Bryan deserves better

JODY VANCE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:23 AM ET

If you don't mind taking a break between boos, I ask that you take a moment to consider how badly Bryan McCabe felt after scoring an own goal in overtime Monday night that saw his team fall to the Sabres in Buffalo.

No amount of annual salary softens being the one who put that puck in the net and it certainly doesn't help in dealing with the extreme negative reaction from fans bombarding the defenceman following the gaffe.

Fact: McCabe was not single-handedly responsible for his team blowing a hefty lead. He was part of a team that lost.

It's a cliche, but these guys win as a team and lose as a team.

Honestly, if there was an example of misguided animosity in sports, the current backlash directed so specifically at McCabe is a case study.

Believe it or not, Leafs Nation, this guy is not the reason the Toronto Maple Leafs are not performing up to your expectations so far this young season and booing Bryan is not the answer to the problem at hand.

Full points to Darcy Tucker for standing up for his mate. Following an epic practice Tuesday, Tucker asked a very poignant question when addressing the abusive fans in the stands: "Does it make you feel better to make somebody else feel bad?"

What's your answer?

Before you go crazy filling my inbox with "do you know how much my tickets cost? I have the right to boo." Let me tell you that I do understand fan frustration, I do, you pay a big price to sit in the stands but, if you don't mind I would like to share a couple of good doses of reality to help with that blood pressure during these tough times:

1) They will never -- and you cannot expect them to -- win them all.

2) Booing will not help.

Being a fan through the lean times gives you the right to stand and sing "We Are the Champions" at the top of your lungs with pride, when that day comes.

For those boo birds who refuse to give up the practice ... you, my friends, run the risk of wearing the moniker "bandwagon jumper," when things do go this team's way.

-- Jody Vance is a longtime sportscaster and personality with Leafs TV. Her column appears Tuesdays and Thursdays in 24 hours.


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