The research additionally discovered Leafs tattoos are the sixth most in-demand sports activities staff tattoos primarily based on Google Developments knowledge
If tattoos are any indication, Toronto Maple Leafs followers actually are the best on this planet. The Leafs emblem is essentially the most tattooed sports activities staff emblem on this planet, in response to a latest study by Playing.com that checked out international Instagram hashtag knowledge.
The research discovered 5,662 hashtags together with the Toronto Maple Leafs staff title adopted by “tattoo.” That’s in comparison with the second-most tattooed sports activities staff on the checklist, the Denver Broncos, for which the research discovered 3,805 related hashtags on Instagram. And the Leafs are the one hockey staff out of the highest 5 groups on the checklist (which incorporates the Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots).
It seems the Leafs are additionally the sixth-most in-demand sports activities staff tattoo, primarily based on country-specific Google Developments knowledge, the research additionally discovered. Once more, out of the highest 20 groups on the checklist, the Leafs are the one hockey staff.
The information may come as a shock to some hockey followers, particularly these acquainted with the staff’s questionable success charge – the final time the Toronto Maple Leafs gained the Stanley Cup was in 1967. Over the previous 10 years, they’ve made the playoffs six instances, although 4 of these instances, the staff misplaced within the first spherical.
However for die-hard Leafs fan Matt Kaleta, this research isn’t a shock.
“The Leafs have been round for over 100 years, so that they do have a wealthy historical past regardless of struggling the final 20 years,” he says. “Folks all the time say it’s essentially the most devoted fan base, and what different staff couldn’t win a cup for 50 one thing years and nonetheless be the richest staff, with essentially the most supportive, essentially the most passionate followers?”
Kaleta has a Leafs tattoo, one which he received in 2013 when the Leafs made the playoffs after the longest lively drought since 2004, earlier than shedding within the quarter finals to Boston.
“After I was a child, my dad and I’d all the time say that when the Leafs gained the cup we will get matching Leafs tattoos collectively,” Kaleta says.
Photograph Courtesy Matt Kaleta
Kaleta received his tattoo after ready for years for the Leafs to win the Cup.
However after nearly a decade of not even making it to the playoffs, Kaleta determined to get his after they made it by way of in 2013, regardless that his dad nonetheless wished to attend for the massive win.
“I joked with my dad, I mentioned if we wait any longer, I’m gonna must roll him in his wheelchair at 80 years outdated to get the tattoo,” he says.
Kaleta says his tattoo, which is a picture of the Leafs emblem, is kind of the dialog piece. “Folks clearly have robust opinions on it. I get from lots of people, ‘Oh, that’s a stink you may’t wash off,’ issues like that, however I don’t take it personally,” he says.
Christopher Flink received a big Leafs-themed tattoo in 2019, and he says he often will get compliments on it from followers.
“It’s a option to present that you simply’re a fan with out having to all the time be sporting a jersey or a hat or one thing,” he says.
He says he can joke about giving up on the Leafs once they let him down yr after yr, however that’s the factor about Leafs followers – they’ll by no means actually surrender. “Hope springs everlasting,” Flink jokes.
Flink says he understands why so many Leafs followers like himself have gone the additional mile and tattooed themselves in honour of the staff.
“There’s positively a correlation between the die-hard Leafs fandom present no matter how good they’re and the mentality of getting one thing that represents a mediocre sports activities staff put in your physique without end,” he says. “I believe there’s a sort of a Stockholm Syndrome there.”
After all, many Leafs followers aren’t below any phantasm concerning the success of their staff, even those with tattoos.
“I’m simply so used to sort of being dissatisfied,” Kaleta says relating to the staff’s latest playoffs loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Might 31. “Clearly, I would like them to win, however nothing actually surprises me.”