Noun pl. loyalties -Â·ties
Defined as a quality, state, or instance of being loyal; faithfulness or faithful adherence to a person, government, cause, duty, etc.
In the midst of one of the worst blowout losses (7-0) in the history of the beloved Toronto Maple Leafs I thought I would pose a question, what does loyalty mean to you?Â The idea came to me after I simply asked on my twitter account if there was actually a team in the NHL right now that you wouldnâ€™t trade roster for roster with the Leafs?Â
I said it half joking though try and answer that question yourself. There really are not many teams in worse shape roster wise than the Leafs – sad but true.Â It sparked a good debate and here is some highlites of the conversation that took place.
I received a response from a fellow â€˜twitâ€™ and friend Alex who wrote:
@tdotsports1 devils, habs, sens, oilers, wild, canes, just to name a few. Itâ€™s what we got, we need to deal with it, as frustrating as it is.
With that I responded:
strange, most of those teams are ahead of us in the standings, and HAVE been since the cap started!
So he commented:
@tdotsports1 point was that as a diehard fan for too long, itâ€™s devastating to see other (assuming) diehards want to trade their team out.
Finally, I ended the friendly banter with:
maybe but I don’t care about the name(s) on the back of the jersey, only the name on the front… #loyaltotheend
Which brings me to the central thesis – is he loyal because he fully supports the players or am I because I truly only care about the name on the front of the jersey and the names of players are fully interchangeable for me.Â Isnâ€™t that really the ultimate loyalty?Â I care so much that I expect more from our players and if they canâ€™t get the job done I have no qualms seeing any of them go if it means a better fate for the team as a whole.
Am I not a loyal Leafs fan because I feel in a cost conscience cap-world Colby Armstrong is slightly overpaidÂ orÂ our captain Dion Phaneuf is grossly overrated?Â While I will always support the players that don the blue and white unlike some other teams fan bases who feel all of their players can do no wrong I have to remain impartial to the actual talent and skill level of a player, jersey be damned.
For me, the whole is more than the sum of its parts.
What does loyalty mean to you?