Of course, in sports, whether at the professional level or in amateur or youth sports, there can only be one ultimate “winner”, so achieving victory isn’t easy. In fact it’s incredibly difficult to attain that kind of success, and something so elusive to attain is therefore much cherished on the rare occasions when it does finally happen for us as fans and supporters.
Given the lack of playoff success in the past several seasons, some Leaf supporters probably adopt a "second favourite" team come, if the Leafs don’t make it or are eliminated early. (For example, one natural inclination for some might be to cheer for a Canadian team, as a kind of patriotic nod. That's a little tough this season, as all the Canadian-based clubs have been eliminated already...) Others may not watch at all, because they are die-hard Leaf fans and if Toronto doesn’t advance, they figure, who cares?
Still others, in a category all their own, adopt another approach. Their option of choice is simple: cheering vociferously against particular teams that they simply, well, loathe. That strong dislike could be rooted in a number of things- your family history, a certain player you can't stand, a coach, a team's style of play, whatever. For some of us, it doesn't take much.
While it could never be as good as if the Leafs had won (though it felt awfully good back in 1970 when the Habs did not even make the playoffs...), my year was at least partially salvaged if a team I couldn't stand didn’t win it all.
So here is my question for you. Maybe it’s a team you don’t like just this year, or perhaps there is an organization that you have disliked for a long time. Regardless, who do you absolutely not want to see walk away with the Stanley Cup this spring?
Who is the team that, if they lose in the end, well...it it makes your year? I'm guessing for some modern-era Leaf supporters, it might be the Senators. For some folks, maybe...the Canucks?
In any event, let me know your choice. I look forward to hearing from you.