The Ridiculousness of the Toronto Media Over A Change in Routine
After seeing the Leafs come away with a bounce-back victory over the Bolts, I was happy that the team had turned the corner quickly. After all, this was the same team that was outscored 15-4 against Buffalo and Nashville in two games, and they were heavily criticized for everything from leadership to compete level.
Waking up Friday morning, I turned on the TV excited to see the highlights once again and expecting to hear all the positives of the game. Would it be about JVR's big night, Panik playing well against his former mates, or the balanced depth shown in the game?
Nope, I got the exact opposite of that.
What I ended up with was a remark by Craig Button about how the Leafs acted after the win. Instead of the usual salute to the crowd, the Leafs simply skated off the ice and celebrated with a few fist pumps. Now, I don't really care about this, but it was blown WAY out of proportion by the Toronto media going on tantrums on how it is "so disrespectful" and "they were snubbing the fans."
As the day went by, I kept finding more useless articles online about the incident, everywhere from Bleacher Report to CBS Sports. All that I saw was "disrespectful," "snubbing," "strip Phaneuf of captaincy cause it's his fault," "fans deserve bett...
Look, I'm a Leaf fan, and all I care about is wins. Preferably a lot of them. So if the players decide that it is ok to change things up a bit, I am fine with that. In all honesty, I think that the salute to the crowd seems gimmicky and forced. Sure, it's the fans last opportunity to capture a picture of the team or give reason to cheer, but not everyone watching the game gets to see it. Some leave the arena, others turn off their TV. And the ones that are still there, do they really care if the Leafs don't salute them? Hell no!
Yet, the few that were offended by it gave the so called "reporters" something negative to discuss about the Leafs. No story on JVR's performance, no story on Franson's point streak. Just countless stupidity on a story so few fans truly care about.
The players themselves admitted that it was just a simply change in routine. Phaneuf said "It was not an attack on the fans, it was just a change in routine. [...] All I want our fans to know is that we want to win games for them." Heck, even Lupul was pulled into this mess. But he came out strong with a great response: "Did any fans leave unhappy because they didn’t get a salute or is it just you guys who are upset?" Yea Lupul, I asked myself the same question after too many post read.
To better understand what I am saying, here are just a few examples of how little sense some of these writers were in terms of the lack of a salute:
Dave Lozo: At some point following a seven-goal loss, players were taking stock of the situation. They were thinking about what they could do better individually or as a team. They questioned their own effort and execution. They wanted to find a way to avoid this type of embarrassment in the future. During that pivotal time, someone in the locker room said, "One thing we should stop doing is saluting the fans after wins."No one in the room—at least no one in the leadership group—said, "Shut up, you idiot. All that's going to do is upset people, and it's not going to help us win." Another possibility is someone in the leadership group, perhaps Phaneuf, was the catalyst.
Steve Simmons: If it was planned, the Leafs failure to salute fans last night was more ignorant than disrespectful. Like adding gasoline to a fire[...] If the Leafs needed a reason to strip Dion Phaneuf of his captaincy, they have one now.
Michael Grange: For a brief moment there was some hope that everyone involved with the Toronto Maple Leafs latest self-made debacle – which is to say, the Leafs players who cooked up their petulant plan to forgo their traditional post-game fan salute – would come to their senses and do what thinking people do when they realize in the cold light of day what they did in the heat of the night was dumb. Or ill-considered. Poorly thought out. A petty gesture carried out without proper consideration of the message or the consequences of the message.
I could bore you to death with this nonsense, but it is not worth it. This isn't even the point of the article.The point, in reality, is that there is a reason why the some of the players in Toronto hate talking to the media. Because every little thing that comes out of their mouth, or every little thing that they do, gets scrutinized and pin-pointed as a flaw in the player and this organization.
That just isn't fair to the players and the fans that have to deal with this day after day. It is also unfair to the Leaf writers and bloggers that put time into their works and write about stuff that actually relates to the team. Like earlier, I read a post about how the less ice time for Kessel, Bozak, and JVR is actually a good thing. THAT is what I want to read about after a game, not what the Leafs did not do immediately after the game.
In all honesty, I don't give a care for what the Leafs do. Just as long as they win, I am all good. Unfortunately, Toronto is a crazy hockey market and the fine line between comedy and tragedy always follow suit with the daily news that is distributed to the masses.
There's a reason why it is so hard for free agents to sign here. Or why it is easy to see why nearly every team likes to put their best effort when playing in Toronto. It is partly because of the ridiculous media that shoots out anything and everything about their hometown Leafs, whether it is good or bad.
And since this will never go away, we are forever trapped in the circle of Leafs hell. The demanding and short patience fans, the long drought from glory, the management that has made questionable moves, and the media tat is there to take it all in and distribute it in their own way.
Now that my rant is done, take a look at one of my favorites from the day: