Apr. 30 – Maple Leafs…never ?

How long will the ghost of Harold Ballard haunt the Leafs?

Harold haunts the Leafs, Dougie haunts Ontarians, and the beat goes on!

Readers Write
This particular note came from south of the 49th, and after reading it, being a good Canuck through and through, I found myself enjoying a feeling of ‘pride’. Not ‘jump and down/pound on your chest/Uncle Sam’ pride, but more of a feeling of satisfaction that Canada is doing something right. *It goes like this: “Clinton made me want to be faithful. Bush made me want to be smarter. Obama made me want to be better. Trump made me want to be Canadian!”. Actually, I’ve spoken with a couple of American readers of “From Nakina” who were/are feeling the same way. **(thanks and readers comments are always welcome!)

I Don’t Want….
….to be an ‘I told you so’….but have decided (perhaps just this once) I’m going to be one anyway. I pointed out VERY clearly in last week’s “F/N” column that the Maple Leafs will NOT become ‘winners’ as long as they are under the dark cloud/spell of The Ghost of Harold Ballard. Actually, I’ve made that statement/prediction in this space a number of tymes over the past 10-15 years. You see, NHL legend has it that when Pal Hal became the ‘former owner’ of the Leafs, he put a ‘pox’ on the team, then when the affable/laughable ex-Bossman passed away/was ‘promoted to glory’, the ‘pox’ then became a GHOST and resided in Ballard’s concrete bunker, located at the west end of Maple Leaf Gardens down in the Gold section where he and lifelong buddy King Clancy watched all Toronto home games. When the Gardens closed up, the move to the new 20,000-seat Air Canada Centre went smoothly as can be, though it’s not sure where Ballard took up residence within the new place, nor where he watched the games from. But it became clear immediately that the curse was still working just fine, thank you. Ditto for the recent name change to the place as Scotiabank became the new landlords. Then after a good season (by Toronto standards), don’t-cha know the Leafs find themselves in the NHL Playoffs! But two obstacles stood between the Leafs and Lord Stanley’s Cup….the Boston Bruins and Harold Ballard’s Ghost. Well, Toronto dug deep and at one point even appeared to have control of the 7-game series with a 3 games to 2 lead. BUT….whatever/whoever had kept Pal Hal at bay either let their guard down, screwed up and/or dozed off, hence the series went to Game 7. Ballard kicked things up a notch or two and the Bruins blew them away 5-1!!! It seems the Leafs are quite a ‘young team’ and that means two things….after the initial pain of losing out eases off, they will recover and bounce back next year. Sadly, they’re not old enough to know or even remember Harold E Ballard. (*memo to my friend at CFNO FM up north…Hey buddy, wait until next year!!!

Readers Write #2
And as stated previously, they fone too, and Rotzy got a fone call yesterday that ‘got my attention’ big tyme from a long-tyme Nakina friend. Miz. Jo had heard a day or two back via Facebook*tm he and his wife were going to the NASCAR race at Talladega, Alabama. Anyway, we’ve watched NASCAR for years now, and Talladega along with Daytona are my two favourite tracks, so….SO…the fone rings at about 3:30 Sat afternoon, Jo Ann answers then hands it to me, it’s from Alabama and our friends are sitting in Row 5 right near the Finish Line as the Qualifying for Sunday’s race is happening right in front of them. LIVE!!! And he points his fone toward the track every tyme a car roars by. Too cool….over the fone!!…and I can only imagine what it’s like to actually be sitting right there with 80F. I know if you’re not ‘into racing’ that wouldn’t do anything for you, but for this olde NASCAR fan, it made my day. I hope he calls back today when they drop the Green Flag. And we’ll certainly be watching for them on our 40″ Sony!!

Ontario Is Open For Business
So sayeth our Premier a couple of weeks ago, however with the massive budget cuts announced last week he may better define ‘open’….or indicate what the hours of operation might be, you think? I’m not gonna get into a pissing contest on this thing, maybe just pass on a few points made on fone-in show last week on Zoomer Radio 740AM, two of them made sense and both were difficult to argue against. A gentleman caller (clearly a Conservative, who seemed to know what he was talking about) spoke of an ongoing cycle for decades and decades: the Liberals get in, spend, spend, spend, creating a huge Deficit….then the Conservatives win and try to get the debt under control….mostly through cuts….and on and on it goes. Then there was a lady caller….also a PC I believe….who said very clearly….although cuts are absolutely necessary, Ford is ‘doing too much too fast’, or ‘all at once’, or something like that. Well sir/ma’am, it says here that Dougie has gone WAY beyond that, and well past ‘responsible governing’….and when two of your main targets going on the chopping block are Health Care and Education….well you better put the meat cleaver down for a while and take a good hard look around. There are many other cuts that are getting the PC Hook that are gonna mess a lot of people up but good….some of them real ‘life changers’ if you look at them closely. *Memo to Doug Ford…I can’t help but wonder if you’re trying to be Ontario’s first Premier to show a ‘totally balanced budget’??!! Perhaps get us ‘into the black’?….however impossible that may appear to be with that ‘Liberal mess’ to clean up, eh, guy??!! Do me and us old boomer survivors a favour and take it easy on Health Care. Thanks Dougie.

*Thought of The Day…Better to be thought a fool, then open your mouth and remove all doubt.

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