So I haven't been around this past season, as you know. I've spoken to some of you privately, but I felt like I wanted to explain a bit in case anyone else here feels the same way as I do. I haven't watched a single Als game this year since about week three and it feels great. I have so much more time to invest in things that are worth my energy and dedication. I've gone through long periods of being a sports fan, and long periods of not being a sports fan, and this is the start of one of the latter periods, I think.
To be blunt, I've had enough of supporting a franchise that is dysfunctional, that is not interested in putting a watchable product on the field (forget winning anything; man alive, just be competitive!). What happened with Reed, Chapdelaine, and the furnishing of Toronto with our best players is analogous to the Canadiens trading Subban -- it ended my willingness to love franchises that don't love their fans back. It's not just a matter of personal enjoyment (like, I actively hated watching Als games the past few years and it's so nice not to care anymore about whether they win or lose); it's as ethical a stand as I can take. The only way I (and anyone else) can show a team that they are on the wrong track is by choosing not to follow the team, not to attend games or buy merch or support it in any way. You want to play stupid language games and hire coaches based on language? You want to let the coach inexplicably purge the roster of all its good veteran talent and thereby make our division rival a Grey Cup contender in one offseason? You want to trade the star defenseman of the team because (let's be frank) he's a young, charismatic, black superstar and your coach and GM are both racists? Be my guest. Do all those things. Your team will be playing in an empty stadium or arena eventually.
In short, I am showing my displeasure by taking my limited leisure time, energy, and money elsewhere. For the past six months, I've been going back to hobbies that make me happy, like playing guitar. I started playing again and it feels fantastic. The enjoyment I derive from it is bottomless, though I'm not very good and probably never will be. I get to make music, learn and grow, and challenge myself every time I sit down to practice. When I have a free moment, it's the first thing I want to do. Compared to this, following a dysfunctional team just isn't worth the heartache.
The only thing I miss about not following the Als are the conversations and friendships on this forum. Members like Hfx, Johnny, Niagara, sheldon, tony, LeStaf, and anyone else I'm forgetting. Even people I've feuded with! You're all fantastic people to share football with. I'm not saying I'll never come back to football, but I don't anticipate it happening in the near future, so I'll just wish all of you well in your respective lives. Stay healthy and happy.