You Should Never Lose Hope In the Toronto Maple Leafs

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 14: Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates after scoring a third-period goal against the Vegas Golden Knights during their game at T-Mobile Arena on February 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Golden Knights 6-3. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 14: Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates after scoring a third-period goal against the Vegas Golden Knights during their game at T-Mobile Arena on February 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Golden Knights 6-3. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Toronto Maple Leafs are one of the most agonizing teams to cheer for, but will you ever lose hope?

If you watched the NFL this past weekend, you may have saw something that would even shock Toronto Maple Leafs fans. With 13 seconds left and a four-point lead, it looked like New York Jets’ winless season was over. Champagne was on ice knowing that the Jets weren’t going to join the 2008 Detroit Lions and 2017 Cleveland Browns as the only teams ever to go 0-16 in an NFL season.

However, in the most New York Jets way ever, the team fell apart. Instead of playing prevent-defense, like any seven-year-old on “Madden 21” would do, the team clicked the wrong button and blitzed.

The all-out attack backfired, as Vegas’ quarterback Derek Carr threw a 46-yard bomb to Henry Ruggs III for the go-ahead touchdown. It was a miracle and exclamation point on one of the worst franchises in professional football.

This loss brought me back to the ups and downs of being a Toronto Maple Leafs fan. Full disclaimer before I continue, but I’m also a New York Jets fan. And no, I’m not seeking any professional help, but I may have to soon.

Don’t Lose Hope in the Toronto Maple Leafs

Within my lifetime, I’ve had the privilege of speaking to thousands of Leafs fans and the word “hope” comes up in almost every encounter.

I “hope” we trade ‘X Player’.

I “hope” we beat ‘X Team’.

I “hope” we finish last in the NHL, win the NHL Draft Lottery, draft Auston Matthews and make the playoffs next year.

With so much “hope” in the air, sports is essentially a religion for many people. When you’re a fan of a team and things are good, it’s euphoric. When the Toronto Maple Leafs stormed back and defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 in overtime last Qualifying Series, that felt like an out of body experience. However, when the opposite happened and Toronto lost 5-4 in overtime to the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the 2013 Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals, you could find me in a dark room drinking whisky starring at a blank screen for the next few hours.

It’s crazy what a sports team can do and the emotional rollercoaster it takes us on. But when is enough, enough? There are plenty of people who have just stopped watching all together. The Toronto Maple Leafs were upsetting them too much that they decided it wasn’t worth it anymore.

I’m sure their doctors were happy about that decision.

So if you’re still reading and scrolling through this website daily, why haven’t you given up yet like many others who have? Why put up with the agony of thinking this team will do something?

It’s been 53 years since a Stanley Cup and 16 seasons since a playoff win. If you’ve been along for the entire journey, that’s a long time of of waiting and wishing.

It’s OK to give up, but here’s the reason why you won’t: Hope.

It may be delusion, but I keep fantasizing about the buzz of the city when the Toronto Maple Leafs go on a long playoff-run and that hope keeps me alive. After experiencing the excitement around the Toronto Raptors winning an NBA Championship, I can’t even imagine what would happen if the Leafs replicated it.

Next. Leafs Should Trade Mitch Marner. dark

Don’t give up, now. If you survived Harold Ballard Years, the Tuukka Rask Trade and/or the Peter  Horachek season, you can survive anything. It’s going to be nothing but sunshine and rainbows moving forward for this franchise. Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but I promise you, playoff success is around the corner.

Let’s hope I’m right.