Guide Hope and Heartbreak in Toronto: Life as a Maple Leafs Fan

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Average rating: 0 out of 5 stars, based on 0 reviews Write a review. Walmart Tell us if something is incorrect. Book Format: Choose an option. Add to Cart. Product Highlights Being a Toronto Maple Leafs fan requires a leap of faith every year, girding against inevitable disappointment. About This Item We aim to show you accurate product information.


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Specifications Publisher Dundurn Group. Customer Reviews. Write a review. See any care plans, options and policies that may be associated with this product. Email address. So when the Leafs drew the Bruins as a first-round opponent during the final game of the regular season, I broached the topic with him gingerly.

He has no fear, only faith. Boundless optimism. And joy at the chance to be watching playoff hockey in Toronto again, too rare an experience in the past decade and a half, but promising to be a reality this year again and possibly for some years to come. I love this city during Leaf playoff runs.

Because I love the team, yes — in general as a lifelong fan and in particular in my nightly awe watching Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander. I love the games, of course. The endless overtimes.

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The grudges and narratives that emerge from best-of-seven series. The intensity of the immersion for a few hours at a time, offering a roller-coaster of emotion and adrenaline and amazement at how alternately beautiful and brutal a game played on ice can be when it is played with the level of artistry and determination required to make it in this league.

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A pass can take your breath away. A goal can bring tears to your eyes. A save, it feels sometimes, can almost stop your heart. With the greatest trophy in professional sports on the line. But I also love the city itself when the Leafs put together a deep run.

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The experience of collective hope and celebration that takes over and sweeps us up. I can remember the city painted blue and white, people waving tinfoil Stanley Cups from the tops of lamp posts, makeshift parades spilling out onto the road. We watch this thing together. At the Air Canada Centre, a few of us. But also in living rooms, in bars, standing at convenience store counters staring at black-and-white TVs, on giant screens set up in office tower lobbies, huddled around computer monitors in cubicle farms. And in the streets at Maple Leaf Square. Across the city, Leafs fans watch together, whispering the same prayers, gasping at the same hits, screaming after the same goals.

Dreaming the same dream, trying to will it into reality. One of the great joys of sports fandom is belonging to a group of people watching together as stories unfold in real time — and participating together in them in some small way. That we have four professional teams playing better than expected at the same time is one of the surprising joys of this bitterly cold spring. It would be nice to get used to this. A different kind of fandom story, one that sometimes offers the prospect of a happy ending.