I’ve never been a fan of roller coasters, so my loyalty to the Toronto Maple Leafs NHL hockey team is a bit of a mystery, even to me. Ever since I could remember, I have been a fan and I know I always will be. This loyalty has been a source of stress and frustration, as this team has not won in my lifetime and they have found so many different ways to fall short of their ultimate goal: the quest for Lord Stanley’s Cup.
I have been witness to Leafs teams that get off to amazing starts, which then have mid- to late-season collapses, as well as teams with abysmal starts, with late runs that come oh-so-close. It has been hard, being the one driving the band wagon and watching people jump on and off constantly. Worse still is witnessing people who jump off for good – my grandfather for one – a person who actually was alive when the Leafs won the cup.
This season has been a great example of the Leafs’ baffling play: going on winning streaks, followed by losing streaks; beating the best of teams, then losing to the worst. They have been consistently inconsistent, sometimes beating those teams they should and losing to teams many consider to be superior. I guess that’s what is so exciting about watching the Leafs: you never know what team will show up. That ray of hope: knowing that they can beat anyone, but the awareness that no win is a sure thing.
My hope is that someday my loyalty will be rewarded and I will be able to say “I told you so” to all the naysayers. Until that day comes, I will remain optimistic and keep cheering. Although, when my wife asks why, I still have no logical explanation.
This post originally appeared on Carin Harris’ blog Eclectic Soapbox. Her husband Paul Harris wrote this post.