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Sports Talk: Toronto Maple Leafs fans love to drink. Also, water is wet, the sky is blue and the Leafs still won’t win the Stanley Cup

I promise — no more tales of woe about lottery wins I didn’t get. I’ve got something better to open things up this week.
In this June 29, 1986 file photo, Diego Maradona holds up his team’s trophy after Argentina’s 3-2 victory over West Germany at the World Cup final soccer match at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. The Argentine soccer great who was among the best players ever and who led his country to the 1986 World Cup title with a big assist from his left hand in the semifinal against England.(AP Photo/Carlo Fumagalli, File)

I promise — no more tales of woe about lottery wins I didn’t get. I’ve got something better to open things up this week.

Some guy decided to open the emergency exit on a United Airlines flight that had landed in the morning hours of May 5 in Chicago. According to the airline, the flight had just landed from San Diego and the impatient passenger, we’ll call him, left his seat, popped the door open and slid down that inflatable slide we see in movies where planes are in danger. He was placed into the care of authorities following the stunt but let’s just be thankful it wasn’t a repeat of the clown who thought it would be cool to hop up onto the wing of a United jet while showing us all his shortcomings.


Oh, they need it

Part of going to a sporting event is the chance to enjoy some refreshments while watching. Doesn’t matter what it is — we always make our way to the snack bar or concession because that’s what our mind is trained to do.

Of course, it gets more expensive when it’s a professional sporting event and worse when we’re talking about the Toronto Maple Leafs. If you have a second mortgage, you’ll find it goes a long way when it comes to going to a home game at Scotiabank Arena. So imagine my total lack of stunned-ness when a survey was released showing just how much Leafs fans love their beer. When you’re a Leafs fan, you have to drink copious amounts simply because, well, it’s the Leafs. Not like there’s going to be a Stanley Cup victory to talk about.

The survey in question was released by time2play, an outfit based in Indiana, and it took a look at how much booze the average fan consumed during the course of a hockey game. To do that, the company talked to 1,584 fans in both Canada and the U.S. and when the science was done, it found that not only do Leafs fans drink the most beers per game — four — they spend the most per game on average at $58.50 per person. Who drinks the least? New York Rangers fans with barely two. Now, there’s something to be said about that because with the cost of living in Manhattan higher than Cheech and Chong hotbox, it’s understandable that there would be barely any disposable income left for a Coors Light.

Congrats, Leafs fans! You did it! You reached the top of self-lubrication.

This is nice

Now, I can’t be totally negative with this column. I mean, some nice things still happen in this world, right?

Take what happened at the SkyDome (we’ve been through this before … yes, I know it’s the Rogers Centre but IT’S THE DOME!) on May 3. New York Yankees are visiting the Toronto Blue Jays. Yankees superstar Aaron Judge hits a home run into the left-field stands. A Jays fan by the name of Mike Lanzillota manages to snag the souvenir. Beside him is Derek Rodriguez, a young Yankees fan decked out in Judge gear. Without skipping a beat, Lanzillota hands the ball to Rodriguez, who breaks down instantly.

But that’s not all.

Judge found out about what happened and invited both Lanzillota and Rodriguez down to the Yankees dugout prior to the next night’s game. Rodriguez was once again in tars because now, he’s meeting the man who he obviously idolizes. Lanzilotta’s reaction? He stands off to the side and lets Rodriguez have all the fun.

See, kids? The little things are still appreciated by the world and let me just say that I’m not shocked by Judge’s reaction. He’s the kind of player who talks to the fans, doesn’t treat them like serfs and he actually looked like he was enjoying the whole thing. Well done to you all.

And finally …

Good Idea: Auctioning off sports memorabilia.

Bad Idea: Auctioning off Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ jersey.

The late, great Diego Maradona was one of the best to ever play the game of soccer. He’s also remembered for scoring now of the most infamous goals in the history of the sport.

The 1986 World Cup in Mexico is where Maradona became a household name and his “goal” in the semifinal versus England that year is the stuff of legends. It was the first of his two goals in that contest that became talked about, a goal he described as “a little from the head of Maradona, and a little with the hand of God”. Replays clearly showed that Maradona punched the ball over England goalkeeper Peter Shilton and got away with it.

Welp, the jersey he wore that day has now become the richest piece of sports memorabilia ever bought after an unknown buyer paid $11.3 million for it in an online auction May 4. Steve Hodge, the England player who traded jerseys with Maradona following the game, had loaned it out to the National Football Museum in Manchester, England for years but finally decided to part with it. The now-second-highest price paid for a piece of history was $8.8 million for a manifesto that launched the modern Olympic movement. That’s $8.8 million more than necessary.

Anyway, Hodge is now set for the rest of his life and someone just made a very good investment because it will only increase in value. See, Leafs fans? That’s how you spend money the right way.

Until next time, folks …