Vancouver (during the Olympics in 2010) in all it's beautiful glory. From Queen Elizabeth Park. Click to view the large image. It's worth it.
A few days ago, I had a completely different plan for what I was going to be posting today.
I believe the words I used for my plans were “I hope to capture some epic scenes of unbridled awesomeness”.
Well, last night there were epic scenes of unbridled something. But it wasn’t awesome.
I had plans for posts whether the Canucks won or lost. I had a nice speech for if they won. It was to include some amazing pictures of our wonderful city celebrating. I also had a nice speech for if they lost. It was one of those “Oh well, better luck next time–you played well and we’re proud of you” sort of speeches.
Just to back up–(incase you’ve been hiding in a hole for the last month, or you live in a place where hockey doesn’t come on the radar)–the Vancouver Canucks were in the finals of the Stanley Cup playoffs. This is a huge deal for a major hockey city like Vancouver. Last night was game 7. The final game. Vancouver & Boston were tied with 3 wins each. Kind of a tense situation. The final game was in home territory for the Canucks. A big deal.
In short–the Canucks lost. I won’t go into details about the game. In truth, my interest in the Stanley Cup playoffs is purely cultural. I love to see scenes of an entire city celebrating together. I know how much hockey means to this city–well, the entire province really. I was, and still am thrilled that our team got as far as they did. It was impossible, even for someone like me (who is normally oblivious to sports) to not get riled up and cheer for the Canucks. To be honest, a big part of me also wanted the Canucks to win because I heard all sorts of things that Boston fans were saying about Vancouver and it made me upset.
I love Vancouver.
And I still do.
But last night after the hockey game…things got a little bit ridiculous.
Dave and I had originally planned to be downtown. Now, like I said–our interest was purely cultural. I wanted to take photographs of it all, and write a little something about how awesome everything was. When we talked to a friend of ours who lived in North Vancouver (who was a MAJOR Canuck fan) he said “No way. Don’t do it. It could get ugly.” So we watched it at his place, with the intent of taking the sea bus to Vancouver if they won.
Minutes after the game I googled “Riot, Vancouver” to see what was going on. I saw a few updates about a burning car, and reports saying that they didn’t estimate anything close to the riots in ’94. Just to be safe though, Dave and I left right away. No need to be on the road when there are angry drunk people around. The drive back was clear and easy. But the reports on what was going on downtown were getting worse. Fires, looting, smashed windows, people fighting cops, and beating up Bruin Fans. Insanity.
I’d be lying, however, to say I’m ashamed of Vancouver. I’m not. In reality, I’m fuming that a bunch of empty headed baboons (I’m restraining myself from using stronger language) decided to tarnish our beautiful city. I have friends all over the world who have never been here. I brag about BC all the time. When you guys hear the news about the riots, know this: this is not Vancouver. This is not who we are. The number of idiots that participated in this ludicrous escapade are vastly outnumbered by those who actually care for the city.
Take, for example, the facebook event that emerged this morning: Post-Riot Cleanup-Let’s help Vancouver. Canuck fans (and just Vancouverites who care) who want to fix what the baboons did. Because they care about their city. 15,000 attending. Or the tens of thousands of people who are trying to identify the hooligans who rioted (via identifyrioters.com) But it’s still upsetting to see all the videos of the riots where people are standing around doing nothing. I mean, come one. We are so privileged here. And people had the audacity to riot over a hockey game?!
There is so much more to this city than those terds who wreaked havoc last night.
This is a world class city, with so much to offer.
This is a city that has exciting entrepreneurial opportunities.
This is a city with some of the best freaking restaurants I’ve ever been to. And I’v been to a lot of restaurants around the world.
This is a city that is full of multiculturalism.
This is a city that loves the outdoors (Well, we can’t help it. We are set in the most beautiful place on earth)
This is a city that loves hockey. (And the real fans of the Canucks last night weren’t burning cars. They were cheering the Bruins after the win.)
This is Vancouver.
So if you were one of the uncultured dingbats that set fires and beat up Bruins fans last night, then get out of our city**.
That’s not we are about.
**Actually, I hope you go to jail. And I hope in jail you have to sit and watch reruns of hockey games where the Canucks lose until you are mature enough to deal with your emotions.