Maple Leaf Laughs
Toronto Sun sports journalist and hockey author "It would have been worse if we hadn't blocked the kick after Toronto's second touchdown," quipped Detroit captain Alex Delvecchio on January 2, 1971. His team had just endured an embarrassing 13-0 shellacking by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Maple Leafs Laughs is full of off-the-cuff comments that keep millions of fans not only watching the games, but also tuning in to see the highlight reels and reading the sports pages religiously. They're fresh, they're frank, and they're all about hockey. Is there any athlete more self-deprecating than an NHL player? "It's nice to get a standing ovation in Montreal," noted Maple Leaf Wendel Clark, his tongue firmly planted in his cheek. Clark got his round of applause while leaving the ice on a stretcher after crashing headfirst into the boards. There are 400 quotations gathered here, arranged by topic. Speakers are identified by their affiliation at the time. Most of these lines are of recent vintage, but some are fifty years old, proving that hockey remains hockey. Goalie Gump Worsley's blunt observation that champagne drunk from the Stanley Cup "tasted like horse pee from a tin cup" is as iconoclastic a comment today as it was in the 1960s.