Jun 162011
 

Please read.

As a writer, I hate seeing that phrase to begin as it reminds me of those e-mail chain letters but I can’t help but just beg you to read this just one time. I promise you I am not trying to waste your time. If you are a Canucks fan or a Vancouver resident, I urge you to read this as it matters like few other things do to every one of us. Whether you love Vancouver or you love the Canucks, I dearly love both even if our relationship is strained at times and so I don’t care which camp you’re in as long as you’re in one or both. This is important. I don’t know how many people will read this but if I can get a few more, it would be worth it.

Even if this point has been made already, I feel compelled to try to convince you for myself because of the gravity of this situation. Some of you might not need much convincing but others might. I apologize if you find me long winded and for not having a “too long, didn’t read” version available at this time as it is 6am and I’m writing on no sleep, editing photos from last night’s Vancouver riot after the Canucks lost 4-0 in game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. It’s just how I write…I don’t know how to otherwise. Years and years of writing essays in school. Sorry but again, important. Long but I might need it to convince you to take action.

Whether you are a fan or not, I don’t care. I know that while many people in Vancouver are fanatics like myself, others don’t really care about the Canucks but this one time, we all need to agree on something and that is we need to put an end to this garbage before it happens a third time. Am I jumping the gun? Perhaps but if you saw the gravity of what happened last night in downtown Vancouver at ground zero like I did, you would rather be safe than sorry. My throat is still a little sore from coughing due to all the gas and smoke. The blatant idiocy that happened last night has and will cost us dearly whether it be from our wallets or our reputation worldwide, which has been at an all-time high since our awesome Vancouver 2010 Olympics and a historic Vancouver Canucks run through the playoffs. Whether you care or not, this is now what makes the news. Instead of a loss for us to hang our heads about for a couple weeks and take some trash talk from Bruins fans, we are now the laughing stock of the world for trashing our own home. How stupid is this? If you went mad inside your house and tore that thing down, you would be absolutely insane. How on earth is this different? We’re blinder than referees here.

I have to admit I am one of those people that will joke about a riot anytime the Canucks even come close to losing…even in the regular season. But that mostly happens when I’m in bars. It’s 17 years ago and like that ’94 game 7 loss, that riot has lost it’s sting. It is part of our Canucks lore, spoken of in damming tones like that damned goal post that Nathan Lafayette hit that could’ve sent the game against the Rangers into overtime. Yes, those riots were awful too but we can be lighthearted after some time. But jokes are jokes. I’m hearing conflicted reports that people are in the hospital and even that a fan died yesterday. I saw a man get kicked and pepper sprayed last night. This is insanity, people. What are we doing to ourselves? I never expected what happened last night.

I wrote last week that regardless of what the Canucks do in game 7, history had already been made. That was a long read as well but in short, we speak of ’94 affectionately and our greatest heroes were some of the men on that roster. I would have no words for a Stanley Cup win. I’ve dreamed of it often in the 20 years I’ve been a Canucks fan but I’ve had fun every year and I have great memories that I speak of often because I love this team. Well, maybe not of the Messier/Keenan era but you are a LIAR if you tell me you were a Messier fan then. A loss is a loss. We win together, we lose together.

Real fans don’t riot. Real fans take the loss, drink a beer or two and get prepared for discussing the off-season. We are all Canucks. Are you going to stop being a Canuck now? We don’t do this. We are sportsmen like our team. We are one of the best run organizations in the league. President’s Trophy winners. Western Conference Champions. Our boys have given millions to charity. For all the abuse the Sedins have taken, they took it upon themselves to give $1.5 million of their own money to help sick kids. I’ve met some of the players and they are the nicest guys in the world, even when I don’t expect them to be after a tough loss or they’re just going about their business. Burrows, in particular, seems to always have all the time in the world for fans. Does this look like the dirty team the media has portrayed them to be? No. And it sure doesn’t look like a team that deserves the negative press we’re all going to get for this fiasco.

Our city is in ruins today because of a few who decided this would be a decent excuse to cause some trouble. I know this because I was there and overheard a lot, mostly that the troublemakers couldn’t care less about how the game went. They were going to break windows, burn cars and steal from us whether the Canucks won or lost. The world’s headlines say CANUCKS FANS RIOT or something similar this morning. Mayhem! I saw was the headline in this morning’s Province. All because of a few. There were well over 100,000 people in the crowds downtown. There weren’t 100,000 rioters. There were probably a number of spectators and bystanders. The rioters aren’t fans. They wear our colors but they’re not Canucks.

A brave few were able to stand up to the masses, proclaiming that this was our city, what on earth were we doing to our own city? If you head to YouTube, I’m sure you’ll find more than a few courageous soups defending our honor. Thank them, if you will because they did what few could bring themselves to voice, even though I’m sure most of us felt the same way. I’m afraid I wasn’t one of these brave people. Actually, I’m one of the spectators that some of you yelled at for giving these people an audience. I agree with you but let me justify my actions. No, I wasn’t thinking all of this at the time but it’s gotten stronger in my mind as the hours have passed.

My grades may not have been straight A’s but I do hold a major in sociology and can tell a thing or two about mob mentality. Once that crowd was down there, if someone was going to incite a riot, it was going to avalanche because the wave of insanity would reach people faster than they could leave with all that congestion. People are curious creatures so naturally, many are going to want to see what’s going on and as the night goes on, more will join them. I decided that it wasn’t a good bet to hedge my safety or that of my friends in what was a lost cause, at least nothing that one man is going to stop. Many of the brave who urged the crowds not to damage buildings got things thrown at them or worse. I said weeks ago that win or lose, I would go downtown to celebrate with fellow Canucks fans that want to when it was all said and done on the ice.

That and I was carrying all kinds of camera equipment on me. I noticed that a lot of people were doing the same. The great thing about the internet and camera phones…you’re going to see every event from multiple angles and vantage points.

Basically, Vancouver, we have every single rioter who broke a window, turned over a car, tore trees from our ground (yes, that happened), and set our streets on fire is already on our memory cards. Some may have face masks but even then, some have identifiable tattoos and other features. We can get all these morons, Vancouver. You’re right, maybe I should’ve said a thing or two to prevent more damage to our city when I was down there last night…but most of it already happened. We can make sure right now it doesn’t happen again.

Why? Two reasons. Firstly, this is our home. As I mentioned before, we all look like this right now. How many of you did I hear in person or on the internet say how ashamed they are of what has happened? We all know what’s going on. It’s the people that wrecked downtown Vancouver that haven’t thought this all the way through. Remember our reputation as a no fun city? Imagine how it’s going to be now after the city realizes that even though they put on a huge party downtown for us, WE DID THIS. We’re like the kids that were given a sweet ninja weapons as a birthday gift on the condition that we wouldn’t attack anyone with it and then going and bonking someone in the head with nun-chucks. We screwed up with our fun toy, Vancouver and now our parents might take it away. What happens next playoffs? Sorry, fans…no awesome outdoor viewing screens no one else on the planet would do for a hockey team.

Secondly, the Canucks. Can you imagine how it must be to feel like the city rioted because they lost? Or worse…can you imagine how they’re going to feel NEXT playoffs when we might be here again. They’re going to want to lose just so we don’t burn this place to the ground! The riot didn’t happen because the Canucks lost but they might think that way. Despite what Ryan Whitney will tell you, the Canucks are one of the most desirable teams in the NHL to play for. Do you think players want to play here if they know our fans are psychopaths that will tear this place apart?

So I urge you, please…upload any photos you have of rioters that may assist the police in bringing these criminals to justice. If you aren’t convinced, tell me how I can convince you to do the right thing, right now and if I can convince you to tell everyone you know to do the same. They have stolen from us not only by stealing but by costing the city millions…which is money out of our pockets. Even if they are your family or friends, this was a stupid thing they did. If you aren’t going to identify them to police, I understand. At least talk to them and make sure they know how stupid it is to basically be taking money out of our own pockets and setting it alight. I understand the importance of blood but at least give them grief if you see a picture of a family member standing on top of a flaming, upside-down police car. Either way, we need to see these people punished. Don’t think we can’t do it? Even if that facial recognition is mumbo jumbo…with the internet, someone is bound to know who these jerks are. We have to do this.

If we don’t, how can the Canucks carry on? How can we carry on as a city if every time something cool happens, we burn it all up?

If all of us smart people are all together, we outnumber the idiots. I have to believe that, Vancouver. Let’s do this right the first time. If we don’t all do something, these people have nothing to fear. I hope you love our city and our hockey team as much as I do.

Contact the Vancouver Police Department with photo or video evidence or witness accounts by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 604-717-2541. I’m sure you can contact them any other way too…this is important. I’m sure they’ve got time.

  • http://twitter.com/MayorQuimby16 Mayor Quimby

    Well written and well said.  I am so disgusted with the actions of these criminals and hooligans last night (please, we must stop calling them fans.  You and I are fans.  These creatures are not, regardless of what clothes they wore). 

    We have to hope that the court system deals with these “people”.  The police will arrest and they will charge.  Will the courts do what is necessary.  Unfortunately, I am pessimistic.  This is part of the reason why so many participated last night.  They may not have been the initiators but they felt zero remorse or fear of ramifications.  Most will, unfortunately, not face justice and that is my biggest fear.

  • Tianni

    Those weren’t real fans, they were drunken idiots who schemed this long before the seventh game ever occurred, whether we won or lost this would have broken out. Deliquents knew that by commiting these atrocities themselves that they would incite the drunken fans with higher IQs (but not by very much). This isn’t Vancouver, and I hope we are not judged for these disgusting deeds, but it neither the fault of the Canucks nor the fault of the fans, it’s the unintelligent masses that have done nothing with their lives.

  • Schorert

    This is ridiculous, I can’t believe how you people disavow any association with your fellow “fans”.  Alllll day long nothing but “those aren’t canucks fans”.  well, yeah, they are.  To the rest of the hockey world. the guy flipping over the car in the $200 nucks jersey is YOU.
     And just the way you people sat in JUDGEMENT of Bruins fans who allegedly pushed a kid in a canucks jersey, or absolutely slammed fans YOU thought were applauding an injury…you sat on your high horses and passed judgement on all of boston and all it’s fans.  Well now you can kiss Boston’s ass. Because to the rest of the world, on every media outlet in THIS country(USA) and yours is showing the entire hockey world just what kind of fans the canucks really have.  Bloggers on this pathetic site wagged their fingers at us and called us “gutless” and “unclassy”.  Who is more GUTLESS than that team that took the ice in the third period of that game?  and WHO is less “classy” than the canucks-sweater wearing set looting stores last night?  And you look down at us?  the “true north strong and free”  well, “strong” enough to break a store window to get handbags for “free” maybe.
    but yeah, you all go ahead and think that your brothers aren’t “canucks fans”, the rest of the world is boarding up it’s windows when you come to town. Here’s a fun game…see if you can spot a canucks fan in the attached photo.(hint: it’s all four!)

  • Schorert

    coward…

  • GR1970

    Anyone that stayed on the street more than 15 minutes after the stupidity started is culpable for the damage.  That includes you.  If all the spectators had cleared out the police could have done their jobs.  It is people like you that helped facilitate the destruction – don’t try to justify your stupidly by now providing the pictures you took while standing between the police and the hooligans.  Shame on you. 

  • GR1970

    Anyone that stayed on the street more than 15 minutes after the stupidity started is culpable for the damage.  That includes you.  If all the spectators had cleared out the police could have done their jobs.  It is people like you that helped facilitate the destruction – don’t try to justify your stupidly by now providing the pictures you took while standing between the police and the hooligans.  Shame on you. 

  • Anonymous

    Get of your high horse. Pictures have to be taken so the police can like, okay, I’ll try to explain this as simply as possible so YOU can understand – IDENTIFY the subhuman drunken jerks who participated in the riot, are you getting this?

  • http://edeats.com Ed Lau

    Congratulations on your Stanley Cup, Boston but this isn’t about you.  This is a family matter.  We know we screwed that up last night.  Go cheer on your team at the parade.  We’re not bothered with you guys anymore.  We’ll see you in the playoffs next year but until then, I’d kindly ask all of you to butt out on matters that don’t concern you.

    By the way, many, many real Canucks fans went out on their own time this morning and helped the city clean itself up after what the police describe as a small group of rioters planned all this ahead of time.  Yeah.  People went to pick up garbage and destruction they didn’t even cause.  All on their own…organized on Facebook probably an hour after the police shut the city down.

  • http://edeats.com Ed Lau

    Congratulations on your Stanley Cup, Boston but this isn’t about you.  This is a family matter.  We know we screwed that up last night.  Go cheer on your team at the parade.  We’re not bothered with you guys anymore.  We’ll see you in the playoffs next year but until then, I’d kindly ask all of you to butt out on matters that don’t concern you.

    By the way, many, many real Canucks fans went out on their own time this morning and helped the city clean itself up after what the police describe as a small group of rioters planned all this ahead of time.  Yeah.  People went to pick up garbage and destruction they didn’t even cause.  All on their own…organized on Facebook probably an hour after the police shut the city down.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly! Well said. Thank you.

  • Schorert

    Ed, I’m going to tone down the rhetoric because obviuosly it’s not helpful.  I’d just like to point out that you dont’ have the right to tell us to “butt out” when just a week ago bloggers on this site were calling us out for individual incidents of what they considered bad taste.  They chose to paint our whole city, and all it’s fans, as thugs based on the actions of a few.  Now you all collectively shrug and assure the rest of the world that thousands of rioters in nucks kit aren’t nucks…do you see that as just a weeeeee bit hypocritical?

  • Anonymous

    There you go again. What part of shut up and butt out do you not understand? I don’t care about you trying to tone your vitrial down, the damage has already been done, you’ve made a complete jerk of yourself, and you’re still trying to bully real hockey fans into accepting a bunch of stupid drunken overgrown toddler rioters as part of the Canuck fan community, and after a stinging loss of all things.

    Look, man, the answer is no, no, no, and
    NO!

    Those mooks would’ve rioted no matter what, because, and get this into your head, okay? They Were Voluntarily Stupid! They were not real fans, they were just plain stupid.

    They were not real Canuck fans. Get that through your whining thick skull and bug out. Go whine on some other community such as one specifically for Boston where they’ll roll out the welcome mat for you.

    You’ve worn out your welcome here, now, out! You’ve burned your bridges here and you won’t get them back.

    Get this yet?

    The rioters are not true hockey fans, they are not real Canuck fans.

    Get it yet?
    Oh, and again, Schorert, those rioters are NOT Canuck fans!

    I can’t dumb that down any further for you, Schorert, it is n’t possible to make words with less than one syllable.

    And again, for your benefit, the rioters are not real Cannuck fans, They are not even real hockey fans………………………………………………………………

    Are you getting the message yet? If so, you will shut up. If not, you are among the rioters since you are clearly supporting them and you are using their stupidity as an excuse to flame and troll this community and lulz over Vancouver’s loss. you should be ashamed of yourself, Schorert. Now take your stinking attitude elsewhere. You can’t unsuck once you suck, Schorert. And, you seriously suck.

    we don’t like you.

    We do not appreciate you trying to force your silly wishful thinking on the rest of us.

    We decide who the real Canuck fans are, not you.

  • GR1970

    Hi MissCapri and thank you for your reply.  I feel much better about what happened now knowing that all those people posing for pictures in from of burning cars, snapping photos of people shattering windows, etc. were doing so to help the police.  No gawking, no spectators, just good Samaritans.  I am sure the VPD will be sending out a thank you press release shortly thanking everyone who hung around the riot scene on their behalf. 

  • http://edeats.com Ed Lau

    Okay, help me out here because TD Gardens sounded pretty loud when it was booing Mason Raymond flat on the ice with a broken back. Say what you want but it seemed like that whole arena was pretty loud.

    I see your point.  I really do but I’m telling you now that you’re wasting your breath or words per minute.  We’ll be back to square one when hockey starts again but right now, I really doubt anyone involved in cleaning this city up or bringing all these criminals to justice gives a hoot about what anyone in Boston has to say.

    I already said good game to Boston.  Congratulations for winning the Stanley Cup.  The better team in the series won.  I’m not sure what else you want from me.  I could care less about what your opinion of our city.  I’m not trying to be a dick.  My anger might be misplaced when directed at you but my only priority is making sure this mess doesn’t happen again.  Trash talking Boston can wait til September.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, right, sarcastic liar. Fact: there were people taking pictures to submit to the police. There were people hanging around because, duh, they were trapped and couldn’t get out, the place was congested, genius! So don’t give me any of this bullcrap. Obviously you are not a good Samaritan yourself or you wouldn’t be so terribly whiny and judgemental about people who couldn’t leave and had the opportunity to take a few pictures. No excuses for the riots, and no excuses accepted for trolling this community with your simpering sarcastic junk. Get lost.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, I agree. And you’re rightly angry not only at those numbskul rioters, but at those trash-talkers coming on here to spread their anti-Vancouver hate. Thank goodness the Schorerts aren’t with the Vancouver police or they would arrest the whole population for simply being there, and unable to get out during the chaos.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, I agree. And you’re rightly angry not only at those numbskul rioters, but at those trash-talkers coming on here to spread their anti-Vancouver hate. Thank goodness the Schorerts aren’t with the Vancouver police or they would arrest the whole population for simply being there, and unable to get out during the chaos.

  • WeWonTheCup

    Vancouver, you people are a riot. Bruins parade 1.5 million people, 4 arrest. Enough said.

  • BigBadB’s

    MissCarp, I guess the Kid that was trying to set the police car on fire was not a fan. He was on the Canadian water polo team. Doesn’t appear to be a criminal??? More like a fan. So don’t take your frustration out on Schoret. Telling him he sucks, your no better than the rioters. The world has already judged you and there not buying your story.Here’s a little constructive criticism. If you do not have a ticket do not show up. Pretty simple, Eh.

  • Anonymous

    Another idiot called BigBadB’s (unregistered) boiled over and spewed forth: in response to MissCapri:

  • BigBadB’s

    MissCarp Try Education, Religion, Family, Respect . Instead of telling people the Suck. 

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