Our beloved Toronto Maple Leafs secured their first playoff spot in almost a generation and are now embroiled in fight for playoff survival with the overwhelming favourite Washington Capitals. This achievement, by our leafs, together with recent playoff success by our Blue Jays, Raptors and TFC, have put Toronto back on the map as a major sports town. Our TFC made it to the glorious final but failed to bring home the prize. Our raptors lost valiantly to the Cleveland Cavaliers who went on to win the NBA Championship , and our Blue Jays flickered again in last year’s division series dashing any dreams of a return to World Series Champion status.
Hogtown sports fans don’t ask for much. Our City gets excited with a mere appearance in the first round of playoffs, and in true Canadiana fashion, we will give our sports heroes a standing O at their first hint of failure in their respective arenas.
Last week, Toronto sports fans were treated to a Raptors playoff loss but were quickly picked up by the hope of LeafNation as our young buds went into Washington and stole a victory from the more talented and more experienced Caps, and now lead the series 2-1, after yet another brilliant overtime victory. From where I sat during yesterday’s game, I made an interesting observation as three different generations sat glued to a television monitor watching every nail biting moment as our Toronto maple leafs fought for playoff success. Yours truly, caught the final moment as Joe Bowen called out the overtime game winning goal, over the air waves. At that very moment, it felt as if all of LeafNation jumped and roared simultaneously to the call of the goal. I wondered, I did, if Toronto is a sports town or if we are a hockey town? What would this town do if our beloved group of teenagers brought us any sort of success, let alone our first championship in 50 years?
Whatever the outcome, this group of well managed and well trained young lads have done us proud, and by the look of things, they will be thrilling Toronto sports fans for some time to come.
It’s just as well if this bunch doesn’t have a lengthy playoff run, this band of young men couldn’t grow a proper playoff beard anyway. Take your time boys, Toronto sports fans are a patient bunch.
Go Toronto Go!!