About the Author

Tavish Gudgeon

Tavish Gudgeon is a producer and screenwriter. He loves the Leafs and refuses to admit he has a problem.

Books by this Author
The Sound of One Team Sucking

The Sound of One Team Sucking

Mindful Meditations for Recovering Leafs Fans
also available: eBook
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The past is your lesson, the present your gift,
the future your motivation.
— Anonymous, internet hacker and quote machine

Being a Leafs fan has never been easy. In fact, things were tough even before the Leafs were the Leafs. Take the team’s very first franchise owner, Eddie Livingstone, for example. He was a blustery renegade, whose o -ice antics would have given Harold Ballard a run for his embezzled money.
Livingstone entered the picture in 1914. After a successful stint in amateur sports — his Toronto Rugby and Amateur Association team won the Ontario Hockey Association senior championships two years in a row — he bought the Toronto Ontarios of the National Hockey Association (NHA), precursor to the NHL. Livingstone got rid of the Ontarios’ gaudy orange sweater, dressed them in emerald green, and the Toronto Shamrocks were born.
Livingstone had a number of legendary battles with players, co-owners, and the press. One of his most famous feuds involved the legendary Cy Denneny, the leading scorer on Livingstone’s rechristened Toronto Blueshirts team. After getting a civil service job in Ottawa, Denneny demanded a trade to the Senators.
Livingstone first refused, then — faced with Denneny’s threat to sit out the season — capitulated in Ballardian fashion, asking for either Frank Nighbor, the Senators’ star player, or the unheard-of sum of $1,800 in return. Livingstone nally settled on a lesser player and $750 for Denneny, but the damage was done. Livingstone lost his best player, and the Senators gained a star who would help them win four Stanley Cups over the next dozen years.
Livingstone followed this disaster by publicly badmouthing amateur star Lionel Conacher, one of the most famous athletes in the country, because the player refused to sign a pro contract with Toronto.
After Livingstone questioned his character, Canada’s future Top Athlete of the Half Century successfully sued … and then went on to enjoy a great NHL career, without ever playing a game for his hometown Toronto team.

Today I will remind myself that for every Harold Ballard, there is an Eddie Livingstone waiting to take his place.

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