I live in the most populous area of hockey mad Canada. The Toronto Maple Leafs are the only hockey team for the entire area which as well as Toronto includes Hamilton, Mississauga and Waterloo Region. Recently ESPN named the Toronto Maple Leafs the worst franchise in North American pro sports.
I think the Toronto Maple Leaf organization just has no incentive to ice a great team. Mediocre performances by their players are enough to fill the ACC on most days. Why build a Stanley Cup winner? The Toronto Maple Leafs always turn a profit. So Toronto has the longest drought in the NHL. They haven’t won a cup since 1967.
I used to take that personally. They haven’t won since I was born. And then I got to more superstitious thinking. What if I or someone like me who was born months after the Leafs last won, what if mine or their very existence is jinxing the Leafs. Perhaps someone is unwittingly the Antileaf.
It could be anyone born since May 1967 after the Leafs won the cup or before April 1968 when the Leafs failed to make the playoffs. Any possible Antileaf, such as myself intends to live a full very long life and thus risks making the Leafs lose for more decades.
And since expansion started there are now 30 teams where there were once only 6. So if each team was nice and overly fair the Leafs should have won by now. But teams don’t share nicely. In fact teams like Montreal, Detroit, New York Islanders and the Edmonton Oilers have won multiple times since the Leafs last won. The Leafs could easily lose for the full lifetime of a person, say 80 years.
So what to do about the Antileaf? Well no one knows who this person is so the overly zealous Leaf fans might try to kill everybody in my year. It could be a Yearicide or a Sports Holocaust.
Then with too much blood on the hands of Leafs fans, they might happily look forward to this season. Only to find out that the NHL might be locked out. They might find out too late that wanton killing is never justified. No matter how superstitious you are.