Before you go out and get your ropes so you can string me from the nearest tree, let me say a few things…
I have been a season-ticket holder of the leafs for over 20 years (I spent 7 or 8 years on a waiting list before that). Me and my hard working friends lay out hard earned money for tickets to see these guys, including four mandatory pre-season games.
I only care about one sport (hockey), and one team – the blue and white.
I have only ever worn one number that I can remember — #14 for my boyhood hero, Dave Keon, the last Maple Leaf to win the Conn Smythe trophy (I was Logan Paulsen Jersey 7). He also won the Lady Byng (several times) for being the most sportsmanlike player, and the Calder (rookie). I always loved him because he was small but fleet of foot, and very skilled with his hands. As a small player I had 33% of his qualifications.
Logan Paulsen Authentic Jersey href=”http://bradpoulos.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/1aleafsjersey.jpg”>Logan Paulsen Womens Jersey height=”150″ />So my credentials as a fan should be clear. However I’m Logan Paulsen Youth Jersey tired of the mediocrity. Here in this great city we are blessed with a team steeped in history. Inexplicably, we can’t win, or even really compete, despite having the most valuable hockey franchise for sure and one that may be in the Billion Dollar Club with the big soccer teams in Europe, the Yankees, and a few others (plus I think most NFL teams, due to the TV deal). Forbes says US$505 Million. Whatever.
The point is that the last several times the Leafs did make it to the playoffs, they disappointed, other than kicking Ottawa’s butt from time to time.
The way the economics of the league work, if the Leafs squeak their way into the playoffs they will get something on the order of $2.5 Million from ticket sales ALONE. I suspect that the take from ancillaries is at least another $1 Million on a playoff night. And the Leafs by squeaking into the playoffs guarantee themselves roughly $7 Million and for WHAT? Squeaking into the playoffs after stinking up the season until it was too late?
I know I might sound like a non-believing, turncoated traitor-like something, but I’m not. I’m just not happy about another year of missing the playoffs. This is 7 in a row now. From what I can see, since they started playing in the Gardens 80 years ago, the longest previous drought was TWO years. Even during Logan Paulsen Kids Jersey the hapless Ballard days… TWO! This current streak of misfortune, cursedness or just plain poor management is epic in comparison to previous runs.
Yet the Leafs just climb in value.
I’m tired of lining the owners’ pockets, while they produce no results for those who pay the freight.
I’m not interested in seeing the boys squeak into the playoffs only to deliver the Teachers, Larry, et al, their $7 Mil (minus a few thousand for the players and users). And I’m a strident capitalist. I teach business. But this ain’t capitalism in the true sense, because part of me (not the business professor) says that this isn’t a company — these Toronto Maple Leafs. They are a public trust, that has been abused and mishandled for a long time. And they don’t really compete in the real sense. They have this natural monopoly created by the nutso fans, which, alas, I used to be…
Perhaps the one bright light in all this is that if the Teachers aren’t TOO greedy, there could be a changing of the guard to an ownership group interested in making money AND winning.
One can only hope. Here is my post about the move to try to take the team by the fans.