After 17 years, I let myself believe again. We had the best offensive line in the league, and stepped over teams that would have crushed us in seasons past. The ghosts of ’94 were finally about to be erased. But alas, it was not to be. And to add insult to injury, the streets of Vancouver were once again plagued by rioters.
Losing the game was one thing, but I couldn’t handle watching the city being used as a commercial for tear gas and nightsticks. Reports were coming in about gangs of teens and twenty-somethings from as far away as Surrey “gleefully” rushing to the riot areas. I decided to declare a personal media blackout for the day. I wouldn’t read any news reports or facebook statuses related to last night. Just as those police officers wanted the crowds to disperse and move on, I wanted life in general to do the same.
A clean living room and an organized office can do a lot for a broken heart. I decided to poke my head out and survey the aftermath. Vancouver was now a joke on the world stage. Even my wife’s grade 6 students were disgusted and that crowd will argue over a missing pencil. Fortunately there were many citizens as well as police trying to stop the destruction. There were many volunteers the next day to clean up the mess. The boarded up windows were covered in messages of support and regret.
I hope they arrest and publicly shame every last person who was making trouble downtown that night. It’s funny how people freak out over the privacy issues mobile phones and facebook. Right now it’s almost being used as a form of street justice. This technology is the only way we’ll catch these thugs. I know public flogging’s out of the question, but I wonder if banishment is considered a cruel and unusual punishment. Please go to www.identifyrioters.com and see if you can pick out any faces.
Now, as for the game itself. I’m in no position to figure out the deciding factor because I am by no means a regular hockey fan. There were a lot of conspiracy theories flying around that night. There was the Rome suspension, Raymond’s injury, and the fact that the son of the head NHL disciplinarian played for the Bruins.
As Gary Bettman, the NHL Commisioner stammered and sputtered in front of a booing Vancouver crowd, I wouldn’t have minded if a quick bout of US hyperinflation had him changing his home address to the back of a ford station wagon.
But let’s think about that for a second.
If Bettman suddenly wasn’t NHL commissioner, perhaps by getting hit by a schoolbus full of bantam league hockey players, who would take his place? It wouldn’t matter. The US has more population and more economic power to keep the league going.
Where’s our population and economic power going to come from? Where is that Canadian NHL commissioner and owners who would bring the game back to its home country and make billions while doing it? Is it some internet tycoon thinking of selling his business to a bunch of Silicon Valley VC’s? It could be one of those postal workers on the picket line, sitting on some product he built in his garage but can’t take to market because the post office is the only way his family can get benefits. He could be in the same room as you. Anybody with a plan and the will to carry it out.
At the end of the day, conspiracy theories are nothing but excuses. If it’s going to take more Canadian owners in the league, then let’s make more Canadian owners. Let’s build this country up so we can have our game back. Instead of complaining, rioting, or otherwise about our Cup-less team, let’s make a Stanley Cup in Vancouver happen, just like our Canucks built the best offensive line in the league. GO CANUCKS!