With the recent struggles of the Toronto Maple Leafs, many fans are wondering what is happening to this once proud franchise. Leafs’ fans often claim to be the most faithful fans in the sport, and while this may be true, is it really what the team needs? Fans are present at every game; no matter what city the team is playing in there will often be at least on fan in attendance wearing the famous Toronto Maple Leafs logo. Has this unwavering support offered to the team done more harm than good?
Toronto, unlike other major sports cities, has had to put up with years of futility from most of its professional sports franchises. In cities such as Pittsburgh, home of the most recent Stanley Cup champion team, the Pittsburgh penguins, fans can turn to another professional sport if the local NHL team is not living up to expectations. The attendance in home games is often a direct reflection of how the team is performing in most major sports cities. This has not happened with Toronto, as the building is often full to capacity. Fans tend to see their choice in a professional sports team as an investment, as they regularly purchase merchandise and tickets to watch and support their favorite sports franchise. Perhaps the best investment a fan can make towards the Toronto Maple Leafs is an investment towards another professional team.
Think about it, no other city would see their buildings packed on a daily basis when having such a terrible season. Sure players are jeered at for their performances and are often found leaving the ice in a chorus of boos. However, other than the verbal display of displeasure with the team, have the fans put any real pressure been put on the GM to succeed? For fans that have been dubbed as some of the more demanding fans in hockey, aren't we a complacent bunch?
one HOCKEY team for a market of 5 MILLION hockey fans...