Forgive me for getting all MOR and AOR on you, but I still think the best way to describe the Leafs youth movement is a couplet from international rock band Survivor. Let me set the scene: The year is 1982, it's a time in rock history where a group can make a video with a lead singer in a beret standing in front of a backdrop of wind-blown garbage bags, and go to #1. Yes, it's "Eye of the Tiger":
Face to face, out in the heat...except if your name is Darryl Boyce, Tim Stapleton, Brent Aubin, Stefano Giliati, Kyle Rogers, Dan Rudisuela, Greg Scott, Scott Langdon, Phil Oreskovic, Juha Uotila, Adam Munro, Michael Ouzas and James Reimer.
Hangin' tough, stayin' hungry
They stack the odds 'til we take to the street
For we kill with the skill to survive...
It was like roll call on Hill Street Blues.
The previous 2 seasons of 68 points and 80 points (respectively) meant that the rebuild came in the form of change of coach, system, and philosophy. (Sound familiar?) We played who in the hell is that guy(s); Alyn McCauley, Sergei Berezin, Steve Sullivan and Mike Johnson. Had 2 unproven rookies named Danny Markov and Thomas Kaberle in our top 6 D who nobody expected to play above expectations as they did. All that bottom feeding garnered us nothing more than 24th pick where we chose Swiss never-ran Luca Cereda. It makes my brain, whatcha-ma-call-it...itchy. Cos I know we don't have that team of "Who In The Hell Is That Guy(s)?!" this year. I'm excited about them, but then again, maybe not.
Thankfully I have this blog because back in the iron age, in the before time, when there was no avenue like the computer to allow us to rage against the machine, angry Leafs fans could only assuage their fury with gay bashing.
But we've all known people like Larry Tanenbaum. They're our high school principals and bank managers, our girlfriend's fathers. Local news anchormen; authortative and arrogant...douchebags basically. And douchbaggery is part of their schematic like single malt breath and a taste for human blood.
My own Larry Tanenbaum is a relative that once bragged to me about the cost of his suit; I was 8. He also wore loafers with tassels on them. Which is still so pretentious and gross that it makes me yak a little in my own mouth to this day.
The problem is that The Larry Tanenbaum's of the universe control the universe and just like our very own Larry Tanenbaum, peach-coloured asshole; Larry Tanenbaum, they're fucking it up. The Larry Tanenbaums of the Universe are the living embodiment of that scorpion/frog story - the one that's supposed to learn you something when you hear it. The moral being Larry Tenenbaums sting, cos it's what Larry Tenenbaums do.
Larry Tanenbaums are bad tippers. Larry Tanenbaums are terrible dancers. Larry Tanenbaums sit with their legs uncomfortably wide open. Larry Tanenbaums like wall to wall, 4 car, 9 iron. Larry Tanenbaums like the organ, probably. Larry Tanenbaums will give you more lip service than Greener working his way backstage at a Skid Row/Poison concert (last summer), maybe, and that's an alarming amount.
And its always the same rhetoric isn't it? Whether they're selling you a car, looking for weapons of mass destruction or dismissing Steve Yzerman like he was a bad smell. Which our personal Tanenbaum, Tanenbaum, did when asked about Stevie Y as a candidate for the vacant Leafs GM job recently. Tanenbaum had just come from killing some baby birds he found in a nest when the question made him visibly bristle. "Steve Yzerman," he began, his eyebrow raising a late period Roger Moore, his posture resembling a patient with Scoliosis or some other spinal deformity, "Oh God," he blasphemed, "not another rookie GM?" Besides then making the temperature in the room drop a few degrees by suddenly laughing maniacally a full three minutes, Tanenbaum then proceeded to bring out a a puppet crafted to resemble John Ferguson Jr. and dumped his bottle of water over its head.
I once read that the guys at MLSE like to think of new ways to use the word retard and always order lots of take-out and then not answer the door when it comes. Someone once told me that MLSE had a slumber party where our Larry Tanenbaum forced Jim Leech and Robert Bertram (both of the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan) to hold hands and kiss just to make Ivan Fecan and Richard Peddie laugh. And our Larry Tanenbaum is that Larry Tanenbaum: and he's exactly like you've heard.