Thursday

history is a riot

In my last post about Hockey, I offhandedly mentioned that Canada takes its hockey seriously. It's the playoff season, a team franchised from Canada (I avoid saying "Canadian" here intentionally) had made it to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in YEARS.


I'm deep, DEEP in Canucks territory. OF COURSE ITS TAKEN SERIOUSLY. I'm not from Vancouver, but I'm from Vancouver Island. That's close enough. They're practically our team, and to everyone but me, the Canucks are a big fucking deal.


I told my friends and work colleagues, "win or lose, a riot is GOING to happen". There was one in '94, under similar circumstances, and the conditions were right. History repeats itself, they say. I saw it playing out in two ways:

Victory:


OH MY GOD. THE CANUCKS, AFTER 41 YEARS, HAVE FINALLY BROUGHT HOME A STANLEY CUP. I'M SO HAPPY I COULD FLIP THIS CAR OVER AND SET IT ON FIRE!!!!

or Defeat:


YOU HAVE TO BE FUCKING KIDDING ME, AFTER 41 YEARS, YOU GET ALL THE WAY TO GAME 7 AFTER BLOWING A TWO GAME SERIES LEAD AND CHOKE!!!! OH MY GOD I AM SO ANGRY I COULD FLIP THIS CAR OVER AND SET IT ON FIRE!!!! JDFHGSDFSDLJFSDLJF!!!!!!!!!1@

Unfortunately, that's what happened. The Canucks lost. Vancouver immediately began to riot, within MINUTES.

I will again remind everyone that I don't really know anything about hockey. But something that has been bothering me as of late is the treatment of Canucks Goalie, Roberto Luongo. So the guy wasn't at his best and lost a few games, and clearly Tim Thomas was the better goaltender. But all the blame is on Luongo's shoulders, and all the glory, for Thomas.


When somebody asks if you're a god, you say "YES!"

Let me point out two facts: Five men actively on the ice are paid millions to keep the puck away from Luongo and their net. And five men on the ice are paid just as much to put the puck in the net. Now, I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure those five men paid to protect Luongo didn't do their job. And I don't remember Tim Thomas skating around, scoring a ton of goals. I appreciate that Thomas made some unbelievable saves, but there's more to it than that.

If the game only involved two goalies, nothing would've happened. This is hockey. It's not fucking PONG.



It was agonizing to watch, in a train wreck sort of way, as a heartbroken city destroyed itself, over a hockey game. After all the hard work and dedication of their beloved team, this is how their city (and their fans) repay them?

Canuck fans are appalled and embarrassed. Vancouver is appalled and embarrassed. The entire country. Reduced to the stereotype of hockey-crazed Canadians turning into animals.




This level of rioting was not present during the G20 protests, which actually mattered. But a team loses a hockey game that decides a yearly contest, and all hell breaks loose. Another friend noticed a trend among hockey fans. If the team they supports wins, it's "We won". But if that team should lose, it's "They lost".


So, the city riots. All images I've included in this post are photographs from this event. At least three civilian cars smashed and set ablaze, a bank was broken into, the Hudson's Bay company was broken into and looted, several smaller shops were broken into and looted, two police cars were smashed and set ablaze, a bostons bruins fan was thrown a few stories from the Rogers Arena, a girl was hit in the head with a ladder, another girl was punched in the face when she begged rioters to not destroy her car... I could go on.




For the most part, this event should not represent Vancouver, or Canucks fans, or anybody, but unfortunately, when people say "These were not Canucks fans, this is not the face of Vancouver, just anarchists and criminals in disguise.", they're lying through their teeth. A lot of people saw this coming, and not every Canadian, not every Vancouver Resident, and not every fan of the Vancouver Canucks is a big hearted, mature, good person, who can accept defeat with grace and dignity. I mean no disrespect to anyone, but a lot of people take shit way too seriously, and this was a fine example. It wouldn't have happened otherwise. Alcohol, mob mentality, immaturity, heart break, and adrenaline were all factors.

Not anarchism.

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