Sunday, April 20, 2014
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Maple Leafs fan's 'Toronto Stronger' sign mocks Boston, draws outrage

Cynicism and hockey fandom often don't mix well. You probably knew this already, but something happened Monday night that made me even more certain of it.

Maple Leafs fan's 'Toronto Stronger' sign mocks Boston, draws outrage

Nathan Denette/Canadian Press/AP
Nathan Denette/Canadian Press/AP

Cynicism and hockey fandom often don't mix well. You probably knew this already, but something happened Monday night that made me even more certain of it.

When I got home from work last night, I sat down to watch Game 3 of the Maple Leafs-Bruins series. It was the first playoff game in Toronto since 2004, and not surprisingly it was a big deal. The NHL Network picked up the CBC's feed of the game instead of Boston's, which allowed us to see all of the pomp and circumstance live.

It got to be time for the national anthems, and here's where my cynicism showed up. There's a history of Canadian fans booing the Star-Spangled Banner during playoff games, and I wondered if it might happen again this time.

Thankfully, it didn't, at least as far as I could tell from TV. So I thought I wouldn't have anything to complain about...

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... until I saw this.

That was a fan outside the Air Canada Centre before the game. I saw the photo Tuesday morning in this story on the CBC's website.

Seriously, man? You had to go there?

Yeah, it was just one guy in a sea of people at the ACC. In addition to the full house inside, there was a huge crowd outside on Bremner Street watching the game on a big screen. That made for some pretty cool scenes when the Leafs scored.

But this idiot is the subject of a lot of chatter this morning. He's giving Toronto a bad name that it doesn't deserve. Yeah, there are plenty of pretentious Leafs fans, but there are also plenty of good Leafs fans. It takes serious dedication to fill an arena every night for a team that hasn't won a Stanley Cup since 1967.

I hope someone who saw the sign told the guy off. It's the least he deserves - and he doesn't deserve much.

Jonathan Tannenwald Sports Producer
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