Obsession VI: The Toronto Maple Leafs

My obsession with the Toronto Maple Leafs started late, when I was maybe eight, a few years after they had won the Stanley Cup in 1967. I don’t know how it started. I don’t remember a specific moment. I just remember watching the games on Saturday night and listening to them on my pocket radio in bed; the games in California were like magic, crackling from a distant and late-night land. I clipped a lot of newspapers pictures and stories…Ullman, Esposito, Ellis, Pelyk & PlanteIMAG2650 collected memorabilia…IMAG2647IMAG2655 and met half the team when I was in the hospital before one Christmas. IMAG2658I even sent a set of suggested uniform re-designs to the organization in 1978 to help get the team out of a slump. IMAG2659Leafs owner Harold Ballard replied with the most thoughtful rejection letter I have ever received. IMAG2660I have been to many games in many cities – Boston, Miami, Minneapolis, Montreal, Newark, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Uniondale, Vancouver and Toronto.Leaf ticketsThe best might have been this past Saturday in Boston where I was privileged to be above the net and witness Phil Kessel score on a breakaway to open the third. kessel Break 2A friend of my brother’s, not a sports fan, quipped that he didn’t know why anyone intelligent watched sports. “It’s just divisive, like nationalism or religion.” And while I understand his point, I think he’s missing something elemental. Prudential There might be no logic in obsessing over a collection of skaters wearing blue and white uniforms, but it isn’t just that. It’s the faith that they will win, enduring the wait and anticipating when the cup comes back….this year and the next. roster615jan18 It’s a simple thing really, just three words: Go Leafs Go. Said a few times and again.

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