Toronto Maple Leafs
I remember when we drafted Nazem Kadri. It was a time when we actually got to draft in the first round. It's amazing how excited you can get about a first round selection...
I remember his NHL debut. Actually, it's his only NHL game. He was an emergency call-up against the Sharks and we all expected he'd make the team out of training camp this year. At least I did. Instead, he was sent to the Marlies and only a month and half ago Brian Burke dropped this little quote on us:
His play right now indicates that he’s not ready at all to contribute at this level.
That line broke my heart. Here in Toronto, we eat our young. I'm thinking of my buddy Justin Pogge and the countless other "future greats" who crumbled under the weight of our sky high expectations. Kadri was deemed "not ready" by our GM and then went on to record five goals and nine assists through 14 games with the Marlies. I guess he's ready now...
It might reek of desperation, but it's given tonight's game an additional spark. I know I'll be watching #43 closely tonight... unless he's wearing #91 or #13. In under an hour, we'll know exactly what to do.
Update: He's #43. Set your sights accordingly.
Disappointed in recent efforts from my Leafs, I wrote this. They then went out and laid an egg against the Panthers.
That entry did entice a chap who goes by the handle Whitby - Clark to wax poetic on the subject. The following words are his, and they are beautiful.
How can one emerge loquaciously combative when lacking factual ammunition?
In a perceptive state of despondence and exasperation I simply cannot congregate the fortitude required for the organization of an argumentative campaign. Alas; for this day I fall nothing short of incapable and disinclined.
Scarcity of integrity would be an acute definition to verbalize the least.
I fall witness to atrociousness; save Luke Schenn.
Failed attempts to provide victorious engagements have left this devotee in dishevelment. Depleted passion has seen the crescendo of inner animosities and discouragements regarding said saddening situation. Perhaps promises of gratifying ventures towards the horizons have become sequestered in an unobtainable fashion.
Absence of light at the cessation of the thoroughfare has left our denouement undistinguishable.
To you; issuance of surrender is the offering, accompanied by ones utmost sincere humility.
The branding has now become scarring as the wounds struggle through cauterization.
However be forewarned; vainglorious boasting will not bode will amongst the nation.
There will be a turn of tide, we will win again.
*while providing necessary amendments towards quotations care-of lunar expeditionary;*
“That’s one small step for [a] FAN, one giant leap for LEAFS NATION”
Whitby - Clark
Just one thing... Leafs Nation is our slave name. In truth, drenched and blue and white forever, we are the Barilkosphere.
Argh, I did it again. On October 16, following the Leafs' 4th win in their first 4 games, I declared it was feeling a little like '93. That was way stupid and way premature.
But that's the problem when you've endured such futility for over half a decade. You start to see what you want to see. Suddenly, Dion Phaneuf is Chris Pronger and Phil Kessel is Sidney Crosby. Hell, Phil Kessel is Han Solo. And Giguere, he's Patrick Roy. That's how it is here in the centre of the universe. We're starving for success and we see it everywhere as mirages and delusions of grandeur.
I believe in being accountable for my actions, so I'll take full blame for that crap I wrote on October 16. A 4-0 start fucked with our expectation levels and messed with our blue and white psyches. We're back to 11th in the conference, pretty much where you'd expect this team to be. Our true hopes and dreams aren't that we enjoy a Stanley Cup parade on Yonge Street this June but that we somehow play over our heads and slip into 8th in the conference.
Now that we're 1-6-3 in our last 10 games, what the hell do we do? Is it time to fire Ron Wilson?
Remember, it's darkest before the dawn. We'll be okay...
My favourite Toronto Maple Leaf of all-time is #93 Doug Gilmour.
YouTube user jokeswithoutlaughter is sharing a great tribute to Doug Gilmour entitled "Teach Me How To Dougie".
I've been trying to figure out how to Dougie for twenty years now.
[via Down Goes Brown]
For the longest time, I was #1 in Google when you searched for Bill Barilko. Something called Wikipedia has since passed me, but I'm usually #2. I've maintained a tribute to Bashin' Bill for a decade, complete with video evidence of his overtime winner in '51, but I've never heard his voice... until today.
A site called barilko.ca is now hosting audio recordings of Bill Barilko. It's surreal hearing Barilko speak for the first time after wearing his #5 jersey all these years. Listen to him here chatting with his older brother Alex in Hollywood where Bill was playing for the Wolves in the PCHL. It's a greeting for their mother and sister Anne back home in Timmins.
The Leafs won again last night. I missed the game, as I was playing one myself, but the record shows Phil Kessel scored two goals, including the game-winner in overtime, to lead the Maple Leafs to a 4-3 win over the Rangers in New York.
You've likely heard that our 4-0 start is our best since '93. We won 10 in a row to start the '93-'94 season, making the calendar year of 1993 the most memorable one of my lifetime.
In the spring of '93, the upstart Leafs upset the Detroit Red Wings in a thrilling seven game series. My buddy Elvis just shared this tribute to game 7 of that series on Facebook, and I think everybody should watch it and remember what playoff hockey feels like. This was one of the most exciting games I've ever seen.
A couple of rounds later in '93, in a game seven against Los Angeles, Kerry Fraser ensured we wouldn't win the cup. But damn, 1993 was a fun year for Leafs fans.
You know what? It feels a little like '93.
This Justin Bieber kids seems to be a pretty big deal these days. Did you know he's from Stratford, Ontario? That's prime Leaf fan territory, don'tchaknow.
Dude's got 5,707,831 followers on Twitter. 5,707,831 followers... that's even more than I have. He's got 5,707,831 influential, passionate fans clinging to his every Tweet, and guess what he just tweeted?
That's right, Bieber's a Leafs fan. And now so are 5,707,831 others.
Jeff Finger has been placed on waivers by the Toronto Maple Leafs. When he clears waivers, he'll be sent down to the Marlies and Brian Burke will get $3.5 million of cap room back.
One of the cool things about maintaining this blog for the past 8 years is that I can go back in time and read what I thought about events as they unfolded. For example, on July 1, 2008, I wrote an entry entitled "Uncle Cliffy Gives Us The Finger". The deal didn't make any sense to me at the time, and here's what I wrote.
I understood signing Cujo to a nice and tidy one year deal for $700,000 but I don't get why Cliff Fletcher just signed defenceman Jeff Finger to a four-year deal worth $3.5 million a season.
I understand the Toronto Maple Leafs need bodies, but do we really have to give four year deals to 28 year olds with 94 career games under their belts? Admittedly, I can't remember ever seeing him play, so if The Finger is Sylvain Lefebvre reincarnate I shall stand corrected.
In a sense, Uncle Cliffy just gave us The Finger and told Bryan McCabe to f*ck off.
It's also fun to read the comments that fateful day in July, 2008. I wrote this in response to a few "trust Cliff" comments.
C'mon, he was benched for half of the Avs' playoff games. How awesome could he be when he's a healthy scratch in the playoffs?
And, that's a mammoth raise for a guy with one season under his belt. Why did we pay so much for such a lengthy term?
A two year deal at $2 million per sounds about right for The Finger.
I also made a little image that day. It rings more true today than ever. Thanks Uncle Cliffy!
I PVR The Cleveland Show. It's part of the Sunday night cartoon block I record on Fox and watch when unwinding. Last night, while The Cleveland Show aired live, I started seeing tweets about a "Down goes Brown" call. Here's The Cleveland Show's "Down goes Brown" reference I just captured on my digicam and uploaded to YouTube.
If you Google "Down goes Brown", the results are flooded with info about this guy. But Down Goes Brown the hilarious Barilkospherian blogger took his handle from Joe Bowen's legendary call on The FAN 1430 back in 1992 of Sylvain Lefebvre knocking out Rob Brown. Here's Joe Bowen's "Down goes Brown" call.
I know what you're thinking... How is it possible The Cleveland Show would parody a local Toronto radio call this obscure? Surely this is one big coincidence...
My forensic analysis is complete, and I'm ready to declare this is in fact a homage to Joe Bowen's 1992 call. As you heard in the Zapruder film above, the announcer repeats several well known calls after he mimics Joe Bowen with "Down goes Brown! Down goes Brown!" They are:
- "I don't believe what I just saw!" - This was Jack Buck's famous call after Kirk Gibson's walk-off World Series homer in 1988
- "Do you believe in miracles? Yes!" - This was Al Michaels' famous call after the USA hockey team stunned the Soviets in the 1980 Olympic Games
- "President Reagan has been shot." - This was the famous first announcement that John Hinckley had shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981 (I'm not sure who said it first)
- "Soylent Green is people!" - This was the famous final line from Charlton Heston in the movie Soylent Green
- "Fahrvergnügen" - This was an advertising slogan used by Volkswagen in 1990
With this additional context, it's clear "Down goes Brown!" is being used in The Cleveland Show as a parody of a famous call, and "Down goes Brown!" has no other meanings in popular culture. Some of you will say it's a spin on Howard Cosell's famous call when George Foreman knocked down Joe Frazier, as was Joe Bowen's original call. Cosell's call was "Down Goes Frazier! Down Goes Frazier! Down Goes Frazier!". I feel sorry for those who choose to believe such things.
Without a doubt, someone on The Cleveland Show writing staff is a big Toronto Maple Leafs fan who felt it was time an American series paid homage to Joe Bowen's legendary call. Like The Hip said, it's been a long time coming, but it's well worth the wait.
It was great fun watching the Leafs dominate the Sens last night. That's two wins over our two greatest rivals to start the season, our best start in 11 years.
On this 10th day of the 10th month in 2010, at precisely 10:10, let's take a moment to soak in this wonderful new reality. We're #1.
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