The Other Thursday Night Massacre

This Thursday we get to look forward to Sarah Palin debating Joe Biden (perhaps you missed her interview with Katie Couric?).

But what about next Thursday? Ahh, next Thursday my Toronto Maple Leafs play the Detroit Red Wings. The good news is that expatriate me will get to see the Leafs on TV. The bad news? Let’s let Sports Illustrated’s Scott Wraight explain:

The mighty get mightier. That was the sentiment around the league after the Red Wings snagged Marian Hossa in free agency. Sometimes things just aren’t fair. According to the Edmonton Journal, coach Mike Babcock told Hossa “see you soon” during the ceremonial handshake at the end of last season’s Cup Final. Veteran Chris Chelios also reportedly called Hoss to convince him to come to Motown for more than just a chance to win a title. I won’t be surprised one bit if the Wings end up winning back-to-back Cups.

(Wraight rates the Wings number 1 in his “power rankings”)

Webster’s defines “agony” as extreme and generally prolonged pain. Leafs fans would classify agony as no postseason appearances since 2003-04 and no Cup since 1967. That won’t change as management takes the long-term approach. “If you asked us if you were to pay for a Stanley Cup team this year, but you were to be lousy for the next five years, would you do it? The answer from the ownership point of view, absolutely not,” co-owner Larry Tanenbaum told the Toronto Star. Is that really how Leafs fans feel?

(Wraight rates the Wings number 30 — that’s dead last — in his “power rankings”)

So … who d’ya think’s gonna fare worse?

Demented Leafs Fan Paints a Plate

There’s some sort of environmental debilitation that results from growing up in Toronto as a hockey fan. It’s an affliction characterized by a hopeless yearning for a team that is, at best, mediocre, and destined never to win the Stanley Cup—and thus destined always to break your heart.

This used to be a common affliction in Boston before the Red Sox won the World Series. Now only Chicago Cubs fans suffer from it.

In Toronto, where hockey’s spiritual gravity is equal to football + baseball + basketball, this means rooting for the Toronto Maple Leafs, despite their 40-year Stanley Cup drought. Who can explain this passion? It’s certainly not rational. I mean, honestly? who puts Maple Leafs license plate frames on their car?

So, when I decorated a plate at work a couple weeks ago, there was really only one design decision to make: blue maple leaf on white, or white on blue?