bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Wild riots in Vancouver after Stanley Cup loss

No Gravatar

Vancouver is a beautiful city. I was only there once, and it was a very brief stay, but it made an impression.  My first moment seeing it was on a bus from Whistler, where I had been skiing. As we first came within view of the city, I was amazed at just how gorgeous it was. Beyond that, everyone there seemed so friendly. I have never spent much time in Canada, but I certainly have the idea that it is a generally peaceful place filled with nice, decent people. When it comes to sports fans, though, it appears that Vancouver is right up (or down) there with many other cities, as far as having a bunch of crazed lunatics rooting for its teams. The Vancouver Canucks lost game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals to the Boston Bruins on Wednesday. The scene on the streets of the city that night was horrifying, with rioting, fires, looting, and general lawlessness.

I feel like I am about as passionate as they come, as far as sports fans go. I scream, curse, and stomp my feet on far more occasions than a man of my age should be comfortable acknowledging. Days, even weeks, can be ruined by a bad outcome in a game involving one of my teams. If the result was impacted by some kind of incorrect or unfair call, even more so. Still, I am pretty certain that nothing could happen in a sporting event that could cause me to run out in the street, smash someone’s windshield, and then run into a nearby store and steal a television or two. Maybe it’s just me. When Joe Carter hit the homerun against the Phillies’ Mitch Williams to end the 1993 World Series, I felt like I had been punched in the face. I sat staring at the television, totally oblivious to the fact that I was watching the Blue Jays’ locker room celebration. When the Eagles lost the 2004 Super Bowl, I didn’t want to talk to anyone for days. In neither case was I ever tempted to take a baseball bat to a plate glass window, jump up and down on the roof of someone’s car, or knock over a port-a-potty. Could it be that I am not a real fan?

This happens more often than you think. Many times, it occurs in the city whose team actually won. That is even harder to understand. Amazingly, this isn’t even the first time it has happened in Vancouver. In 1994, similar stuff went on after the Canucks lost another final to the New York Rangers. I don’t know about you, but I am pretty sure I will be nowhere near the city of Vancouver the next time its hockey team makes it to the finals.

Bad sports, continued:

2) A Connecticut high school baseball team lost the state title in heartbreaking fashion last week. One of the players on the Southington High squad was coming around to score in extra innings. His teammates ran out and mobbed him at the plate, thinking they had won. In the melee, though, Matt Sprulli failed to actually step on home plate. The catcher for the other school, Newington High, alertly called for the ball and made the out. Southington went on to lose the game.

3) Deshon Marman, a football player for the University of New Mexico, was kicked off of a U.S. Airways flight to Albuquerque after he refused to pull up his pants when boarding. I guess the discussion got rather heated on board, as he was arrested and charged with trespassing, battery and resisting arrest.

4) David Tyree, he of the ball-caught-against-the-helmet-in the Super-Bowl fame, has joined the ranks of the ignorant athletes who have spoken out against same-sex marriage. Hey guys, if you are opposed to same-sex marriage, don’t marry someone of your sex. Easy, isn’t it?

5) Proving that natural athletic ability is not necessarily enough, Washington Wizards guard John Wall threw quite a doozy of a ceremonial first pitch before the Nationals game on Friday. Check out the video. Hey John, even Baba Booey is laughing at you.

6) University of Nevada wide receiver Brandon Wimberly was shot after a fight in Reno on Saturday. It sounds like he will recover.

7) The Atlanta Braves won a game against the New York Mets on Thursday in a way that I had never seen before. With men on first and third in the tenth inning, Mets pitcher D.J. Carrasco committed what turned out to be a walk-off balk. By rule, the players on base were awarded the next base, causing the winning run to score. Ugly.

Good sports:

1) Rory McIlroy, who collapsed so completely on the final day of the Masters last month, held it together in a big way at the U.S. Open this week. He won the tournament on Sunday after being at the top of the leaderboard each day, setting a U.S. Open record for the most shots under par for 72 holes, with a 16 under par. He won by 8 strokes, and the outcome was never in doubt.

2) Wouldn’t it be cool to be watching a practice of your favorite football team and to then be asked to come onto the field to join in for a few plays? That’s exactly what happened to Josh Richards, a Washington Redskins fan, last week. The players were shorthanded, and asked for some help. Richards was glad to oblige.

3) Kansas City Chiefs tight end Leonard Pope saved a child from drowning at a birthday party in Americus, Georgia, last week. The six-year-old boy had gone under the water, and Pope dove in and rescued him.

Bad sports, good sports appears every Monday

Alan Spoll is a software quality assurance director from the suburbs of Philadelphia where he lives with his wonderful wife and children. He has spent his entire life as a passionate fan of the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, Flyers, and Penn State. Recent Phillies success aside, you will understand his natural negativity. Follow me on Twitter - @DocAlan02
Print This Post Print This Post

One Response to “Bad sports, good sports: Wild riots in Vancouver after Stanley Cup loss”

  1. Yes, this riot after Game 7 was unbelievable even for many Vancouverites. Many people try to explain whole situation, they are talking about crowd psychology, historical background of Canucks, political motivation or some just blame the hooligans. But what many people don’t see is what happened afterwards – thousands of citizens came out with brooms and paint and helped to clean up the city in only few hours. True fans are protecting Vancouver, not destroying it.

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment