05.13.2013 12:07 PM

I admire Tim Hudak

I knew that little headline would get your attention!

And it’s true.  Being the guy (currently) most likely to become Premier if (theoretically) there is an election, Hudak could have chosen the easy course.  He could have chosen discretion over valour.  He could have jumped on the popular and populist bandwagon, like Kathleen Wynne and countless others.

But he didn’t.

Tim Hudak (along with me, Gerald Butts, Alex Panetta and, er, that’s it) is not cheering for the Toronto Maple Leafs.  He has always cheered for the Bruins, and continues to do so.  Good for him.  That takes balls.

Now, when I was a kid attending Our Lady of Lourdes in Kingston, I adored the Bruins, too.  Lots of us did in Kingston.  Cashman, Orr, Sanderson: those were our hockey heroes.  Not the Maple Leafs.

Relocated to Calgary, I loved the Flames and the Habs (which were, at one level, the same organization).  Once in Toronto, I did not waver.  Why? The Leafs fans made it easy for me.

Not, I note, the Leafs themselves.  They, like all hockey teams, are comprised of young men getting paid too much to play a kids’ game.  It’s not their fault, per se.  No, I did not hate them.  I hated the Leafs fans.

Leafs fans are the most uncritical fans in the sports universe.  You could dump a metric tonne of manure at centre ice, throw a Leafs jersey on it, and the assembled fans would cheer for it.  In their multi-thousand-dollar corporate boxes, drinking shitty $20 beers.  And then they’d go buy overpriced manure merch, and wear it on weekends to trips to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Leafs fans, who haven’t had a team that has won a cup since 1967, endlessly complain about how bad their team is.  They kvetch and moan about it.  BUT THEY STILL KEEP PAYING THOUSANDS TO SEE THE LEAFS PLAY.

And that is why the Leafs suck: even when they suck, Leafs fans keep buying tickets.  You don’t see that sort of mass delusional psychosis happening in Montreal or Calgary or Vancouver.  They’d stop coming.  And at that point, team owners would be obliged to – surprise, surprise – put together teams who can win.

And that’s why I detest the Leafs – their fans.  Their fans are the problem.

Oh, and Tim Hudak?  Your resolve won’t hurt you with Toronto Leafs fans.

Deep down in their tiny black hearts, they suspect you are right.



  2. KP says:

    I am a Canucks fan and I endorse this message.

    ..but fuck the Oilers.

  3. Larry says:

    Hey Warren. Some of us were around in the 60’s when the manure at centre ice was in Boston Garden. (Bobby Orr changed all that.) Stanley Cups: Toronto Maple Leafs – 13 Boston Bruins – 6 Stanley Cups.

  4. Al in Cranbrook says:

    You make…perhaps inadvertently…a good case for another team in Hamilton.

    In any event, as a Canuck fan, I’m a tad reluctant to criticize another team.

  5. Michael says:

    I can only imagine what a conservative politician would say about a Liberal who supported a foreign team.

  6. kre8tv says:

    To paraphrase those great Canadian philosophers otherwise known as Sloan: “It’s not the team I hate, it’s the fans…”

  7. Derek Pearce says:

    The GTA could support 2 whole other NHL teams, and we can’t even get another single one. I’d love to see a team in Hamilton and a team in the eastern/Oshawa area. They’d give the Leafs a run for their money– ie drain off fan dollars and then Leafs would be forced to put out a good product.

  8. Kelly says:

    In my view the original six are the only legit teams. Hockey turned into a business with the first NHL expansion in 1967. Before then it was real. Now it’s all phony. Too much padding, too many helmets, goalie masks, curved hockey sticks, advertising everywhere, teams where it hasn’t snowed since 1469.

    • Eric Weiss says:

      Hocky wasn’t a business before 1967? Spare me the good old days BS.

      The original 6 owners were as corrupt as all get out, made millions while treating their players like serfs. Hockey was the most profitable sport in North America while the the owners intimidated their players not to unionize and ripped off their pension fund.

      Read Net Worth, or Gross Misconduct and learn something.

  9. Jon Powers says:

    Wait a minute – don’t you attend Raptor’s games? They’re even more of a joke than the Leafs. Explain. Also, guess who sucks? If you guessed Boston, you’d be right! Although, I would also accept Montreal, Vancouver, The Yankees, and Arsenal. And Liverpool. Oh, and the Senators (the team, and the politicians).

  10. Stew B says:

    For a mement there I thought W.K. was describing Conservative voters, not Leaf fans.

  11. Tiger says:

    I think it’s good to stick with one’s hometown or childhood hockey team.

    Me, I’m from downtown Toronto. I grew up going to games at the Gardens. Was in the building for that terrible Game Seven in ’93 when Gretzky almost single-handed carried his Kings into the finals.

    I’m a Leafs fan, and that’s not changing.


    I do want to see expansion teams in Markham and Hamilton, though. The GTA could support three NHL teams, I think, and lots more people should be able to cheer for a nearby team.

    I’ve never understood the NHL’s business model of depriving fans in the heartland of hockey a team that they’d support through thick and thin, to put teams in parts of North America that simply don’t like hockey (Atlanta, Phoenix, Miami, etc.).

    • Niall says:

      As a Winnipegger I’m no Leafs fan, but when I was living in T.O. in the 80-90’s, I did develop a soft spot for them (pre Air Canada Centre / Corporate multi-Trillionaire ownership group). Indeed, that ’93 defeat to LA is a karmic global injustice that I still can’t quite believe happened: it was also +/- the year the Tragically Hip released “50 Mission Cap”, which would have provided Dougie Gilmour a fitting Cup winning anthem. Sigh.

      As for the present ‘Franchise’: I hope they never win another Cup. Ever.


      Niall from Winnipeg

  12. patrick says:

    You’re a true Canadian Warren, bring up hockey and our rational thoughts go to crap!
    Toronto is the corporate centre of Canada, the Leafs are a write off. This isn’t fandom, this is business. The Leafs make their fortune off corporate welfare. The fans get to a game a year, if lucky, and watch the rest in the bar.
    Florida is empty. Islanders have been empty. Phoenix is empty. Pick every empty stadium with ignore teams. Strange how they don’t just magically turn into winners due to the vacancies. Attendance doesn’t affect competency. Managers either makes good decisions or they don’t and ticket sales have nothing to do with that.
    Money spent: Toronto has spent as much as they can, which, shows how many bad choices have been made.
    And Leaf Fans, yeah, they’re fans and they are the same every where and the worst, typified by a picture of Ford the other day, are also everywhere and claiming they have any special qualities is absurd.
    And Hudak, he really has a knack on being on the wrong side of every issue, doesn’t he.

  13. I used to love Hockey. I grew up in Montreal. Then I moved to Toronto in 1984. The Leafs were worse than bad. It was impossible to get seats to any games. There was just no incentive. Somehow (as impossible as it seems in retrospect) I just stopped watching hockey. I enjoy the occasional game on TV, but it is fair to say that the Leafs, and more to the point Howard Ballard killed the love for hockey in me.

  14. Patricia Morfee says:

    My husband has been a Leafs fan since he was a little boy. When they won in 1964, it was our wedding day, so not only did he win me, he won the Stanley Cup and I won the office pool. And yes, we watched the game on our honeymoon. Even though he may never have such a great day again with the Leafs, he is not about to abandon them. Win or lose, he will enjoy his once yearly visit to a game by way of his son-in-law and criticize when they screw up like one did last night. The more things change the more they stay the same. Anyway, how are those Raptors of yours doing? As for admiring Hudak, me not so much.

  15. Sid says:

    If you live at the Centre of the Hockey Universe, your team can do no harm… lose, yes… but no harm done because…..

  16. Marc L says:

    “You don’t see that sort of mass delusional psychosis happening in Montreal or Calgary or Vancouver. They’d stop coming.”

    No, no, here (in Montreal) they would just have another riot.

  17. Eric Weiss says:

    After last nights game I almost feel sorry for them…..almost.

    Oilers fan…I know, shut up.

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