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Pompous columnist takes aim at society that cares so much about the Leafs

Mar 21, 2012, 1:43 PM EDT

Leafs fan paper bag Getty Images

National Post columnist Jonathan Kay is outraged that so many people are outraged with the Maple Leafs.

Referencing a Toronto Star column by Dave Feschuk that called for Leafs GM Brian Burke to apologize to the fans, Kay wrote:

I’m very sorry that the Leafs (apparently) aren’t heading to the playoffs. And no doubt, well-apprised fans have all sorts of ideas for improving the team’s performance. But when did we, as a society, decide that losing at sports is some kind of moral sin — one that requires public shaming, histrionic lamentations, and the sort of grand appeals for “forgiveness” (Feschuk’s word) that we more traditionally associate with the legacy of Indian residential schools? Feschuk informs me that a pair of Leafs gold-section season tickets cost $16,000 per year. That’s a lot of money. But anyone who pays that price isn’t “owed” anything — except the right to be admitted to the arena and watch 60 minutes of NHL hockey.

You expect people to get crazy and irrational in the actual heat of sporting competition. What is the act of “rooting for laundry” after all, except an institutionalized, socially acceptable outlet for the thinly suppressed tribal passions and hatreds encoded in our evolutionary psychology? Instead of Hutus and Tutsis, Sunnis and Shiites, we’re Leafs and Canadiens, Cowboys and Steelers. I get that. And in the immediate agony of defeat, it makes sense that we would demand abject “apologies” from our tribal overlords for shaming us in our failed show-battles against rival tribes. But once the players file into their dressing room, it’s time for people to wake up to the amoral reality of modern professional sports. Losing isn’t a sin, just as winning doesn’t make us all better people. No one owes you an apology just because the lions ate the wrong gladiator.

In a related story, Jonathan Kay is a real hit at parties.

  1. davebabychreturns - Mar 21, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    He’s pretty much exactly right – albeit being a real blowhard about it – though.

    • Jason Brough - Mar 21, 2012 at 3:29 PM

      I think that’s the point. He hurts his case by being so…unlikable.

      • davebabychreturns - Mar 21, 2012 at 3:47 PM

        Yeah this seems like a run of the mill “non-sports columnist condescends to sports fans” article. Look at Kay’s other columns on that site: Ezra Levant, French language purists, etc.

        Although we can all take a little glee from the fact that his NP bio has a typo. What the hell is “metallurgincal engineering,” haha what a rube.

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 21, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    He may be pompous but his point is sound. The team collapsed but they and Burke certainly don’t owe the fans an apology for that. They already have to be more disappointed than the fans about how this season turned out.

  3. kitshky - Mar 21, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    He’s right in the context that nothing outside of life and death issues should have any real importance in our lives … thanks genius.

  4. habsman - Mar 21, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Maybe Tannenbaum should appologise for hiring Burke.

  5. drewsylvania - Mar 21, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    His next column: “NBC metronomes take aim at site hits…”

  6. charlutes - Mar 21, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    Hey columnist, guess what? You could be replaced by my teenage sister so maybe you should leave comments on sports to sports fans.

  7. ikillchicken - Mar 22, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    In related news: New record set for smugness per square inch of column space.

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