As Toronto FC’s victorious players, staff, and management stood atop red buses going up Bay Street on Monday afternoon (at about the usual speed for downtown T.O.), they were of course surrounded by their ecstatic fans.
The Red Patch Boys supporters group in front, and the hordes of other followers behind and all around, all jockeyed for a taste of the glory – and the champagne being poured off of the players’ bus. Among these long-suffering fans, there were likely at least one or two forward-looking individuals who found themselves wanting more and wondering, just for a second, what a championship parade for the blue and white might look like.
Exactly the same? Totally different? Even more Snapchatting? A higher quotient of grown men and women crying?
Fortunately, we were on the scene and just so happened to see a known Leafs staffer, who had frantically been scribbling notes while taking in the parade, accidentally drop said notes while high-tailing it back down the street to Leafs HQ.
After investigation, it turns out that the famous “Plan the parade” directive is actually a real plan already in motion. The following notes, presented in their original form, give Leafs Nation an illuminating inside look at the Maple Leafs’ vision for Toronto’s future party of the century.
Notes and Suggestions for Leafs’ Stanley Cup Parade, June ??, 201?, From TFC Parade, December 11, 2017
- Win Stanley Cup
And remember to bring it to the parade. Just seeing the Philip F. Anschutz trophy (or the Phil, as I like to call it) really seemed to get the people going. Can’t stress this one enough.
- Make sure it’s a warmer day
The chilly climes were really the only unfortunate part of this TFC parade. Let’s make sure to hold ours when it’s reliably warm. This means we should really get this winning thing done before irreversible climate change starts to cause massive weather events and subzero temperatures in the month of June. I believe we’re on track for this (Note to self: check with top brass that we’re on track for this).
- Use a longer parade route
Of course we’ll include the iconic Bay Street and Nathan Phillips Square as part of the parade route, but let’s dream bigger – we’re the Leafs, after all. In order to accommodate all fans, a more extensive route is a must. And along the way, we can work in some famous Toronto spots – let’s start the Cup parade on Centre Island, then hit the mainland with an armada of boats (which we won’t burn, sorry Randy), maybe incorporate a trip up the CN Tower, and when we’re done at City Hall, let’s just carry on all the way to Muskoka. That way our retired players and also Lupul (REDACTED: LOCATION UNKNOWN) can join in the festivities.
- Let (all) fans march in the parade
Speaking of all those adoring fans, one of the nicest touches in the Toronto FC parade was the team being led up the street by celebrating legions of people decked out in the team’s red. This is an idea we should borrow for the Leafs. However, I think we can do TFC one better, and invite not just Leafs fans, but also Habs fans, Sens fans, Bruins fans, Sabres fans, and fans of all other teams to lead the heroes through the Centre of the Hockey Universe. This is a celebration for all. I’m sure they’d be happy for us.
- Include a drumline
Definitely a highlight of the TFC parade. But make sure before offering the job to any drummers that they know how to play timeless ACC classic “Sweet Caroline”. Everyone loves that!
- Work on creating some chants
TFC fans were definitely in the singing spirit at this parade, as they always are at games. The Red Patch Boys led some pretty sweet chants, some entirely wordless and others proclaiming their love for their team. Go Leafs Go is of course a staple, but let’s see if we can introduce a few others before the parade. What Leaf’s name can we sing to the tune of “Seven Nation Army” like they did today with Sebastian Giovinco? Off the top of my head, “Currrrtis McElhiiiiiney” doesn’t sound half-bad. Let’s get him some exposure.
- Encourage fans to grow beards
TFC fans, or at least the male subset, generally seem to have imposing and impressive beards as a key part of their soccer fandom. Since playoff beards are already all the rage in the NHL, let’s start a fanbase initiative a few months before possible parade time, in order to make sure that our parade is extra hip and has that same Europe-approved “it” factor (Note to self: run this by Lou, when he’s had a good day).
- Bust out the ticker tape
To make this a celebration on par with the greatest urban parades the world has ever seen, and one that fits the occasion, let’s work with the tenants of Toronto’s tallest office buildings to find a safe way to release ticker tape and confetti onto the party below. In fact, why stop at confetti? To honour Leafs history and some of the more difficult seasons that led to this moment, let’s get creative. Other items that could be dropped include waffles, David Clarkson jerseys, ripped-up season tickets, pictures of Kerry Fraser, and even hot dog wrappers from that delicious stand at Front and John. It’ll be a coronation and an exorcism all in one.
- Leave this piece of paper at King and Bay, in order to keep the fans busy while we plan the real, more outrageous parade
…Oh. Well, Leafs fans, looks like we’ve been had once again. Hats off to you, Leafs. We eagerly await your party and are excited for what you have planned. Our one request is this: just please don’t make us wait too long.