Hey everybody, I’m back with a quick look at something that has started to evolve on Leafs Twitter. It seems many fans, including myself, have become a little tired of the constant, not occasional, criticism of Mike Babcock. Like beating a dead horse over and over again whether it’s line combinations, TOI for various players, PP groups, the rate at which he breathes (OK maybe not that far) etc.
Here is my interview with Scott, one of the founders of the #Babcult hashtag/movement.
Me- Good mornin’ Scotty, how she goin’?
Scott – Good morning, Eddie, thanks for having me.
Me – Let’s get right to the point so we don’t bore anyone with a lot of small talk.
Scott – (laughs) I’m down. Let’s do it.
Me – So this Babcult thing. What is it?
Scott – It’s any Leafs fans who support the coach. We love Mike Babcock.
Me – So a lot of Leafs fans have added the hashtag #Babcult to their names. How did the following start?
Scott – Well if you look around social media, and talk to Leafs fans and listen to the radio I’m sure you’ve noticed a lot of criticisms of the coach lately. Generally about line combos, power play units…
Me – Minutes played, starting Komarov in OT…
Scott – Exactly! It’s generally the same handful of gripes being talked about to death. Which I totally understand, and of course it’s normal as fans to play armchair coach and come up with our own ideal lines and so forth.
Me – Sure.
Scott – But when I started noticing the extent of the anger amplify, and overwhelming negativity towards the coach and the team, I just found it ridiculous.
Me – How so?
Scott – It’s one thing to question Mike, based on what seems logical to you. But you have to keep in mind that we as fans do not have as much information as him.
Me – What kind of information do you mean exactly?
Scott – For example, if a player is nursing a minor injury of some kind, and you look at his minutes at the end of the game and go on a rant about Babcock, when you really have no clue.
Me – Right. And sometimes a coach has to play a hunch.
Scott – Exactly. He’s on the bench, he can feel out the vibe, he sees the look in his players’ eyes and goes with his gut. You can say what you want from your couch, ultimately I have more faith in the coach who’s there, and knows these guys way better than we maybe think we do.
Me – So how did the #Babcult start?
Scott – Right, so one day I was reading a bunch of complaints and rants against the coach, so I found a couple like minded people who I follow here on Twitter and I started a group called “Babcock Tings” to kind of vent and talk about how much we disagree with the haters. We slowly started adding more fans to the group chat who were also 100% behind the coach, and as a group we started going after tweets of the haters with counter arguments.
Me – How did it get the name?
Scott – The “Babcult” name was coined by one of the haters actually. I posted a screenshot of something I said in the Babcock Tings group and people noticed the group name, and became aware of us. They started talking about it in their circles and referred to us as having a “cult like following” for the coach. Hence “Babcult” was born.
Me – Do you see it as a “cult like following”?
Scott – Absolutely! Our philosophy is basically that we don’t have to understand why Coach Babcock does what he does, we just have to have faith that he has a plan in place. We believe in the coach, and we believe that he is the guy who will lead us to a Stanley Cup. So yes, the willingness to believe and the faith definitely has some religious parallels, so I think the “cult” is fitting.
Me – Well he definitely has the credentials with all of his successes at every level he’s ever coached, so it seems reasonable to me to have faith in what he’s doing?
Scott – For sure! He’s a very calculated guy, and you know that he, Lou, Shanny and co. have had lengthy discussions and made very careful plans. They are not flying by the seat of their pants and anything you may have considered at home, I’m sure they’ve already considered and talked about. Ultimately this is the way they want to do things. You can complain about it or you can join us and have faith in the process here. In my opinion its a lot more fun to be optimistic about the team.
Me – So you guys were a group chat with a handful of fans, how did the hashtag start to take off, being added into so many Leafs fan’s names on twitter and getting this attention?
Scott – I don’t know I think you started posting it and people love you so…
Me – ummmm OK, thanks?? (I always have a hard time taking compliments) I like the idea for sure, it’s creative, positive and pro Leafs. So how could I not?
Scott – At the end of the day it’s encouraging to see it. After all the negativity surrounding this team I just think its great to have something like this to show unity and rally around our coach and our club. We all want to see the Leafs win, so it’s fun to have something like this to again, just kind of rally around.
Me – So what would you recommend to people who want to join?
Scott – Honestly, do whatever you want, all we’re really doing right now is adding it into our names so people out there can see that there are real fans who believe in the Shanaplan, the coach, and the process.
Me – Just add #Babcult to your name?
Scott – That’s it.
Ed – Great stuff. Thanks for taking the time.
Scott – My pleasure, thank you so much for the interview, and GO LEAFS GO! #Babcult
I’m just a dude that is a hard core Leafs fan and writes super casual Leafs pieces for an awesome bunch of guys @morning_skate
Old Cousin Eddie @mydogsnots