/ by Greg Gallinger

As the soldiers inexplicably repel down from the arena rafters


Brian Burke, quoted on Maple Leafs.com

“MLSE and the Leafs are committed to being leaders in the community and initiatives such as Canadian Forces Appreciation Night help reinforce this value.”

Displaying military power and throwing jingoist "appreciation nights" does not reinforce a commitment to community values, it makes you look like macho buffoons.

If you really want to show a commitment to the community how about having a community appreciation night, where inner city kids and blue collar hockey fans can actually afford tickets. Season ticket holders could opt to give up their tickets so an immigrant or refugee kid could see a real hockey game.

Hockey doesn't have to be about machismo and militarism. I hear a lot of language comparing hockey tilts to battles and wars, but when I think of hockey I think about a community centre rink on a chilly January night. I think of cold beers, jerseys worn over hoodies, 3 on 3, and shooting for the posts.