Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Apathy Vs. Despair: Believing In Something That Sucks

I needed a vacation from my recreation.

I haven't published anything on this site for 3 weeks now. Maybe somebody, somewhere, is wondering why. Not you, probably, but somebody else, maybe, someplace really obscure, possibly, that you'd never think of. They might even care. That'd be weird, but if so, I thought they should have an explanation, eh?

We knew the Leafs were going to suck this year. We knew we probably weren't going to make the playoffs. But we were promised we'd see an exciting, aggressive style of hockey, young players developing, accountability, and a team that "will not accept defeat". SPIRIT IS EVERYTHING, they proclaimed. I actually thought that meant this team was going to try.
I've been looking at the schedule - trying to figure out when it was, exactly, that my spirit was crushed. The 2-0 loss to Carolina was painful, and that was followed by a 4-3 OT loss to the Bruins where the Leafs held a 3-1 lead going into the 3rd period. Then came the All-Star Game, where the only highlight for me was seeing Luke Schenn dominate in the Young Stars exhibition. He really is the Future for the Leafs, but it was a stark reminder of where the Leafs are now and how far they still have to go.

Anyways, after the break, came a disgraceful 6-1 loss to Minnesota. Just a horrible, classless effort. I guess this is where I shut it down. Two nights later, seven goals against that unfortunate bastard Raycrap, and all I could feel was a mild, slightly comical, mock indignation, surprised at having been surprised, but no, not really. Rather then joy and celebration, that 7-4 victory over Colorado, and the 5-4 "thriller" over the Penguins actually annoyed me. Not for the four points that undermined our draft position, but because I've finally reached a comfortable stage of apathy, and I like it there, but I know that if the Leafs just win their next game against Florida, and make it 3 in a row, I'll only end up caring all over again...
So the Leafs then carried a 3-1 lead into the 3rd period against the Panthers, and lost, 4-3 in overtime. Bryan McCabe scored the winner.
I hate the Leafs. I hate them. I hate them. I hate them.

No, I don't. Apathy. Total apathy. Mock them. Tavares.

That's better. The very next night the Leafs lost to Buffalo, 5-0. Total apathy. Happy, blissful apathy.

Thank goodness for PensionPlanPuppets, for their audience and their insight. Below are comments that I read that summed up near exactly how I was feeling about this team, better then I could be bothered to attempt to express myself, let alone type.

"I have come to the conclusion that the Leafs are much more terrible than I previously imagined. Last night was all kinds of embarrassing... Perhaps the upcoming deadline and possibility of new addresses has encouraged some players (cough, Antropov, cough) to mentally check out."

"...they’re really now playing for nothing, there will be more and more of these from here on in. Good from a draft perspective, bad for those who actually like watching a team that tries."

"What the hell happened to the plucky team that was super entertaining to watch?"

And then I read this over here, written by this person, and I felt a connection of total agreement:

"I stopped caring about how terrible the fucking Maple Leafs were. Or at least, learned to admit that yes, they suck. Oh my God I can’t believe how bad they suck. They suck so hard that sometimes they trick me into believing they are good, just so they can shock me anew with their ability to suck."

Yup. Thank you Mizzo, and welcome if you ever drop by. That's it, exactly.

Those quotes are all from a week ago, when I began this post but didn't have the heart to finish it. Since then, the Leafs managed to beat Montreal, 5-2, on Saturday, only to lose to Florida again on Tuesday, giving up a 4-1 lead in the 3rd period, losing 5-4 in overtime.

The Maple Leafs are an embarrassing joke (again) and there's still 28 games to go.
I'm not sure I want to contribute to tricking people into believing the Leafs don't suck. That would be wrong. At the same time, I don't want this blog to be the home of the angry-ranting-furious-hate-fan. That's not so much fun and it's not really me. So I'm not sure how much posting I'm gonna do from now until the end of the season. I had a nice pace going of 10 posts a month for a while, and I'd like to thank my regular readers and those that left comments, and apologize for the abrupt slowdown in production. If I think of something especially funny, or really clever and insightful, or just feel inspired to voice an opinion on something Leaf-related, then certainly I'll post it here. This isn't my last post, far from it, but consistency and frequency aren't going to be concerns anymore.
I've lost my motivation to support this team. I'll only cheer for the handful of players that have represented the Blue and White proudly this season; Jason Blake, Dominic Moore, and of course, Luke Schenn. There's a few other players that don't completely suck, but there's no character nor camaraderie, no collective desire to win, only individual efforts to stay out of the "doghouse" and out of the spotlight, and a fundamental lack of team spirit - a distinct lack of enthusiasm for success that mirrors the personality of the coach, the management, the ownership, and even the fans.


Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

We've missed you, mate.

Keep your head up. Keep the faith. When you're at the bottom, there's no place to go but up.

Mike said...

My name is Mike and I run Just curious if you would like to swap links.

Let me know in a quick comment on my site or email me: nhlsnipers at gmail.

If so, send me the link you want listed.


general borschevsky said...

Hey eyebleaf! Cheers, eh. We're hangin' in there. Blue and White 4 Life.

Hi Mike! Thanks for dropping by. If MF37 thinks it's a good idea to swap links, that's good enough for me. Sign me up!

Mizzo said...

I can't believe anyone actually read that, much less appreciated it enough to quote it. I'm a huge fan of your blog, so that's immensely flattering. Hopefully some day we'll be able to write about the team with something less than profanity-filled rage.

general borschevsky said...

Hey, a very warm welcome for Mizzo to the General Area! Really appreciate your comment. Good to see you in the game thread tonight as well. I don't know about you, but I found tonight's game (6-4 loss to Tampa) more enjoyable (less agonizing?) because there did seem to be some players giving a strong effort and Wilson was rewarding those players with extra ice time.

I'd rather watch a really crappy team that never gives up then an okay team that underachieves and doesn't care.

Thanks again, Mizzo, and cheers!