Toronto Mike

When We Were Diet Coke Heads


The first home team clinching game I recall was when George Bell squeezed the last out to clinch my Blue Jays the AL East in 1985.  It wasn't until that next April, however, that we broke out the Diet Coke.

The Maple Leafs were awful in 1985-86, finishing 25-48-7.  In the Norris Division, that was good enough for fourth and a matchup with the division winning Chicago Black Hawks.

It was only a best-of-three back then in the first round, and somehow, against all odds, the Leafs played superb hockey taking games one and two on the road.  In game three, on April 12, 1986, my brothers and I watched Wendel Clark lead us to the sweep.

It was our first taste of the thrill a playoff series victory brought us, and we instinctively headed to the fridge for something to celebrate with.  I remember we grabbed cans of Diet Coke and began spraying them at each other in celebration.  Our Leafs were victorious and we were elated.

I'll never forget that first Leafs playoff round victory celebration and the Diet Cokes.  I can't wait for tonight.

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