A Couple More Letters Before The Big Game

In honour of the big Habs-Leafs game Saturday night in Toronto, I’ve decided to dip once again into the cache of letters I found recently, and show a couple of replies from Maple Leaf  Gardens, turning me down for the ever-elusive great seats which I had made it my mission to someday achieve.

I was a just a regular guy with no connections and didn’t go to games a lot, but when I did, it was always up in the rafters, looking down at all those players coming to life from my hockey cards, and they were so far away. You could barely see their faces. I’d look down at the lucky people with great seats close to the ice, and I’d be jealous and tell myself that some day, I’m going to sit down there too.

Most of the time, I couldn’t even get seats, let alone nosebleeds, and whenever I gave it a shot, I’d get rejected. Here’s a couple of good examples.



11 thoughts on “A Couple More Letters Before The Big Game”

  1. Dennis Lane?

    Obviously the Toronto Maple Leafs are not and never will be a classy organization like the Montreal Canadiens.

  2. Danno, I knew someone would notice that. Yes, the Canadiens never ever misspelled my name. Only the Leafs.

  3. Dennis Lane. Nice.

    I see the Leafs perfected the paternalistic and dismissive tone well before the Ballard days. What a contrast with how Montreal treated you. I find the first letter off-putting to say the least.

    When I first moved to Calgary (for university) I heard this story often (I was a CFL nut and asked people for their CFL stories and impressions all the time; perfect strangers); the Stampeders, until the Flames arrived in 1981, were the only game in town … the Stamps had developed an arrogant and dismissive attitude with their fans (even their season ticket holders) and many didn’t care for it. When the Flames arrived, the Stamps didn’t change their tune. The team nearly folded after the disastrous 3-13 1985 season and some will recall their SOS (Save Our Stamps) off-season campaign to raise money and interest in the football team. If they’d died (they survived, of course) they would have deserved it.

    One day the Leafs will be in the same position. And they will be able to trace some of it back to this old and deep-rooted hubris (which seems reflected clearly here).

    Maybe I’m overreacting (to a letter that was written before I was born) but I don’t care for the attitude. And what a contrast with your Montreal letters, Dennis. Dennis Lane, indeed.


  4. Dennis, you had guts. How you managed to do this I’ll never know. I wouldn’t be able to do it. But then again, you never know what you can get if you don’t ask. I learned that one the hard way.

  5. HDS, I feel the Leaf letter was very dismissive and cold and very much unlike the Montreal ones. in fact, I had thought about showing the contrasts between the two. So I fully agree with you. And in fact, I can almost go back to the day that letter arrived and how disappointed it made me feel.

  6. DK, I was going to mention the miss spelling of your name but others picked up on it also. Where as the responses from les Canadiens were polite and showed they were glad to hear from a fan, not so from the Laffs, it’s like the skimmed over it and sent you an impersonal response and could not even bother to address it properly— typical Laff style we don’t care if your a fan just go away!
    les Canadiens sont la!!!!

  7. Hey Mike, those damn Leafs. If we can beat these bastards tonight the excitement level goes up a couple more notches. Beat them in their own barn. Catch them in the long run.

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