My Opinion. Vancouver's Real Fans Were The Ones Who Were Attacked.
What happened last night was horrible. It was horrible for the city of Vancouver. It was horrible for the country of Canada. It was horrible for the game of hockey. It was horrible for those who are forced to rebuild today....And more than anything, it was horrible for those critically injured.
However none of this gives anyone the right to use this event as a way to sensationalize a stereotype or justify a warped generalization about Vancouver Canucks fans. And I am seeing this hatred towards Vancouver and their fans being propagated everywhere this morning and it is flat out wrong.
Now, I am not saying there weren't drunken Canucks fans who got caught up in the mob mentality and I hope those people are prosecuted fully, but understand this...All throughout the Olympics last year this size group of people met up downtown and peacefully disbursed. Throughout the playoffs, and especially during the Cup Final, thousands of people were gathering for every game. They even watched their team get essentially killed three times in Boston and dispersed without incident.
And it was because of this peaceful recent history the idiots who lit the fuse last night were successful.
From being there and talking to people all night long, I am convinced that last night was a well planned terrorist attack, pulled out by a few idiots who took advantage of a ripe situation. They wore Canucks jerseys to blend in, as any good terrorist would, but they also brought canisters of pepper spray (used to deter bears) and they brought black scarves to wear around their faces..as no good FAN would.
They brought a truck, with the lone intention to set on fire...win or lose. They had tools to aid in looting. Their intention was clear...to destroy property and make Vancouver Canucks fans look terrible.
And much of the media has bought it. hook, line, and sinker.
Again before you go at Canucks fans, remember this. The owners of those properties and car destroyed were Canucks fans.
Since there were no trains, taxi's running I walked last night to my hotel on Granville street. I saw people in front of the hospital getting treated for tear gas. I saw broken glass, I saw police helicopters shining lights on the streets..
But what I also saw were way more REAL Vancouver Canucks fans who were way more saddened and embarrassed by what had happened since the Cup had been awarded then anything prior. The game they lost...it lost all meaning.
I saw good, and frankly braver than I am, people trying to reclaim their city from the terrorists. Screaming to stop the violence and destruction. Helping those hurt. Helping police. Video taping incidents and posting them online to aid police..
There was an explosion outside my hotel late last night, and I felt the need to get out of the building in case the building might be in danger. It was then I met even more people who continued to all tell me the same stories...."Anarchists in Canucks jerseys and black scarves running from one very calculated hot spot to the next, lighting the fuse and trying to draw a drunken, frantic crowd into the fray."
So why am I defending Canucks fans?
Because I know these fans. I spent three weeks here during the Olympics. I lived with a host family of Canucks fans. I met countless Canucks fans during that time who impressed me endlessly with their humility and kindness.
I was in a building last night that was full of the most real/die-hard Canucks fans alive....as the clock ticked down inside the building I was blown away by the Canucks fans ability to maintain perspective and stay positive. It had taken them 40 years to see a game 7 Stanley Cup game in their building, but there was no sense at all they would be violent despite watching a very mundane performance by their team at the most critical time. They were chanting "LU" on Luongo saves right to the end. The common refrain was "can't blame it all on Luongo, he can't score."
Where I come from it would have been ALL Luongo's fault. Canadians know their hockey, that's for sure.
Vancouver Canucks fans aren't about violence. They are incredible fans.
Later last night, as the destruction and tension continued to rise, a few Vancouver fans started a Facebook page where thousands upon thousands of other Canucks fans committed to meeting at noon the next day to help aid in the clean up.
So if you ask me about Canucks fans, all I can say is "those are the fans I know." Those were the fans who were making sure everything was freshly painted and ready to go. During the Olympics we all saw that same pride.
I ask some of you Canadians who are into tearing down Vancouver today to remember how amazingly well they represented your great and vast country during the Olympics. At that time the people of Vancouver knew they were the ones the world would judge Canada on and they came through with an amazing example of the kind of warmth, respect, and decency that I, and American, think of when I think of Canadians.
They had your back.and last night they just got attacked. Plain and simple. You weren't attacked. They were. And it sucks enough for them right now to have to rebuild and live with the embarrassment. An embarrassment they feel so strongly due to their character. Don't pile it on because you have some personal prejudice against BC people or what hlave you.
Terrorists are not Muslims, or Canadiensm or Asians, or Americans, or Canucks fans, etc.. Terrorists are f*****g terrorists. They look for opportunities and they break things. It's the most wimpy thing a human being can do: Breaking something when it is not being protected. It's so frigging easy to be a Terrorist. It takes years and courage to build things, but it can take a terrorist loser seconds to destroy something.
The 24 hour news world, a world pushed to sensationalism as they are pushed to extinction, wants to classify people by saying "The Vancouver Canucks fans rioted last night." And they will show you a picture of a guy in a Canucks shirt standing near a car on fire. Don't get sucked in by it. It wasn't all that last night. I was there. It wasn't.
I wanted to thank you for allowing me this forum to express my views. I know you don't come to my site for this, and I promise you between now and the middle of July I will be all about trying to find out as much as I can about trades and UFAs. Starting later today. Thanks.