June 17, 2011
A question every Vancouverite had trouble answering because all we could think about was the destruction that took place shorty after the game buzzer sounded.
In a small way, the riot news was welcome — it kept us from thinking about the devastating loss we endured at the hands of the Boston Bruins. I’m not sure what hurt more, the cocky, agressive, just plain mean Bruins holding the cup up in our arena or the way we lost game four.
The day started out with a major case of the stomach flutters. We were all nervous. My family. My friends. The city. But I was going to a play with my sister so I was busy. I didn’t have to time to think about how they would do it, just that they would. The play was on Granville Island, not far from Roger’s arena. It seemed like we were right at the heart of it considering you could feel an excited-anxious energy in the air. It was coming from a northerly direction. The direction in which all my fellow Canucks were congregating.
We left Granville Island at 4:15 and headed home, thanking the traffic gods that there were no major holdups or accidents on the way. We half listened to the pre-game show and chatted about other things to keep our minds off the impending 60 minutes that were going to change this city one or another.
I dropped my sister off in Richmond and headed home, knowing I wasn’t going to make it in time to see the first period. But that was okay, because I think my nervousness was too much to handle. A hum in veins, a flush to my cheeks, a jitter in my legs. I was so ready for this. Seventeen years, seventeen years, seventeen years…and finally. We were here.
When the crowd started to go wild, right before the national anthem, I was sitting on Number 5 Road waiting to make a left onto Stevenson Hwy and all the hairs on my arms stood up. Even as I type this, I’m getting the willies. The roar of that crowd was deafening. Electric.
There’s no point in rehashing what happened after that because, well..we all know why. We were holding our collective breaths for that first goal. And it wasn’t us who struck first, unfortunately. The stats were good and we couldn’t win this thing if we didn’t make our mark first. It wasn’t for a lacking of trying, though. Cause our boys tried. They did. And I’m proud of them. Game seven wasn’t their best hockey, but they had a great season and a great playoff run. Before this series started I said to my husband that regardless what happened, I would be proud of them. And I am.
However, the truth is, this game seven failed to entertain. Plain and simple. Good or bad. Fault or faultless. This game was not the way game seven was supposed to play out. We perished without a peep…we just faded away without a fight. And that’s what hurts. I know they tried to try. I know they wanted it. But for whatever reason, Boston made it look like they were taking candy from a baby. Before we knew it, 60 minutes were up. The fastest game I’ve ever watched. In a blink of an eye, we were done. After months of hoping, dreaming, wishing… I suppose this is how every runner up feels. But, but…1994 didn’t feel like this.
But before we could begin to mourn the loss of our cup dreams, news of the violence in downtown Vancouver broke. With a sense of surreality, we listened to the radio and watched the live feeds. This couldn’t be happening. Oh but it was. And with horrified expressions and the taunting twitter remarks from Boston fans refreshing on Twitter we watched Vancouver destroy Vancouver.
I have far too few words to describe the anger, disappointment, fury, sadness I felt watching what was happening. What can you say in the face of this type of idiocy?
I’m not sure what we’re lacking as a society, but it’s something. Empathy, a sense of responsibility, intelligence? What? What is it? That we would allow -- by standing by, by cheering, by watching, by not dispersing — members of our city destroy it. How could we? It’s easy to say that the individuals who were perpetrating these acts of violence were professional rioters and had premeditated intentions, but there was more to it than that.
Somethings gotta give.