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Very few cities in North America can boast they are home to multiple major league sports: hockey, baseball, basketball, football and soccer. Toronto can. Unlike other major metropolitan cities, however, Toronto does not enjoy a long and illustrious record of producing winners. Time has not been kind to the Leafs. In the last 40 years they have never made the finals of the Stanley Cup playoffs, never mind won the coveted Stanley Cup. The blame for the failure during the first 22-23 years could be laid solidly on the shoulders Harold Ballard, but the shame has been inherited by the subsequent owners of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, including the current ownership team.
MLSEL cannot be blamed for not spending money on players, because since Ballard passed on to the great penalty box in the sky, they have. Unfortunately, the money was spent on the right players at the wrong time in their careers, either through mismanagement, not caring, and at times just being revenue-driven without a commitment to quality and success. It seems MLSEL thought that they could appease fans by bringing in former super-stars in the twilight of their careers when they couldn't deliver what they might have been able to deliver five years earlier. They thought that would satisfy us. They thought that would pacify and take the edge off us.
Toronto, A World Class Sports Town?
You and I, the real fans, have the power to influence MLSEL. I know you might not think so, but we do and, together, we’ll explore the ways that we can take definitive steps toward redirecting MLSEL toward operating a successful, contending franchise. See our Mission. Toronto may have had success with the Blue Jays and are gaining respectability with the Raptors and have taken the MLS by storm with Toronto FC, but Toronto remains Leafs Nation. They are the cornerstone of the sports community, the foundation upon which all others are built. But a 40-year long drought since its last championship is not exactly something Toronto Maple Leafs can boast about.
That attitude showed an incredible disrespect for fans. They smugly believed they could appease us with big names, but not big returns. Sorry, but that's offensive. We fans like to think we're smarter than that and deserve better than that. After all, we are the ones who supplied the cash, the ones who remained loyal to a fault, the ones who fed the big Blue and White cash machine... but
guess what? We are as much to blame as MLSE or Ballard or anyone else you
can think of. We let them mollify us. We let them appease us. We even
rewarded them for it. We essentially told them we were content watching
our beloved team wallow in mediocrity for the last 40 years and set
records every year for television viewership, attendance and merchandise
sales. We bought the tickets, the jerseys, the hats, mugs, golf-balls and
jackets, the tee-shirts, the stuffed animals, the banners and flags.And we listened on
radio and took our business to their sponsors. How could we have been such fools? We
had the power to direct and influence them and instead we let them direct and influence us.
That ends now!
Oh, the shame of it all, it’s been
since the Toronto Maple Leafs last won the Stanley Cup on May 02, 1967. Boycotting the home opener would be a real eye opener for MLSE, one that would not be easily forgotten. It's been said that "The longest journey begins with the first step;" well this is that First Step
of a Two Step program!