Friday, June 17, 2011

The Canucks—and Vancouver—reap what they've sown

Well, I'm sorry, dear reader, but my rating on the city of Vancouver isn't zero. It's well into the negatives. That's where it will remain for a long time to come.
If anyone from Vancouver happens to be reading this right now—and I'd love to hear from you—perhaps you could answer me one question: What is up with the incredibly babyish attitude? You people must be the sorest losers on the globe. Just pathetic.
Hey, it's your city: Tear it up, blow it up, wipe it off the map—whatever. I'll still sleep comfortably at night. But you did yourselves no favors. For once, the world is witnessing just what a lie we've all been sold with respect to the idyllic utopia Vancouver supposedly is or the peaceful, law-abiding orderliness with which Canadian society conducts itself.
Ice hockey is a Canadian invention—and look how thuggish the game is. Just put two and two together. (But at least their skating rink ice isn't stained with Ottawa-sanctioned seal blood.) I'm not saying Canadians are worse than anyone else. I've just had it with the fairytale existence they want us to believe everyone leads up there. The Vancouver Stanley Cup Riot of 2011 should forever dispel that myth—and I honestly hope it does.
You can point the finger south and sneer only so many times before something like what occurred yesterday afternoon in Canada's third-largest city brings a big smile of satisfaction to an American's face.
But I digress, really: Let's stick to just the Canucks' fan base. What does the all-out war that broke out in downtown Vancouver yesterday say about them? First of all, you need to understand that the Canucks have been in the Stanley Cup Finals three times: In 1982, 1994 and this year. Two out of those three times, there were riots.
The 1994 riots, after the New York Rangers defeated the Canucks in seven games, were disgraceful enough, worthy of staining the city for several decades after the fact. But after the Bruins won in seven games Wednesday, the mayhem and violence that occurred was, according to some reports, three times as worse.
So, two large-scale riots after two lost causes in the Cup finals. Pretty bad, eh? It's begun to look like a not-so-healthy trend.
But—and this is really good—the city had already planned a parade route for the Canucks. The positive air of expectation surrounding the Canucks permeated everything. Crowds watching the game outside Rogers Arena were joined by jubliant policemen, who were exchanging high-fives with fans early on in the game. Fans actually expected their team to come back from a 3-goal deficit in the third period. The Cancuks were going to win, damn it all!
Honestly, not even New York Yankees fans are this arrogant. They at least know when they are beaten. It was only after Boston scored goal #4 that things turned ugly.
One fan was heard to shout after the game, "Boston, I hate you!" For what? Daring to compete with your boyfriends and being good enough to win against them, you candy-assed crybaby? Excuse me, but I thought that's what hockey, like any other sport, was about: Playing the game and having a winner and a loser.
No surprise that the Canucks currently have the most hated fan base in all of sports. Even Canadians who aren't from British Columbia hate the Canucks and their fans. The Canucks themselves were notorious for their cheap shots, unnecessary roughness and general dirty play.
If this was the only riot to have occurred after a sporting loss in Vancouver, I'd be willing to chalk it up to the anarchist freaks that magically materialize at any large event to cause trouble. We experienced that ourselves here in London during an anti-budget cuts protest in March. The 1994 riot, combined with this one, makes that excuse less easy to explain. Especially since "true Canucks fans" were not honor-bound to participate in the violence, then or now. But they did.
I'm no hockey fan. However, I congratulate the scrappy, but gentlemanly Boston Bruins for capturing the Stanley Cup for the first time in 39 years. This wasn't just a hometown team done good; the Bruins were an underdog in the truest sense of the word. But it's good for the city, and it's great for the Bruins die-hards who watched as all the other professional Boston teams won fresh championship titles during the past decade and wondered when their time would come. At no point along the way did Bruins fans riot to express their displeasure over how long they were expected to live off the fumes of 1972.
I will tell you something about the city of Boston though: It won't have to spend several years trying to wipe an ugly stain off its complexion—the way Vancouver will.

4 comments: said...

It’s scary and frightening how people can react when a team wins or loses a big game. It’s just sports! I hope every fan who caused all of that property damage is held civilly and criminally liable The courts must send a message that violence can’t be tolerated.

Nightdragon said...

I hope they will too -- but probably not. This is what you get in very liberal societies -- people with no brains and nothing better to do but rampage like demented apes know they will get away with disorder. Which is why trouble so often flares up in places like Canada and Britain because the police forces and the law are far too insufficient, emasculated and politically correct to tackle the problem.

goddessdivine said...

Absolutely unacceptable behavior. What a bunch of low-life, uncivilized, barbaric savages. It's sports people! We have lost what is known as common decency in our society. Well, at least they have. However, we in some parts of America are heading that way as well. Not very comforting.

Nightdragon said...

Well, those anti-WTO riots in Seattle a while back were cause for serious discomfort as well. They made Seattle look bad.

I'm being hard on Vancouver, I know. But my point is, a serious rupture has emerged in the idyllic image they wanted us all to embrace regarding their city. They already had a serious riot in '94 -- over the Canucks. And this one was even worse. Montreal has had its fair share of riots over the past 20 years as well. Canadians need to acknowledge this behavior, look themselves in the mirror and do what must be done to prevent it -- as we all should, in the U.S. and elsewhere.

I give Vancouver credit for staging a smooth hosting of the 2010 Winter Olympics, but this event was unreal.

It's not funny, but there is something to a joke I heard recently regarding that riot: "Where's Syrian law enforcement when you need it?"

But Canada and the U.S. don't trample over human rights or restrict basic freedoms like Syria or China. So, what was the purpose of the disorder? A hockey team not winning the Cup? Seriously? Sort yourselves out, people!