I’m a Toronto boy. We love us some hockey ’round here, but our team never qualifies for the postseason. That’s a different topic for another day. This post is about Leafs fan playoff etiquette — what is proper postseason fan protocol when the Leafs don’t make the Stanley Cup playoffs?
There are varying styles — ways in which Leafs fans conduct themselves while hockey’s best tournament unfolds. Here are the three types I’ve noticed:
1. He who bleeds blue & white.
This Leafs fan doesn’t care what’s happening in the playoffs. He doesn’t watch. He has no idea who won what series, either. This Leafs fan has given his undivided attention to the Blue Jays and the Toronto Raptors. His hockey watching season is over.
2. The band-wagon rider.
I met a fan like this at a bar last week, the night Jonathan Toews scored the game-winner in Game 5 against the St. Louis Blues. It was a small bar. When Toews scored, this fan went bonkers. He screamed in elation; he cursed at the Blues through the bar’s TV screen. He even jumped he was so happy.
Through a mutual friend I entered into conversation with this fan not so long after his over-the-top celebration, and the topic turned Leafs-bound. I was shocked to learn this person considered himself a die-hard Leafs fan.
“Did you bet on Chicago tonight?” I asked.
He said, “no.”
This so-called Leafs fan has wholeheartedly decided to cheer for the team that is most likely to win the Stanley Cup this year — last year’s champion. He who bleeds blue and white despises this band-wagon jumping fella.
3. The Watcher.
This is a fan who loves the Stanley Cup playoffs, even when the Leafs haven’t qualified, which is always. He watches intently, but he doesn’t really care who wins — he enjoys the game of hockey, that’s all.
This guy (or gal) may lean one-way or the other in each series, but he’s not emotionally invested. He’s not in it to win it, he’s just wants to enjoy the journey.
I believe the watcher is the most common type among Leafs fans, but I’m not sure.
Which type of Leafs fan are you?