by -

    Image via HFBoards

    To tank or not to tank, that is the question.

    It’s a question that resonates far and wide.

    It’s a question that undoubtedly gets asked in other cities when their club is struggling and the second coming of Gretzky is on the horizon.

    It’s not the question that is causing the commotion. It’s the answer. Or answers.

    From where I sit, I can see two main schools of thought on “tanking” a season. One side hopes the team will lose every game, therefore “guaranteeing” them of the draft pick they’ve so long desired.

    The other side faithfully roots for their team, come hell or high water.

    The division of these sides may be generational. With old school guys (like myself) generally siding with the “Go Leafs Go” mentality.

    Younger fans seem to fit into the “Blow Leafs Blow” mentality, hoping that short term pain will bring long term gain.

    My son, who is a staunchly loyal 23 year-old Leaf fan, tells me he hopes they lose every game for the rest of the year so they can be in a better draft position.

    Myself, as much as I want this team to be a dynamo in a few years, can’t find it within me to root against my Leafs.

    Granted, if it comes down to the last game of the season and they have to lose to be guaranteed one of the top two picks, I could probably be persuaded to hope for a loss. At that point, everything is lost anyway. What’s one more game, right?

    Maybe it’s not generational. Maybe it’s just me against the world on this. Maybe I’m not seeing the “bigger picture”.

    All I know is that watching this team struggle is not easy, but then again, it wasn’t easy in 84-85 or 90-91, but I got through it and managed to have a few years scattered here and there, that weren’t too bad.

    I also realize that the closest they came to the cup in the last 41 years was to the conference finals in 1993. Forty-one years as a Leaf fan. Sheesh.

    Is it so bad to want your team to win every time they step on the ice?

    And tell the truth “tankers”, do you actually watch the game and root for the other team?

    Or is it more a case of apathy, not really caring and just shaking your head in disgust?

    I’m really trying to wrap my head around the whole “tank” idea.

    I see posts on this site from guys saying “I love it. They lost again! Tavares here we come!”

    I just can’t imagine saying that about my team.

    So here’s the deal.

    Post responses here, and without getting all riled up, calling each other names and resorting to insults, let’s have a roll call of who are tankers and who are lifers. State your age too if you don’t mind, so that it will prove or disprove my theory on generation.


    Or should I say “tanks”?

    Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]