The Air Canada Centre will stand silent for a staggering seventh sequential season. Last Tuesday night however, the downtown Toronto structure shook loud with anything but good vibrations. Early in the second period, disgruntle Leafs fans did the absolute unthinkable – they booed the home team. The jeering roars rose up in rings floating to the rafters like a Who-Ville Christmas carol. And amidst a cacophony of scoffs, the once sacred-skaters’ hearts shrank three sizes. Frustrated fans had turned irate and filled the forum with mocking taunts. In spite of witnessing a horrific Toronto melt-down, is it ever ok for game-goers to boo the good-guys?
Vocalizing discontent is no stranger to spectator based events. Gladiators, knights, and matadors all dealt with deafening ridicule in defeat. Often the fate of the fighter rested with the seething crowd. Booing became common in the late 19th century in London theatres and political events, an emotional response used to convey audiences’ displeasure. Today, the onomatopoeic remark is synonymous with broken hearts and disappointment. Sounds like a sad country song. So why can’t diehards just stand by their man/men?
Post blue and white collapse, coach Ron Wilson was a beacon of light in a dark Leafs’ Nation with the boys poised a head of a spectacular season. But with their team’s slide into oblivion, Toronto fans flipped and openly hacked at their early season savior with chants echoing “Fire Wilson.”
Pro-booers may argue that as a ticket holder criticizing the home team is a right. But a digression back to Roman times where boos reduce once-revered players to nothingness is unjustifiable.
Maybe it’s the fickle fans who deserve a boo.