Every sports fan thinks they know what they’re talking about. I’m one of them, except I’m right. No one can stand the guy who just makes absolutely no sense.
A caller into the Leafs post-game show a couple of years ago always sticks with me: “The Leafs should trade Travis Green to Boston for Marc Savard.” Andy Frost was incredulous. So was I.
If I don’t know much about a subject, I won’t speak on it. Not everyone is a scientist, so people don’t generally comment on scientific issues. They leave that to the scientists. But almost everyone has played sports. And therein lies the problem.
And now back to me complaining about my teams. It’s been a slow week, with the brutal NHL all-star game, no baseball of course, and the NFL taking its too long, two week break.
The Jays did make a big splash in free-agency, however. They signed OF Jason Lane and INF Brandon Fahey. This is just for organizational depth of course, but it’s depressing. Jason Lane could end up having the biggest impact of any free-agent signing for the Jays. Absurd.
That’s it for me this week. I know, you wanted to hear more. I get that. Maybe next week.
There mare many factors that contribute to a team being shi**y. First of all, they might not even be sh*t in terms of their record or their place in the standings. For instance, the Blue Jays have had winning records over the last few years, but they’re still so far out of contention that they are deemed to be (by me) sh*t. Or at the very least mediocre.
The Jays problem has to do with both the front office/ownership and the division they play in. Now, that’s very convenient for the GM. All he has to say is that we play in a tough division and that’s why we don’t win. And he is right, to an extent.
However, there are ways to make it work. We’ve seen it time and time again. Small market team defies the odds and wins division, beating out teams with much larger payrolls. It doesn’t happen often, but it happens. And the Jays have to figure out a way to make it happen. That might mean shaking up the front office and bringing in someone who can.
The case of why the Leafs are bad is much more complicated, and quite frankly, I don’t want to explain everything about it. But consider this: People always complain about Leafs ownership not wanting to win. They sell out every game, so why do they need to win the Cup? I’m not sure if people are thinking clearly on this one. To me that’s just an excuse and it’s not the real reason.
The real reason is ineptitude. Poor drafting. The trading away of picks, etc. You make more money as a franchise if you make the playoffs and win the Stanley Cup. The business people who run these teams have succeeded enormously in their earlier ventures and that’s why they’re in the positions that they’re in.
That doesn’t mean they know hockey, but that also means that they’re probably trying in earnest to win. Because winning equals money, and who likes making money more than these people?
In short, the Leafs have been sh*t because of mismanagement by the front office. Not enough “hockey people” running the show.
The same sort of problem exists with the Buffalo Bills. I love the Bills in a different way than I love the Jays and Leafs. Maybe it’s because I’m a bit of an outsider. I’m not from Buffalo so maybe I have to like them that much more to fit in.
Whatever the case may be, I may not be from Western New York, but I share the same anxieties and frustrations over the lack of direction for the franchise as any native son. 20 years ago, the Bills were in great shape. They were in the process of going to four straight Super Bowls. They didn’t win, but they were there. That’s almost enough. As long as you’re getting there, people can deal with the losses.
But over the last ten years, I’m starting to see a pattern. And I’m scared. I don’t like it. I’ve been thinking that it reminds me a lot of the Leafs. They haven’t even played for the Cup since ’67 when they won it. The Bills haven’t made the playoffs in 9 years. During that span, only seven teams hadn’t played in a conference championship game. That’s parity in the NFL for you, except I don’t think anyone has told the Bills.
As far as the Warriors go, it’s a not much of an issue for me right now. I’ve watched less of the NBA this year than I ever have. I don’t really know why. I’ll tell you one thing I hate about it: You can trade a guy for salary cap purposes, then the other team waives him, and then a few weeks later he’s suddenly back on his original team.
That’s it for me this week. I’m done.
This is my first post, so I’m going to tell you a little about my favourite sports teams. Baseball is number one for me, but unfortunately now is a not a very exciting time to be a fan of the Toronto Blue Jays. I’ll talk more about them later on.
Second comes football, and being from Southern Ontario, my allegiance is to the Buffalo Bills. They’ve long been the butt of jokes for those four straight Super Bowl losses. (Has anyone else won their conference four years in a row? Don’t think so.)
But that was a long time ago, and people has almost forgotten about that, and are not talking about the fact that it’s been nine years since they made the playoffs. So again, frustration.
Now it’s on to the Toronto Maple Leafs. You know what? I’m of the belief that in most every circumstance, there shouldn’t be a reason for anyone not to like their hometown teams. If you’re from Boston, you ought to like the Red Sox, but in some cases, it could go either way. If you’re from Hamilton, I could see why you like the Buffalo Sabres and not the Leafs. That makes sense.
Anyway, I was talking about those Leafs. You know what though? I don’t feel like it anymore. Just know that it the next ten years, they’ll be a new banner hanging from the rafters at the ACC. You heard it here first. If anyone’s reading that is…
Speaking on the point of the hometown teams…Here’s a great example. The Toronto Raptors did not exist before 1995. In that case, it’s okay for me to follow a different team. And that’s what I did. I loved the Michael Jordan led Chicago Bulls.
Jordan was the most exciting player to watch in just about any sport in my opinion. Notice basketball ranks fourth among my favourite sports, and yet and i can’t think of another individual I’d rather watch do their thing than MJ.
When Jordan retired, I started following (with mild interest) those Raptors. But since I hadn’t grown up with the experience of having a hometown basketball team, I switched. Again.
This time, I chose the high scoring, high flying Golden State Warriors. There’s something about California teams, especially from the Oakland area, that I can’t help but love. (The A’s are great, too)
So there we have it. Four teams. Not one of them in a good position to win right now.
Only one of those teams have even won a championship in the last 15 years. (The Blue Jays won back-to-back titles in ’92 & ’93. Yah!)
So what am I doing? I was talking to my buddy the other day. He lives in Vancouver, so he’s a bit out of touch with what’s going on with the Jays. Every year, we say to each other, “Wild Card!” The Jays will do something this year. But it never happens.
He told me he’s thinking about abandoning the Jays if they don’t do something. A bold statement. He’s willing to walk away. He won’t, but you don’t say something like that unless you’ve had it with your team.
This is Toronto sports right now. And in my case, Buffalo sports too. It’s a sad state of affairs and I don’t know when I’ll ever enjoy my teams success’ ever again. It’s that bleak. I can’t even picture the Jays or Bills ever being good again! How sad is that?
Anyway, next time I’ll be going more in-depth on what is really wrong with these teams, and maybe think of ways to feel better and more optimistic about them.