Even mildly attentive readers will know I am a fan of certain sports teams. I can't stand NFL or NBA but I love the AL's Red Sox, EPL's Arsenal, SFA's Morton and, perhaps most personal of my loves, the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League. I loved them since I bought hockey cards in 1969 when I was six during my suburban years from birth to seven on Queenston Drive, Mississauga. I carried the 1969-70 O-Pee-Chee Pat Quinn in my wallet (it was a trader) until undergrad and still have and still buy cards from that series. Tim Hortons is a tie to my childhood love of the player cruelly traded to Buffalo when I was around grade one. In my way, I love Bill Root.
But let's be clear. I do not love them because they are good - that's for Habs fans and Colorado fans and New Jersey...do they have fans? Or because they are well managed or well coached. Or because they have great players. I certainly do not love them because Hockey Night in Canada's twisted version of sports reporting seems to require you to love them. I love them beacuse I do, like a person who shells out a thousand dollars to give a dying cat dialysis. So when Nieuwendyk joins the Leafs I am happy and when Dougie packs it in I am sad.