Monday, June 20, 2011

Sports Fans Behaving Badly

I’m not a big sports fan. In fact, I’m not a sports fan, at all. And I usually don’t know what’s going on with any given game. Except for hockey. And even then, my knowledge of the goings-on of this sport is negligible. My minimal awareness of it is not because I watch it on TV. Or attend any games. Or hang out at sports bars. It’s because it’s Canada’s national pastime, and boasts a huge following, so it’s all over the news; you simply can’t get away from it. And because of that, sooner or later, somewhere along my perpetual journeys in search of interesting but useless trivia, and latest events locally and around the world, I bump into hockey news. And most of the time, it’s about which team won, which team lost, which teams are playing. All boring for me, so I don’t even get past the headline.

But last week, I not only got past the headline, I even searched for further news after learning that a violent and unruly crowd overturned cars, set fires, got into fistfights and looted stores throughout downtown Vancouver after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup final 4-0 to the Boston Bruins.

You heard right. Mobs of people rampaged through the city, for hours after the game ended, and behaved like a bunch of baboons. Over. A. Game. The rioters clashed with police in several locations throughout the downtown core. They threw bottles and garbage at the officers, and the officers responded by firing tear gas and pepper spray at them. It sounds like it was a holy mess.

A car overturned and set aflame on the street during the riot
From Wikipedia
The Vancouver Mayor, Gregor Robertson, is quoted as saying:

"It's absolutely disgraceful and shameful and by no means represents the city of Vancouver. We've had a great run in the playoffs here, great celebrations, and what's happened tonight is despicable."

Yes, despicable. And totally unacceptable. It’s an embarrassment to a beautiful city and province, and an embarrassment to the country. I can’t for the life of me understand how anyone can react this way over a game. A game. A. GAME. These baboons are not rioting because of poor working or living conditions, government oppression, conflicts between races or religions, or something that is actually relevant; something that might justify rebellion. No, they’re rioting because a team lost at a sporting event. They’re rioting over a game. A game. Let that sink in for a bit to fully grasp how lame it is.

The sad thing is that some of these goons are likely proud of their behaviour. They’ll be watching videos of the riots, and reading articles about them, and cheering, slapping each other on the back, and high-fiving one another, proud of themselves. “Cool, man, cool”

Not cool. At all.

Just shameful.

Here is a video of the riots:

Link to a news article: ‘Criminals and anarchists difficult to stop:’ Vancouver police chief

And come to think of it, baboons wouldn’t even behave this badly, so I apologize to the poor animals for comparing them to these imbeciles.


  1. Disgusting, but I don't for a second think it was over a game - this is just an excuse by losers to destroy property. Even if we had won, I believe they would have done the same thing. We've had the same thing (on a smaller scale) happen in Edmonton. One man turned himself in and it turns out he is on our national polo team and attends a private school - now he is crying big crocodile tears (an apology to all crocodiles!) about how sorry he is...

  2. Disgraceful. Makes Canadians look like sore losers on the international stage.

  3. I agree with Jane - any excuse at all. And there is some insightful commentary about the mayor who dropped the ball big time, compared to the police presence at other games, and other strategic decisions that led to the riots. Ah well, in the internet age social ostracism works better and faster than the cops do.

  4. It is indeed disgusting and disheartening, but sadly, not surprising. We've had similar incidents here in the U.S., and I always feel angry and embarrassed. And I've always been baffled over the fact that people place so much importance on a game. As you know, sports are a big deal here, too. In our high schools, it's the kids who play sports that get all the recognition. Those who excel in art or academics are given short shrift. In my perfect world, a kid who writes a poem or sings a song or paints a tree would get the same adulation that a kid who makes a touchdown would.

  5. You're probably right, Jane. Losers use any excuse to behave like losers. And I have no sympathy for crocodile tears since there is never any sincere remorse attached to them.


    That's right, Debra; this makes Canadians look like a bunch of sore losers. It's shameful.


    Tatiana, the internet is wicked for social ostracism. Some of the rioters got their faces splashed all over the internet. Did they not think this would happen? In this day and age?


    Beth, these types of scenarios happen all over the world, no doubt about it. It's ridiculous. And I agree with you completely: we don't place enough value on kids that excel in other areas. It's not right.