Hats off to the Boston Bruins for winning the Stanley Cup (and this is coming from a Sabres fan remembering losing to the B's in the first round exit of a year ago).
However, the actions of various Vancouver residents overshadowed the win, as attention quickly turned to city wide rioting following the Canucks' 4-0 loss in Game 7.
It's certainly a shame. I really try to rack my brain and figure out why individuals do these things.
These weren't just Canucks fans, of course. But the main point is that a city that pulled off a successful Winter Olympics a year ago without major incident has now taken a giant step backwards.
Yes, I know that Canadians are unrivaled in their passion for hockey. I certainly did not think that they were sore losers, not willing to accept the fact that things didn't break their way and move on.
But they certainly appear to be right now. Will they riot again if they lose the Stanley Cup final next year as well?
I don't think this is going well over at the NHL league offices, either.
Gary Bettman, who has been working tirelessly to promote his sport, can ill afford to see the city that lost the Stanley Cup behave in such a matter and resort to actions reserved for soccer fans overseas.
Again, hockey becomes a major headline, but for the wrong reasons.
The fact of the matter is this: it's only a game. Sports is not everything; it's an escape after a long day, a hobby to enjoy with friends, a fun event. But, with incidents like this, it shows that people invest too much of their lives into a game.
I understand that the Canucks have not won a Stanley Cup, but it's not a life-or-death situation. That goes for any fan base of any sport. Unfortunately, there very well may be deaths as the result of this, and many lives will be altered.
Vancouver embarrassed itself, its country and hockey fans as a whole on Wednesday night. A world-class city looked far short of it due to the actions of some irresponsible individuals.
Let's hope that Vancouver learns from this and apply those lessons to the future. It or any other sports market of its size simply can't have things like this happen and tarnish its image.
It's only a game. Hopefully, one day, all sports fans can come to terms with that fact.
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