Cup of Coffee: Great title, great tribute, great lessons for all players in any sport

Hard to believe that the authors actually had to fight with the publishers over this title. But that’s what Graig and Lance both told me at the book launch at the Blake House on Jarvis Street the other night. Crazy. It’s a great title!

In fact they’ve probably not coined but cemented a coined term and brought something special to the forefront of the sporting/playing experience.

As a hockey-loving boomer I have heard the phrase probably thousands of times:

“He came up for a cup of coffee.”

“I had a cup of coffee with x team.”

But I am more than just a hockey-loving boomer, I am a Leafs-loving boomer. And I loved flipping through this fun book.

Oh the names.

And oh the photos.

Nobody has the photos that Graig has and nobody has the unique knowledge and perspective that Lance has about these Lesser Known Leafs.

What does that mean, Lesser Known?

The beauty of having a Cup of Coffee as a player is that the experience (even if it is just one cup) actually lasts forever. You have a Cup of Coffee as a Leaf and hey you’re a leaf forever. Imagine that!

That was always my fantasy as a kid born in High Park and raised in Oakville and watching the Leafs with my raging Slavic-tongued Dad. I wanted to play for the Leafs, at the Gardens (link to Welcome to MLG) and be in the Leafs team picture just once that Graig Abel took many times. But it never happened. I was good enough in another sport but not hockey (It was soccer: Europe; diving; I know, sorry). But because I watched so many games in that fake-panelled basement rec room with my raging Slavic-tongued Dad, I became a fan forever. A leaf fan forever – and jeez a Leaf forever? Guess so. I kind of drank the coffee each time I sat in front of the basement box (tv) which also had fake panelling (while my dad snuck to the room with the wine barrels and his cups). And yet I would have given my right fill in the blank to have just one cup of coffee with the Leafs. Imagine that!

Skating the warm-up at the Gardens – or later the ACC – and then even sitting on the bench the whole night until say – Ken Baumgartner or Craig Berube or ¬†Jeff Brubaker or Dave Hutchinson – got tossed out of the game and taking his place for a shift or two. What delicious cup of coffee that would have been – forever…

Lance said that Wendel would have been there (he wrote the forward) but was on the road promoting his own book (Bleeding Blue)

Love the cover – whether it’s the Leafs or any other team in any other sport the truth is that even if you’re a big star you’ve never really made it. You’re always one game away from throwing your equipment bag over your shoulder and walking out the door

Why you have to enjoy it – your cup of coffee.

I guess in soccer the title would be: espresso or capuccino…


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