Sports and Superstition have long gone hand in hand. 

With the return of the Maple Leafs after a long summer full of dalliances with other sports and pastimes away fans all over the country are busy making preparations to appease the hockey gods in the hopes that this year their prayers will be answered. Each fan has a routine or pattern of behaviour they seek to adhere to in the hopes that their favourite team will see a win. These habits tend to develop organically and often in response to a particular event. The Leafs did X when I did Y so I better either do Y all the time or never again.

My own ritual is drinking beer and eating peanuts. Myself and fellow Leafs Nation contributor JP Nikota were roommates during our undergraduate studies at UWO. We both liked beer and the peanuts calmed our nerves a little, for some reason I find shucking them soothing, I believe George Washington Carver advocated eating peanuts to reduce stress. Either way it is something that we always do when we watch a game together. That and play NHL on my GameCube between periods, or at whichever point the Leafs performed so terribly we had to beat their opponent ourselves, virtual catharsis.

Also, JP tends to sit on the floor as the game gets more tense, I’m not entirely sure why.

So, Leafs Nation, what are your Maple Leafs Rituals?

Leave yours in the comments or on Twitter hashtag #LeafsNationRituals

  • ryantologist

    This is where my two religions — hockey fandom and beer snobbery — intersect. I match my drinks to game situations.

    Preseason game with limited impact? Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’. Korbinian Holzer’s first call-up? Hacker-Pschorr. The Bruins are the last hope to keep a Cup away from the Canucks? Sam Adams. Kulemin slumping and needs a boost? White Russian. And even though it produces some of my favourites, I never go near a Quebec beer during a game against the Habs.

    This grew out of the fact that keeping a well stocked fridge and bar at home became a pretty necessary part of being a Leaf fan during the JFJ years.

    • Danny Gray

      Oh man that’s great! I drank Sam Adams during the Stanley Cup finals as well, looks like it worked.

      We should sit down and come up with a drinking guide for each Leafs game.

  • Neil Meneses

    New Ritual started this pre-season, first game.

    Watched the first period with my Daughter on my lap. By the start of second period it was her bed time. Leafs won.

    Last night, did not watch the first period with my daughter (she was with mom). Second period – bed time. Leafs lost.

    I will be watching the first period of the next game with my daughter. We’ll see how it pans out.

    • Danny Gray

      As this is all very scientific please try to control for as many variables as possible. Did you read her a bed-time story? Was there a tuck-in?
      We need to be rigorous here.

      • Neil Meneses


        – Mother brings daughter (7 months in age) wearing Leafs toque to father (sitting on sofa), along with three toys (Purple cat that “meows”, white teddy that does nothing, wooden teething ring)
        – Daughter stares at colours on screen for a few minutes
        – Daughter bobbles around with toys and father’s face, whilst on fathers lap.
        – Father carries daughter to mirror to point out facial body parts (eyes, ears, mouth, nose).
        – Father returns to sofa with daughter to bobble around.
        – Repeat last three steps frequently.
        – Mother arrives during 1st period intermission to remove daughter for bed time.

        – Leafs win hockey game.

        All very logical.

  • positivebrontefan

    Not sure about Leafs rituals but as an Oilers fan anything involving a game day started with a fully stocked beer fridge and finished with an empty one. Dam it’s been painful.