Stanley Cup Finals 2011: Vancouver Canuck Fans Embarrass City with Riots

Jeff Kayer@thereal_kmanCorrespondent IJune 16, 2011

People warned that this would happen.

Nearly 17 years to the day, citizens of Vancouver surprised many by taking to the streets in a large riot as they saw their hockey team, the Canucks, narrowly lose to the New York Rangers 3-2 in Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals.

The city government was caught off guard then as people saw one of the worst North American riots in some time as millions of dollars of property damage was done by a disgraceful group that had no right to be called fans.

As the city and its people prepared for tonight's Game 7, people had a better idea of what to expect.  More police were ordered and the city had time to prepare for what was to come.

However, in the closing moments of Boston's 4-0 victory, "fans" started to descend upon the city in actions that lawful Vancouver citizens are calling shameful, pathetic and disturbing. 

As their team shook the hands of the triumphant Bruins, lawbreaking Vancouver fans began to take to the streets to express their displeasure of what happened on the ice.

At the time of this article, numerous fires have been started in downtown Vancouver, banks have been robbed, Bruin fans have been beaten and crowds are being hit with tear gas as bridges to downtown Vancouver are closing down to try and restore order to the city.

For a city known for its incredible beauty in a country that has a reputation for very friendly citizens, it's an absolute disgrace what these people are doing.  It's a black mark for the Canucks, the city, the country and, sadly, the league as a whole.

To be fair, this is a small group of people in scope, so it is totally unfair to label all Vancouver Canuck fans as unlawful.  Many Vancouver fans are just as horrified by the ongoing actions as those seeing it on TV worldwide. 

However, it doesn't excuse what thousands of people did in this city.

One cannot understand why people feel the need to riot in sports.  You see it when people want to celebrate, or in this case when fans want to show their displeasure.  Why people fell it's OK to destroy private property and loot stores because of how their team performs is beyond me.

But it is absolutely disturbing that a city that most know as quite peaceful can turn into what some would describe as a war zone just because the Canucks lost.  It has now gotten so bad that the Boston Bruins are having to flee the city and look for new accommodations.

There is nothing wrong with being happy, sad, angry or even depressed when your team competes.  It's what makes sports great, as it offers an escape from our everyday lives.   For those lucky few, they get to celebrate the ultimate joys of seeing their team win a championship.

Sports is something we can talk and debate about with our friends or log onto websites such as Bleacher Report and argue with fellow users about what is right and what is wrong.  It's a time where we meet with friends and family to put on the TV while eating great food and drinking anything from a Diet Coke to a Budweiser and everything in between.

While some enjoy the highest of highs, there are those that endure the horrible lows, seeing their teams lose in all sorts of heartbreaking ways.  It's something that happens in every sport of every age group, whether it's little league ball or the Stanley Cup Finals.

Being sad is something that is understandable.  However, what is not acceptable is seeing sports fans take the word "fanatic" to a dangerous level. 

When the dust settles in Vancouver Thursday, people in the city will have to apologize for the idiots that damaged so much property and caused a lot of pain to a lot of innocent store and car owners and other victims that were beaten.  The city government will have to spend money on the damage done by these ridiculous citizens and one has to ask what lessons will be learned if Vancouver ever gets back to a final.

If there is any shred of joy to take from this, it is that some of these same people who are taking pictures on their phones and cameras will unknowingly ruin their lives when companies see these photos and videos.  Given the intelligence of these looters, it should not be a shock that even now people are posting these photos on Facebook excitedly talking about how they rioted.  

Little do they know how many businesses check on their employees social media accounts.  Little do they know how many potential employers do a social media type background check before hiring someone.  Years from now, when they look back on these actions with their lives affected, they'll realize the mistakes they made.

We can only hope that we won't see images like this again, but sadly, some hopes will never come true.

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