This post is overdue by 24 hours but I thought Martin's article at the Tampa Tribune was still appropriate to mention it... Just for laughs, just for smiles... Just for nodding in agreement:
I've never understood Leafs mystique. Forget the Red Sox and even the Cubs. The Maple Leafs are the most overrated, overhyped, overwrought "elite" franchise in sports.
They're treated like royalty, but the emperors have no clothes. They're Yankees aura with Cubs success. They're Leafy vegetables at crunch time.
Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk, a former Leaf, was 4.
The Canadiens have won the Cup 10 times since 1967.
And the Lightning have won it once.
Why, the Leafs haven't even made the finals since 1967, remarkably pathetic for a franchise -- and city -- that acts like the center of the hockey universe. Just imagine the revulsion when those scuttling crabs from Tampa hoisted the Stanley Cup.
Teams from Florida, Texas and California and North Carolina have made the finals. The Mighty Ducks are mightier at making the finals than the Leafs. Toronto fans recently have been reduced to dancing in the streets when the boys beat Ottawa in a conference quarterfinal.
The center of the hockey universe?
And I bet the backlash for this article in Toronto has been thus: Bashing southern hockey fans and Fennelly himself as not knowing anything about hockey -- we're rubes, dontcha know? -- and how we're pathetic, ignorant, pompous even though we've only won the Cup once and how the Leafs have the history and the heritage that the Lightning could only pray for and la-de-da, blow-it-out-your-ass, blame-the-other-guy stuff that looks past where the focus of the argument is supposed to be: on the Maple Leafs and their fans themselves.
Fennelly mentioned the Sox but Red Sox Nation is a loyal bunch that always prided themselves in late-season futility. The only team they were arrogant against were there constant nemisis and rival, the Yankees.
The Leafs? Everyone is game! No one is as great as Toronto will ever be!
Oh, and by the way... I do not quite forget the 2003-04 playoffs where Toronto media ignorantly talked about the conference finals being a cake walk for whoever came out of the Toronto/Philadelphia playoff series.