Friday, May 19, 2023

It’s the hope that kills you 

The underdog Leafs won the Stanley Cup in 1967.

While reading Peter Ackroyd’s London: The Biography, I took note of this passage on the slate used in London. “Much of the slate used in London building is striated by what geologists term 'pressure shadows' but they are inconspicuous beside the blackened surfaces of Portland stone.”

It’s often said that pressure makes diamonds but in Toronto I think pressure, like the striations in that Welsh slate makes shadows. Shadows, like a hex that darkens the eyes of men. Men who wear blue and white. Playing on a pro team in Toronto, where every eye of every media is glaring at you, must be a pressure that inevitably wears you down. Then again, being worn down on a pro athlete’s salary is not the same as everyone else’s “being worn down”. With the Leafs exit from the playoffs, two contrasting quotes came to mind. One from the team’s perspective and one from the fans’ point of view.

“A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.”
Jack Dempsey

While this team found ways to push back and win in ways they couldn’t in previous seasons, they still need to learn how to get back up when they can’t.

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
— Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan

To be a Leafs fan is to see the team fall, bite your lip until it bleeds, urging them to get back up from the gutter we’re all lying in. Lying in that gutter, looking up at the stars, we hope to see our team soar among the constellations of champions. We hope for the best but expect the worst. All too often those expectations are met. We hope they’ll do better next season, but we all know it’s the hope that kills you.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home