Last night the Vancouver Canucks proved unsuccessful in claiming their first Stanley Cup Championship in their history. However, the city of Vancouver did prove successful in overtaking Montreal as Canada’s most irrational, moronic and childish city.
Almost as soon as the final horn sounded and the Boston Bruins claimed their first Stanley Cup in 39 years, violent and destructive riots broke out in concentrated pockets of Vancouver’s downtown core. Thousands of disappointed and irate Vancouverites (many of whom dawned Canucks jerseys) overturned and set cars ablaze, looted stores, and antagonized hundreds of police officers relentlessly. These events were basically a carbon copy of what happened in 1994 when the Canucks lost game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals to the New York Rangers. That said, the rekindled events of 1994 by the media in the days leading up to last nights game basically set the stage for a Vancouver riot wether the Canucks won or lost game seven.
After sifting through articles, forums and videos that documented the riot and reactions to last night’s events, the overwhelming consensus is that the riots were an embarrassment, a black mark on the city and an inaccurate representation of the city and its people. Many have deflected the blame of the riots to non-Canucks fans and have suggested a handful of anarchists congregated with Canucks supports with the intention of inflicting chaos on the city. To this, I call bullshit! I have seen more than enough video from last night of young men and women wearing Canucks jerseys who are jumping on cars, breaking windows, antagonizing police and looting stores. For people to claim that last night’s destruction was caused by a few “radical visitors” is completely asinine. Any one of the thousands of bystanders in downtown Vancouver holds a significant amount of responsibility for last nights events… almost as much as those who actively participated in the violence and destruction. Rioters gain strength and courage with numbers and to them it doesn’t matter if those numbers are active or not, just that they are present. Under normal circumstances, a small group of men would never have the audacity or courage to throw objects at a group of police officers in riot gear. Given the right number of supporters, the strength and courage of an emotional mob grow to that of the Lion Man at the end of The Wizard of Oz. In my opinion, this is exactly what happened last night… strength by numbers.
It is said that Gretzky, Yzerman, and Crosby all had to learn how to lose before they could know how to win in the NHL. In the last 17 years, Canucks fans have had two opportunities to show their character in defeat and in both cases they acted like a child who was denied a chocolate bar at a grocery store checkout. Last night Canucks fans and the city of Vancouver showed they are not ready for nor deserving of an NHL championship. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before another Canadian city shows the world the warts of their underbelly; but until then, Vancouver holds the unfortunate claim as Canada’s most embarrassing city.