The people of Vancouver should be ashamed of themselves. Not because their hockey team, the Canucks, lost the Stanley Cup finals in Game 7 on home ice Wednesday night, but for how they reacted to the loss. After the Boston Bruins defeated the Canucks 4-0, fans and other Vancouver residents took to downtown and started flipping and burning cars. More than 150 people needed hospital care and 100 more were arrested in the mayhem. People were stabbed, store windows smashed, and buildings were looted and set on fire.
This all started because a team lost at hockey. By no means do I think every looter and rioter was a Canucks fan, but the fans started it. They allowed the other "organized hoodlums," as Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson called them, to escalate the madness into a full-blown riot. The "criminals and anarchists" incited the riot and used a Canucks loss to do it.
I always heard and thought Vancouver was this beautiful, laid-back city. I've never been there but would like to visit some day. After this unfortunate and sad display of societal decay, I'm not sure another Canadian city doesn't deserve the trip a bit more than Vancouver.
Why do people want to destroy a city? This isn't a situation like we're seeing overseas where cities are rebelling against a dictator or creating an uprising to install freedom or democracy. It didn't even occur in one of those crazy soccer cities known for rioting after losses. This started because a team didn't win a hockey title in Canada. I thought our neighbors-to-the-north were a little more rational than what has been displayed this week.
Sports fans have passion, that's what makes the whole sports system go. But let's not use that passion for burning and looting. Sports need to be put in perspective.
Sorry, Vancouver, I know you're waiting for a hockey title. I know it means a lot to you. But are you really going to allow a few Canuckleheads to burn your city to the ground because you don't have Lord Stanley's Cup?
Apparently yes. This isn't the first time this has happened in Vancouver. A similar, smaller-scaled mob scene followed the Canucks loss to the New York Rangers in Game 7 in 1994. Vancouver police say they identified some in the crowd Wednesday night as the same people who smashed windows and caused trouble the day after the 2010 Winter Olympics, which Vancouver hosted.
It seems some people are just looking for any reason to riot and destroy property, especially in Vancouver. The reason this time was related to hockey. It doesn't show passion for a team, though, it shows lack of common sense and human decency. Let's get with the program, Vancouver, and sports fans across the world. Don't be sore losers. And please don't be losers who riot.