I was speaking with a co-worker the other day about the current state of our Leafs and how our interest relates to them.
We came to the same conclusion; We are completely apathetic towards our team. Neither ups or downs really affect us all that much. Let me explain.
As a fan, I am ecstatic when my team wins. A few years ago, the highlight of my day was when the 3rd period ticked down to 0:00 and the Leafs had more goals than their opposition. Everything that happened that day ceased to matter. The Leafs winning was the apex. That's how much I cared.
Conversely, despite how great my day had gone, if the Leafs lost, it all went out the window. From 2005-2008, a Leaf loss meant I was depressed. It was a affirmation of just how terrible the team had become and how little hope there was of it getting any better. From 98-2004 I was furious after a loss. The Leafs we're a powerhouse for most of those years and no one had any business beating them in a game of hockey.
Thus was my life as a Leaf fan. The highs we're high and the lows we're low. My friend concurred the same.
I am now completely indifferent. My emotions conflict with each event involving the Leafs. I want a good draft. I would love to have Tavares. So, part of me wants them to lose. Yet, as a lifelong fan, I can't be content with a loss. That's the source of my inner conflict and the resulting apathy.
When the Leafs get embarrased by Nashville. A good part of me is furious. Yet I receive much solace in knowing that the loss has helped contribute towards a better draft pick. Every game they lose, the better the odds. Yet I'm angry. Angry they didn't win.
Then Carolina comes to town. My Leafs take a 4 goal lead. I'm happy, cheering, and elated at the thorough embarrassment they are dishing out. Angry, that they are going to move 2 points farther from Tavares. Then Carolina erases the 4 goal lead in less than 10 minutes and I'm furious again. Furious that they could blow such a sure win. Then Tavares enters my mind. Awesome! But wait, Cam Ward lets an easy puck through, and suddenly I'm happy (angry?) again.
And thus it goes back and forth. Happy for a loss; Angry at a loss. Happy for a win; Angry for a win. Ultimately it all comes out a wash. So what can a torn Leaf fan do?
At this point, I'm just hoping to be entertained with a Leafs loss. I want to see the team play a great game, get a 2-0 lead, then lose 3-2 but be the better team.
Is it possible every game? Not likely. But I can hope.
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