The Audacity of Hope (With apologies to Barak Obama)
“What team should I cheer for daddy”?
“You should cheer for the Toronto Maple Leafs son.”
“Because they are the closest team to us”.
That’s how it started, and remains to this day. My dad caused this lifelong pain. It’s his fault!
It’s not that I never experienced the joy of winning. I was 12 when the Leafs last won the Stanley Cup in 1967. Oh, the joy. The elation. I can name most of the players on that team still today. That is how winning a major title impacts your life. It is euphoric and addicting.
I have tried not to be a fan – but I keep getting drawn back into the abyss. I have the audacity to hope – maybe next year will be different, I tell myself – knowing full well that I have to hope for the best, yet expect the worst.
And then the Blue Jays came along.
They were a new franchise and went through some early growing pains. But soon after, they became a brief powerhouse – and earned my undying love.
1992 and 1993 World Champions. One of the last memories I shared with my dad before he passed.
Since then? Turmoil. Hope. Despair. Hope again. More despair. On and on the cycle continues.
Yesterday’s implosion was yet another example of major Toronto Sports teams caving under the pressure of expectations. Big names coming up short at the most critical times. While “lesser” players from opponent’s teams coming through in the biggest moments. The Raptors being a one year exception.
Toronto fans are considered obnoxious in most of the country. I ask for some compassion in this very difficult time. We are all expecting to lose. It is just that we must put on a brave face in front of the rest of you, to counter all the negativity thrown toward those of us that dare to hope.
The Audacity of Hope indeed.
There is always next year!!