Damien Cox, Why Don't You Just Say It?

newspaper"Praise for a trailblazer" is the title of today's column by Damien Cox in The Toronto Star. I'd link to the article, but that damn Star URI has so many ampersands I'd have to edit, I couldn't be bothered. I'm boycotting links to thestar.com until they clean up their URI structure. "Praise for a trailblazer" is a nice little piece about Mats Sundin in which he asks a question we all know the answer to.

Getting his just due has been heavy sledding for Mats Sundin. Don't know why that is, exactly. Don't know why Doug Gilmour and Wendel Clark were both far more celebrated as Maple Leaf captains, or why fans saved their affections for Curtis Joseph and Tie Domi but seemed to always withhold them from Sundin.

Does Damien Cox expect us to believe for one second that he doesn't know why Leaf fans were quicker to embrace Gilmour, Clark, Joseph and Domi? You're thinking it, I'm thinking it and Cox was thinking it. Gilmour, Clark, Joseph and Domi are all Canadians, born and raised in Canada. Mats Sundin was born and raised in Sweden. For better or worse, Toronto Maple Leaf fans prefer the home grown talent, the native son eligible to suit up for Canada in an Olympic games or World Cup. It's widespread preference for ones own, not based on colour or creed but an undeniable allegiance to the Maple Leaf, both blue and red.

I own both a Gilmour #93 and a Bill Barilko #5. My brother Ryan owns a Clark #17 and a Bryan McCabe #24 and my brother Steve owns a Tucker #16. All five are Canadian born players who played or play for the Leafs. We've never seriously considered owning a Sundin #13, a Mogilny #89 or a Tomas Kaberle #15. If Sundin was Matt Sutton from Moose Jaw you can bet in a heartbeat one of us would own his #13.

Heck, if Sundin were a bonafide Canuck, he'd have owned this city long ago. You know it, I know it and Damien Cox knows it. He'd just prefer to wonder why.

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That was perhaps one of his more inteligent articles, though. I read some of his material, a lot of it gets filtered through this blog, and still more of it gets mentioned on at least one radio station. And this one, surprisingly, is the least likely to make him look like he's completely clueless. And hey, he's not bashing the Leafs this time... just the fans.

October 17, 2006 @ 9:14 PM

Mike Boon

Cox is hit and miss. I often agree with him, and I agree with this article about Sundin.

What irks me is that pretend "I wonder why" he puts on as he dances around the obvious without the guts to put it in black and white. If Sundin were born in Kingston he'd be our Messier... except ringless. :-(

October 18, 2006 @ 9:29 AM


That's what ticks a lot of people off, though. Whether or not you agree with him, it's the way he comes across. Of course, the fact regardless to how good or bad the team's doing on a particular night, week or month you can always count on him to jump all over the negative points within an hour doesn't help either. Some of his articles, though, I have to wonder which Leafs he's watching....

October 18, 2006 @ 11:18 AM


I agree with u on that one, seems like an unecessary question in itself. I got into hockey at the wrong end of Doug Gilmour's career but I admire him about as much as u do. I think it is obvious that one would admire & adore their sportsmen more if they were from the same country (and even more if they were from the same province or state and further more if the same city.
Just one question though, Montreal seems to love their Saku Koivu!

October 20, 2006 @ 10:29 AM

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