I’d like to say it started as all my interest in hockey started, with Mason Raymond. However, that would be a lie. The Leafs caught my attention last year during the playoffs against Boston. How could they not? I’ve always been a fan of the underdog and that series… it was something else. Additionally, I had a friend at the time that was a Leafs fan and, like most of my teams I follow, I paid attention so that we could discuss the games.
The first appearance of a “Go Leafs Go” on my Twitter timeline appeared on May 1, 2013, to be exact. In case anyone wanted to know.
The series ended and I back-burnered them. Completely forgot about them, according to this tweet in July. I drifted apart from my Leafs fan friend and the Leafs fell off my radar… For a little while. Not for long. Because then… Then they signed Mason Raymond to a PTO (Let me remind you of my processing this), and it was all down hill from there.
At first, it was subtle. “Oh, there’s no other teams playing that I care about and Mason Raymond is on the team, I guess I’ll watch them.” I caught a couple of his interviews, saw some pretty adorable gifs of him on the bench with his teammates. Like this one:
Source: I have no idea, sorry.
Some celebrating, like this:
And like this:
By September, I was actively searching out Leafs’ blogs and reporters, adding them on Twitter. One of my favorite Canucks’ bloggers just so happened to also cover the Leafs! So that brought me to reading even more.
When MayRay wasn’t on the ice, I went back to not caring about the Leafs… for awhile. That changed as they wooed me to their ways throughout the course of the next several months. 24/7 provided me with a snapshot into them and I fell in love. By November, I was actively calling myself a Leafs fan.
Soon after that, the Canucks started… whatever we want to call that horrific month of January. It was bad. Nearly everyone was negative about the team as they continued to downslide and be broken. I took comfort in that the Leafs were gonna be the Leafs and I didn’t have the high expectations for them that I had for the Canucks.
This eventually turned into listening to the Steve Dangle podcast and learning even more about the Leafs and following all the Leafs bloggers on Twitter and loudly cheering for them and taking solace when they didn’t utterly and completely break my heart (see: Canucks & Luongo, Canucks & Schneider, Canucks & Kesler, Canucks & Raymond… are you sensing a pattern here?)
So. That’s it. That’s how in less than a year, I was brainwashed into being a Leafs fan. They’re a fun young group, really and I’m excited to see where they go in the next few years. They have some amazing talent, a few bromances, and never fail to give me #hockeyplayerfeels.