Word of the day: re-build (verb) To replace, restrengthen, or reinforce.
Those who know me know I'm a hockey fan. Those who know me well know I can get pretty passionate about things and tend to rant about those things even when those within ear shot don't know what I'm taking about or, more importantly, don't really care what I have to say.
I grew up a Leafs fan and I was with them through many years of futility. Then, a few seasons ago, I just got fed up. Now I can cheer for a crappy team (Exhibit A: my love of the pretty awful Tampa Bay Lightning) so I don't just walk away when you start to lose. I walk away when you get boring. See, that's because I'm a hockey fan, which means I can enjoy watching pretty much any two teams in the NHL play and enjoy it. The reason I turned away from the Leafs was because they just weren't interesting to watch any more. There weren't any players who actually played well or were really worth watching. Plus, at the time, I really didn't like Mats Sundin or John Ferguson Jr. I decided to stop cheering for the Leafs until both those wankers were gone.
And so began the Great Toronto Maple Leaf Boycott.
Even when both Ferguson and Sundin left the team, I kept up with the boycott, now simply because the team was still boring, just with two fewer "marquee" names. However, this past week, the strangest thing has happened: I'm starting to feel the urge to cheer for the Leafs again. And if not fully cheer them on, then at least watch them. In fact, I plan to watch them tonight. Why, you may ask?
Because they are worth watching again. Two pretty awesome players have landed in Leaf Land this week: Dion Phaneuf and Jean-Sebastien Giguere. I happen to be fans of both these players and I have followed Phaneuf since his junior days and I take him in every hockey pool I participate in, simply because he's Phaneuf. (Just don't get me started on his girlfriend. Ugh.) And Giguere has actually won a Stanley Cup so the Leafs finally have a player on their team who has a Cup ring. The fact that he's a fantastic goaltender doesn't hurt either.
I honestly never thought I'd be here, wanting to watch the Maple Leafs. Now, I'm not crazy; I'm probably the only person in the city who isn't planning the Stanley Cup parade route. But as a hockey fan I'm excited.
Now if only I could afford to see a game at the ACC, things would be even better.