there was a United Way poster with Rick Vaive on it, holding a small child in a Maple Leafs jersey. Around the same time, Rick Vaive moved in across the street from me, which I thought was pretty cool but also accepted as normal and natural. At the time, Rick Vaive lived across the street from practically everyone I knew.
I don't recall becoming a Leafs fan. It's always just sort of been there.
You could say I suffered through the Ballard Era, but I was too young to know the difference. I don't remember Armstrong or Keon, but I do remember Sittler and Salming, Turnbull and Palmateer, Lanny McDonald, and of course, Rick Vaive. And I loved them all.
In the mid-to-late '80s I really did suffer through some horrible teams. And there were very few players, with the exception of Wendel Clark, that inspired adoration. I wasn't old enough yet to really realize it, but the franchise was in a terrible mess. I began to indulge in fantasies that Jari Kurri was my biological father, and thus, developed a deep resentment towards Gretzky, whom I felt was stealing all of my estranged Dad's rightful glory and fame.
Then Gretzky got traded to L.A.. Then Gilmour got traded to Toronto. Then Gretzky high-sticked Gilmour in the face.
Years later, I discovered DownGoesBrown, and a few months after that DownGoesBrown discoverd VHS tapes in his attic, or garage, or basement, or wherever. Then Bloge Salming set the Barilkosphere on fire. Pretty soon the NY Times was involved.
Sensing that my moment had come, I sent Bloge an e-mail.
And it's all come down to this - the result of everything that's happened in my life, from the moment that United Way poster went up on my living room wall, to Wendel's hat-trick in Game 6, to Gretzky's hat-trick in Game 7, to the invention of the internet, until now. I'm not sure it'll ever eclipse this...
This is the greatest thing that general borschevsky's name has ever been associated with. It's even better then that time Damien responded to one of my comments, or the time I punched James Mirtle in the gut for calling Kaberle a whore.
Thanks again to Bloge Salming for makin' it happen. If you don't follow his blog then Wendel Clark doesn't love you and you're going to burn in hell.