The Perennial Playoff Dilemma: Cheer Another Team or Watch Baseball?

Josh LewisSenior Analyst IMay 9, 2008

It's the perennial playoff quandary, especially if you're a Leafs fan like me: What to do when your team doesn't make the playoffs or gets knocked out early? Do you take up the cause of one of the remaining teams, or do you start watching baseball because you can't bear to cheer on a foreign club?

Really, the answer comes down to your definition of a "true fan". Some say that cheering for another team, even for one game, makes you less of a fan of your own team. Others believe it's okay to root for another club, as long as your heart is with the boys in blue and white, or whatever the case may be.

Another relevant issue here is the difference between being a Leafs (or Habs or Flyers) fan and being a hockey fan. Using my example, if you follow the Leafs and only the Leafs, you'll likely switch to the Jays when they get knocked out. But if you enjoy watching any and all hockey, you'll probably keep watching the playoffs and adopt another team for a month or two.

You can put me in the second camp. I nearly always adopt another team once the Leafs go down, unless I hate all the teams left. This year it's Pittsburgh. This doesn't mean that I'm jumping on the Pens bandwagon. I don't try to pass myself off as a lifetime Penguins fan. I'm merely finding a way to continue enjoying the game I love, long after my beloved Buds are gone. I'm saying, "Gee, it would be cool if Pittsburgh won the Cup," but if they don't, I'm not going to lose sleep over it. When the Leafs are eliminated, I do lose sleep over it. That's the difference.

I'm still a true Leafs fan. They're the ones I live and die for during hockey season. Why should I miss out on some entertaining hockey just because my team is still spinning its wheels trying to find a general manager?

Besides, the Jays won't make the playoffs in my lifetime.