Halberstadt: Pro Hockey: Riots in Vancouver following Canucks’ loss shameful

By Doug Halberstadt
Sports Columnist

This year’s Stanley Cup finals are over. The Boston Bruins are the 2011 winners of Lord Stanley’s Cup. Granted, that’s huge sporting news to the hockey fans on the East Coast and in Vancouver. It paled in comparison to the electricity that permeated this area last year when the Blackhawks won it all. As a matter of fact, it was barely a blip on the radar screens of hockey fans in this area.

For most of the hockey fans around here, this year’s season ended when the Blackhawks were eliminated a couple of weeks ago. I have to admit my interest waned, but I still managed to keep an eye and an ear on the series between the Bruins and the Canucks.

I really didn’t care who won. I have some friends who are Boston fans, and I guess for their sake I’m glad the Bruins pulled it off.

What really shocked me about the series had nothing to do with what happened on the ice. I was thoroughly disheartened and disgusted to see the Vancouver fans (not even sure they are worthy of being called fans) and their immediate reaction following the horn that ended game seven.

Even before the players exchanged the traditional series-ending handshakes, some of the national media outlets were showing live video of people in the streets of Vancouver rioting. They were starting random fires and overturning cars and acting like complete idiots.

Why on earth do people react like this? What motivates (besides too much alcohol) a group to go out into the streets and wreak havoc on innocent people’s property? Just because your team lost doesn’t license you or anyone else to resort to lawlessness. Vancouver should be ashamed.

Perhaps they could take a lesson from many of us long-suffering Cubs fans. To the best of my knowledge, not one fire has been started, nor one car overturned or damaged at the end of any of the past 100 baseball seasons on the north side of Chicago.

Hey, Vancouver, we know what disappointment is all about, but we also know a little bit about civility. Take a lesson from us Midwesterners and quit acting like a bunch of complete imbeciles.

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.

From the June 22-28 issue

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