A Habs Fan’s Survival Guide: Living in Leafs Nation

The All Habs team is happy to announce another addition to our Habs Tweetup crew! Please join us in welcoming Dayes (@cokeaddict) as an Event Coordinator for Toronto.

She knows how hard living in the land of the Leafs can be – so Dayes has written a series of articles to help Habs fans survive when they find themselves in Tdot. First up? A set of witty comebacks…

written by Dayes, HabsTweetup.com (AllHabs.net)

TORONTO, ON — Here we are, in the heat of August. The 2010-11 hockey season is long over, and the July summer has melted away the pain of a post-season disappointment. As we gear up for the next season with training camp only a few weeks away, I thought I’d put together a little survival guide to help Habs fans trying to survive in Leafs Nation.

Chapter One – Talking Back
In case you don’t already know, I hail from Montreal. My family moved to Toronto when I was very young, so I’ve spent the greater part of my life living in the big smoke of the Tdot. Hockey aside, I must say that do love the city of Toronto. But, that love does not extend to the Leafs. I am a devoted Habs fan! GO HABS GO!

Here are three scenarios in which you may find yourself when living in Toronto. Below each are phrases you may encounter (all have been real encounters of mine) and rebuttals that I suggest using (one that I have used, and two suggested alternatives).

The Direct Approach

Some Leafs fans have no shame. They don’t know you. They don’t know if you’re a visitor or a resident. But they have no problem just coming up to you and mouthing off if they spot you with Habs swag.

“You have to be pretty brave or pretty stupid to wear that on the streets of Toronto>”


  • “No, I’m just pretty.”
  • “Why do you say that? Are Leafs fans so barbaric that they’d attack random strangers?”
  • “But I love hockey. All of May and June I couldn’t find a single Leafs game. And I’ve been checking every year since 2006!”

“Why do you cheer for the Habs? You should cheer for a real team.”

  • “Clearly, your real team knows where it’s at. Longer vacations! Damn, they’re so smart!!”
  • “But my fake team wins more games than your real team.”
  • “Hmmm…cheer for a real team that doesn’t get into the playoffs, or cheer for a fake team that does…tough choice.”

How can you be proud of a team that whines like the Habs?”

  • “Because it’s harder to be proud of a team that loses like the Leafs.”
  • “Because I can’t bring myself to buy waffles to throw at the Leafs. Wasting food is wrong.”
  • “It’s easy because the Habs actually win once in a while.”

The Trash Talk

Inevitably, if you go to the bar to watch a game you will encounter trash talk. Personally, I don’t like any sort of trash talk. You want to cheer for the Leafs, go ahead – go nuts! But I’m not going to come over specifically to rub it in your face if you’re losing. 

However, not everyone subscribes to my method of watching entertainment sports. So don’t go to the bar unarmed (figuratively speaking, I don’t endorse weapons). You will need to be prepared with a couple of quips to defend yourself.

“Don’t bother wiping the TV screen. It won’t change the fact that your team is losing.”

  • “I’m cleaning it so that bad hockey doesn’t look worse.”
  • “I like seeing the Leafs score fluke goals on TV. It’s cheaper than going to see David Copperfield.” “But I want to be able to see the Leafs’ goals more clearly. They’re so rare. I don’t know when I might get another chance.”

“The Price is Wrong!”

  • “Still a better deal than Komisarek.”
  • “And Riem time is right?” (pronounced “rhyme”)
  • “And the Leafs had yet another smashing season of stellar goaltending! It was Johnny Bower’s last season, but that’s a minor detail.”

Your stupid team traded away the person [Halak] that carried them into the playoffs! We would never have done that.”

  • “But even if you had Halak, your team still wouldn’t have gotten into the playoffs.”
  • “Well thank gawd you didn’t trade away the star that got you into the playoffs…oh…wait…what playoffs? *whispers* Do the Leafs have any star players?”
  • “That’s right. You would’ve waffled him instead.”

The Pickup Line (only applies to female Habs fans) T

his is Toronto. When you and your girlfriends are at the bar, waiting to order drinks, guys will inevitably try to impress with their connections to the Leafs. I’m guessing it works on girls who are Leafs fans.

“Oh, so you like hockey? Well, I have a box at the ACC.”

  • “When I said I liked hockey, I meant I like to watch professional hockey.”
  • “Awesome. I’ll bring waffles.”
  • “They play hockey there? It doesn’t look like real hockey.”

“I don’t like to spread it around, but you know [insert Leafs player name here] is my best friend’s cousin.”

  • “You know, it’s actually more impressive to name drop with players from teams that actually win.” “Too bad my 6-year-old nephew isn’t here. He’s probably the only one who might care.”
  • “You’re right. You shouldn’t spread that around. It’s like telling someone you have herpes.”

(After buying a round of drinks for a group of seemingly uninterested girls…) “Do you know who I am? I’m Mats Sundin. Captain of the Leafs?”

  • “Oh!! *faux awkward pause* I’m a Habs fan.”
  • “Leafs? Oh, honey! Let me buy *you* a drink. It must be so hard, losing games so frequently. I can buy you a pity drink.”
  • “Cool!! Have you ever been to the Hockey Hall of Fame? That might be your only opportunity to see the Stanley Cup in Toronto.”

Stay tuned for my next chapter: The Company You Keep!

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