Fans to Cherry: Leafs heckling deserved

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:35 AM ET

Don Cherry has been talkin' smack about a couple of "good, ol' Canadian boys" who love the Maple Leafs.

Now it's time for the rebuttal.

Toby Glanville and his buddy, Paul Sims, were in the stands at the Air Canada Centre watching a dismal Leafs effort against the New York Rangers in a game last month. As the Leafs struggled, Glanville and Sims put "Upset Fan" bags over their heads and a Sportsnet cameraman caught them.

The video appeared on Sportsnet and on the Hockey Night in Canada pre-game montage on Oct. 24.

Last Saturday (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AI_SeeY4Kjg), Cherry tore a strip off them, Glanville, in particular, saying: "I'd like to get that guy and smack him ... they're stupid."

Cherry called the bag-wearers "jerks" for not backing their team through thick and thin.

Here's Glanville's side of the story.

A letter to Don Cherry:

A few choice adjectives and verbs were used in your description of my buddy and I and it was obvious you were hot under that enormous collar of yours. So I'm compelled to provide some context and explain the perspective of a die-hard Leafs fan, not to mention an adoring Cherry zealot.

I'm perfectly in the right to be upset. The Leafs were in the midst of their worst start in history and were playing another horrible game. The players were lacklustre and the fans were spiritless couch potatoes. You would have been proud to see the John Kordic jersey I was wearing and Ken Baumgartner's No. 22 that Paul Sims wore. We were two of the most passionate and dedicated Leafs fans in that building. Don, I submitted my Cherry vote for Greatest Canadian because you are like Father Hockey to me.

I hang on every word you say. Your devotion to Canada is an inspiration to all. There's a reason I have a Cherry No. 1 Hockey Night In Canada jersey in my closet. So, when I hear my mentor knocking me for being upset, it hits close to the heart.

When we scored the tickets for that night, we had high expectations. We anticipated good times and non-stop banter up in the blue-collar nose-bleeds. But within five minutes of chugging our beer, the energy suddenly was sucked out of us like a short-handed goal. Who would've thought the Purples would be so quiet? I always thought it was MLSEL that was lame, not the "real" fans in the upper bowl.

CARE

My point is that in order for one to be upset, he must care. He must have boiling blood flowing through his heart. Don't be mad at the upset fan, be mad at the hollow-hearted, sushi-eating, "shhh, you're too loud" zombies who don't know how to have a good time.

I'll always be your biggest fan, Grapes. However, I can't simply shrug off your words of displeasure aimed at a couple of good ol' Canadian boys. We were upset that night, all right? We were upset with the Leafs, MLSEL and the quiet fans. Cut us some slack. Our hearts were in the right place.

-- TOBY GLANVILLE


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