We all have blue blood. For some, it’s really blue!

Dec 16, 2018 | Blog | 0 comments

This post is about hope. It is about having a hope-filled vision for the future.

Its root is way back in my childhood and being a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs?

The Toronto Maple Leafs you ask? Really? Perhaps this guy’s judgement is not very good after all you might quietly say to yourself.

Ok. Fair comment. But, it does shine a light on a couple of other attributes to momentarily distract you with. Namely, loyalty and patience. Please note these qualities are often confused with stubborn and stupid when it comes to lifelong Leafs fans born on the west coast.

We all bleed blue

It started innocently enough as a little kid on Tsartlip.

My dad is a Leafs fan going back to the original six days. Ask around W̱SÁNEĆ and folks will confirm it, the Olsen’s are a Leafs family.

My dad, Bub, his brothers Fudd, Gord and my late uncle Huff, all bleed blue. Relentless Leafs fans. Stubborn Leafs fans.

It is just who we are.

My family never had a television out on display like televisions are today. It was never the centre of the house like many televisions in many houses. Our television was in a closet except for a few occasions. Hockey Night in Canada, the Disney Sunday night movie and the The Beachcombers of course.

We would pull it out of the closet, set it up on a chair and work the rabbit ears for a few minutes to get a picture worth watching. Watching the Leafs game was a process. It took commitment, dedication and the willingness to watch bad hockey on a fuzzy old picture box.

Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang, Relic, Knowlton Nash and the Leafs vs. Habs.

In the 1980’s, my mom would make a dinner for me and my dad to take to my late-Grandma Laura’s house and later my late-Uncle Eddies (Eddie was not actually my uncle, but an old family friend). We would share a meal, watch the game and hang out.

Clinging to hope

It was a good childhood and being a Leafs fan is an important part of those memories. It’s the part of me, that has always allowed me to be hopeful for the future. After all what else does a Leafs fan cling to? Hope.

So, as a Leafs fan, born almost a full decade after 1967, whose formative years survived Harold Ballard, and who as a teenager was teased by the near-success of  the Wendell Clark and Doug Gilmour years, and, who sold his car in 2001 to buy a plane ticket to watch them play live in the Air Canada Centre, only to see them lose the playoff game to the New Jersey Devils, there is still reason to hold on to hope.

As a Leafs fan who has lived through so many poor campaigns, the latest edition of the Toronto Maple Leafs give reason to believe that this coming June is the year for that parade on Yonge St. We have hope.

Book your plane tickets and hotels. It is going to be a big deal! Something we Olsen’s have been saying for years. And, it is the same hope for a brighter, better, more sustainable future the drives my work every day.

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