The following is purely fictional and meant for entertainment purposes only. By entertainment, we mean we hope you laugh while reading this, while framing this, or while burning this. Any similarities between this and actual events is strictly coincidental and frankly, dumb luck. Remember to remind your lawyer about the made-up part, OK?
I'm not exactly sure where The Centre of the Hockey Universe begins and ends, but I am sure of one thing. I'm in it.
I conclude that for three reasons: (1) I have common ground squirrels in my backyard that have slapshots better than some players in the NHL (2) three of my neighbors have sons named Sittler and (3) I get something called Leafs TV.
I say Â“getÂ” Leafs TV in that I'm within their subscription area and I'm able to subscribe, although I really don't get Leafs TV in the same way babies don't fully understand the true concept of diapers.
It's almost embarrassing to admit I actually subscribe to Leafs TV, but $2.99 a month is a small price to pay to impress and annoy friends who aren't able to use such selectively frivolous items as business write-offs.
For those of you unfamiliar (blissfully ignorant) with the whole concept of Leafs TV, it's a team-owned television station that provides simply everything-Toronto Maple Leafs, 24 hours a day, seven days a week (stop laughing). Leafs TV is like a Chrysler Minivan Appreciation Page in that it's an commonality a lot of people share, yet one nobody really wants to admit to.
Strangely there is only around a dozen actual Toronto Maple Leaf games covered by the station throughout the season, which means the team is as consistently successful with winning exclusive broadcast rights for their own team's station as they are in signing quality free agents. That also translates into a copious amount of programming filler, whether that involves journalistic insight into Hal Gill's eternal search for sufficient dietary fiber or the can't-miss, feel-good Peter Stemkowski documentary you've heard so much about.
Leafs TV also tends to rely heavily on vintage game re-broadcasts called Leaf Classics as filler. Recently though, they have been under a heavy barrage of feedback from viewers who found the poor audio quality annoying to older viewers and the seeing the Leafs actually winning deeply disturbing to the young.
The real fun happens on game day in their four hour preview for that night's monumental battle with the Minnesota Wild. Wade Belak has a slight thigh strain and may not dress for tonight's match. Â”Honey, cancel my flight.Â”
And, while the lead up to these games has more than enough meat to hold one's interest, it pales terribly in comparison with the After the Horn segment where fans have an opportunity to phone in after the night's loss to voice their displeasure with either the shoddy officiating, the team's patented lack of effort or why Sidney Crosby for John Pohl is a deal worth doing. Evidently the phone lines get so busy after the Leafs play that the excess calls now roll over to the Suicide Prevention Centre, thereby alleviating the switchboard backlog and smartly cutting out the middle man.
Also, don't you worry if you were lucky enough to have been in a seven car pileup and you missed the 7-2 loss to the Rangers, Leafs TV has you covered with a feature they call Game In An Hour, which is very similar to Chicken in a Basket in that it's done quickly and is likely to result in some degree of indigestion.
Hey, it's the Poison, er, Passion that Unites Us All.
Charlie Teljeur, creator of THN's hockeysockpuppettheatre, brings you Loose Change every Tuesday and Friday only on thehockeynews.com.
Want to talk to Charlie about love, life, or Loose Change? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org