Oh, the wonder of Toronto Maple Leafs' fans cheering against our once beloved team. It's a sad but necessary process which strips the energy and magic from cheering on the Buds.
Delusional as it is, most of Leaf Nation just pushed aside the terrible management decisions and held on to our lucky charms while praying to god - who is known as Mats Sundin for the Blue and White amigos.
In the past week, however, I've had several friends tell me that they are having an extremely hard time rooting for the Leafs. Many of them have even taken the neon lit exit from the fairy tale land known as Leafs Nation.
It's news like this that saddens me even more than our less than mediocre Leafs team. As fans, we must endure the highs and lows all while looking ahead. What constitutes a fan is -- and most importantly -- loyalty. When a team is down and begging for mercy, it’s a difficult thing to go through. But if you ask me, it is completely necessary.
Every team will go through the muck, and then back up again for a breath of fresh air, but sometimes, just sometimes, the muck can get thick…real thick. Some of us walk away, ripping the roots of a once cherished team to smithereens. Others, ride through the rough patches waiting for better days. Those "others" are called fans... true fans.
This recent Leafs slump, which is about as big as Cloverfield (awesome movie!), has been 40 years in the making. Instead of learning from mistakes and building from them -- making ourselves stronger -- the Leafs have been chasing their tale in circles, bringing the mass of Leafs fan with them.
With that said, I want to remind all my Blue and White amigos that there are better days ahead, and although it is extremely disheartening to cheer against a team that we put so high up on our pedestals, it is necessary to experience the reward of being a fan.
One day, when the Leafs finally do grasp the holy mug of Stanley, we will look back on the adversity and feel the pride and accomplishment that the Stanley Cup is based on.