When a renegade fan, the kind of guy who plays by his own rules, sprints onto a professional baseball field, players and security alike rush to tackle him (or her, but let’s be honest, it’s a him) in a fashion not unlike a steer wrestler or a nightclub bouncer.
But when a brazen member of Leafs Nation hopped the Air Canada Centre boards in the final minute of Wednesday’s Toronto-Tampa Bay game, everyone let the man frolic and slide on the ice as if he were some sort of draught-guzzling Bambi.
Losing 5-3, the Maple Leafs had called a 30-second timeout, and some joker got 15 seconds of fame.
The goateed fan’s hat read “46 yrs” and his home sweater had the number “19″ stitched on his left arm and “67″ on the right. The nameplate on the back read “Stanley” and a question mark replaced a number on his back.
The crowd, which had the life sucked out of it when Tyler Johnson increased the Lightning lead to two goals in the third period, cheered lustily at the stunt.
Before eventually being escorted off the ice by security — dude didn’t leave without a fight — the mystery man had made his point: it’s been a while since the Leafs have won a Cup.