April 24, 2000

Maple Leafs Elimination Dance
by Lynn Crosbie

(from This Magazine, November/December 1999, p.27)
American rock stars who wear Toronto Maple Leafs hockey sweaters
- Michael Ondaatje in Elimination Dance
Anyone who has ever said, "It's only a game."

Those who were irritated last spring by noise in the evenings - car horns and screaming - and wondered if that soccer thing was starting again.

Anyone who, when pressed, can identify Mark Sundin (sp) as a team player.

The woman who agreed with a cab driver that the Leafs were going all the way last year.

The man who calls himself a Habs fan, and seems to recall watching Guy LaFleur take a penalty shot while smoking a cigarette.

Anyone who has saluted Jaromir Jagr back.

Parents who have brought their children to a game.

Those who refer to the Gardens as "The Grand Old Lady of Carleton Street."

Those who watched a game in the Buffalo series even though an important literary event was scheduled that same night.

Those whose hearts race at the sound of Queen's "We Are the Champions."

The girl who wrote Bryan Berard a fan letter, claiming she was "exceptionally flexible."

The boy who flushes every time Bob Cole mentions "the crease."

Anyone who can name the referee who made an assist of his ass last season.

Anyone who can explain the transition game with beer nuts on a bar.

Those who have called Ken Dryden in a drunken stupor, practising the following gambit, "Hey Kenny?"

The man who cannot sleep for worrying about Aly McCauley's concussion.

The woman who asked her elderly neighbours out for a little shinny.

Those who have wondered, ardently, why they call Steve Thomas "Stumpy."

Anyone who has ever written a poem beginning, "O Number 13, My captain."

Those who were strangely elated when Eric Lindros's lung collapsed.

Anyone who has privately thought of Mike Peca as "a hairy little girl."

The man who believes that the theme from Hockey Night in Canada is performed by Vladimir Horowitz.

The woman who developed a tortuous crush on Curtis Joseph, rereading Stephen King's CuJo to feel closer to him.

Those who are moved to tears by hockey violence.

Anyone who stopped shaving for the entire month of May.

The literary critic who is still annotating entitled, "Harry Neale: A Clear and Present Danger."

The playboy who impersonated Tie Domi at "Sparkles."

Anyone who is convinced the team fares badly when Pat Quinn wears a "fancy" tie.

Those who have broken their furniture.

Those who have thought "It's not over yet" since 1967.

Anyone with pain.