I am not going to lie, one of my biggest character flaws is that I LOVE seeing other people miserable about their sports teams. LOVE it. It's the best. The only thing that sustains me as a hockey fan these days is seeing the fan bases of other franchises experience real gut-wrenching, heart stopping, tear inducing, misery. It is the best. I am still jealous of them, but at least I can entertain myself at night with their tears.
Maple Leafs twitter did not disappoint last night
The PMT guys were trying to come up with an equivalent level of misery for what the Maple Leafs have put the good people of Toronto through and they said that they thought it'd be the Dallas Cowboys, but only if the Cowboys didn't win for another 40 years or something. I think that is pretty close, but I think the real answer is the pre-2004 Boston Red Sox. It could never the be the Cubs because even though the Cubs streak was longer, they were "lovable losers". They barely even tried to win. They didn't have the consistent disappointment. The Cubs don't have a Bucky Dent or Buckner. They had that Blackcat and the Billy Goat curses, but they were usually 30 games out by the time September rolled around so it's hard to equate the level of misery to what the Leafs are experiencing and have since 1967.
1967 is when expansion happened. The Leafs have 13 Cups to their name, but none since the league doubled in size.
The Leafs have had GREAT players and some really good teams. Never enough. Can't get over the hump. They've tried the quick fixes. Failed. They tried to tank, draft, and develop with this most recent group and that has…so far…failed
The Maple Leafs have been trying. They have so much money. They make $225M in revenue every year according to Forbes. They have endless resources, great players, and yet…can't beat the Habs. That is the part that is the worst for the Maple Leafs and their fans. Everyone across the country actually hate the Leafs. They have their historical rival in Montreal. Their geographical rival with the Senators. Their geographical and historical rival with the Red Wings. But that's not it. Calgary…fucking hates Toronto. Vancouver…hates them. Winnipeg…hates them. Edmonton…hates them. So when the Leafs lose in the first round of an all-Canada division when all of Canada hates your guts then the internet is going to be an extra hostile place for their fans. When the Hawks lost to Vancouver or even LA back in the glory days it absolutely SUCKED, but it actually didn't suck as bad as losing to St Louis in 2016 or Nashville in 2017. The Blues and Preds fans knew where to find me. The Hawks had also been so good for so long that it felt like the rest of the league and it's fans were ready to watch the Blackhawks eat shit. I had to log off. There was no winning. No amount of banner pointing or spinning/hoping that could make the internet tolerable. I won't lie, the Preds fans got under my skin for years after the fact. Now that they kinda stink too it doesn't bother me because their window closed without a Cup, but while those hillbillies were a threat in the Western Conference without knowing what off-sides was without a cheat sheet on the back of their seats.
Now the Leafs are in a place where their cap is tied up in 3 players and the Provence of Ontario is in full revolt against one of them
All things considered I don't think anyone has it worse than Leafs fans. The Browns have been pathetic, but they're also not hated by anyone. Nobody is talking shit about the Browns the way they do about the Leafs. They're are teams that are more pathetic, but no fan base goes through the pain that the Leafs do. It's honestly unbelievable that they lost to the Canadiens. The Canadiens were the worst team in the playoffs. In a normal year they wouldn't have sniffed the playoffs. The Leafs had them down 3-1. There was controversy brewing about playing the young guys, why they can't hire a coach unless he speaks French, should they fire the GM. Then on a dime, the Leafs were the Leafs and blew a lead in a way that only they could. They whimpered in and out of Game 7. Which is somehow worse than when they absolutely collapsed in Game 7 against Boston in 2013.
If you think there is a team/fan base that has it worse than Toronto hit me up in the comments, but even I as a Bears fan wouldn't trade places with them. They're going to have to find a way to make it work with Tavares, Matthews, Marner, and Nylander otherwise they're looking at an actual rebuild if they try to dismantle. Nothing going their way and it never does. Poor Leafs.