Thursday, October 31, 2013

Why Toronto Can't Have A Champion Hockey Team

There are lots of little reasons that Toronto can never have a winning NHL or NBA team... but the root of all these problems is one little fact that you never hear the sports shows talk about.

The real bottom line is that compared to the United States, Canada doesn't really count. Even if you discount the fact that our market is so much smaller money-wise... in the community of world-class athletes, Canadians don't matter. Not even in hockey.

Sure, there is honour in being a Leaf... when you're ON THE ICE. But if you're a top-level player OFF THE ICE at a social gathering with other millionaires, and they're talking about their lives in Chicago or Los Angeles, nobody cares what's going in Toronto. You are instantly a nobody and you don't matter.

No amount of incentive can keep great players in Canada when the United States want them. Even if Toronto somehow builds a great team, the key players will be poached to US teams as quickly as possible. After all, players at NHL/NBA levels got there because they are strong competitors who fight to excel. They're not the kind of people who like to "settle in a quiet comfortable place" - they are people who gravitate to higher and higher competitive levels, continuously chasing higher rewards - precisely the culture that USA does much better than Canada.

So if you're waiting for that Leafs Stanley Cup, you'll be waiting until the Canadian market is as big as the US market. Probably not in our lifetime.
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