Several times this season I’ve written on this blog that the Canucks should win a particular game for the fans. I did it in the regular season and I did it before game seven. After Wednesday night that seems so hollow and pointless. I won’t ever use that turn of phrase again. Vancouver showed Wednesday night that many Canucks fans don’t deserve anything from the Canucks. Not a damn thing. Days later I’m still so angry that I could spit that these little assholes trashed and burned and destroyed our city all while wearing Canucks jerseys and hats and hoodies and t-shirts. The media and Vancouver higher ups are clinging to the anarchists from out of town story and I’m sure there is truth to that. There were t-shirts saying I’m just here for the riot, and masks, and lighter fluid, but that doesn’t leave out everyone else. Anarchists may have lit the first car on fire but Canucks fans finished the deal. They would have done this win or lose. It goes well beyond hockey. I can’t get close to being able to explain why it happened.
They couldn’t even have the smallest decency of taking off their jerseys before beating people, or looting, or kicking in windows. Now we will be forever linked to these awful people because we’re Canucks fans. I’m proud to wear the Canucks logo even though we still don’t have a Cup because of guys like Trevor Linden, Markus Naslund, Hank and Danny Sedin, Dan Hamhuis, Mattias Ohlund, Sami Salo, Ryan Kesler, and Keith Ballard. Just to name a few. I could fill a whole post with names.
I wonder what the players felt like Wednesday night as they watched people wear the very same jersey they were so proud to wear all year as these useless thugs tore apart our downtown core. Imagine just experiencing the worst loss of your career and just wanting to go home and be with your family and try to heal and move on and not being able to because you needed a police escort to leave your arena. So no, I won’t be saying win a game for your fans again. It’s clear many of us don’t deserve it. Next year, win it for each other. That’s what’s good and important.
Now we all wear the tarnished reputations of the few. It’s unfortunate and sad and it still makes me furious. The volunteer cleaners and everyone else that helped put our city back together started the healing. I wish so strongly that these wonderful citizens will be remembered more than the rioters. Only time will tell on that. Other cities and countries probably won’t care about that. The juicy, bad news is more appealing, But perhaps it is enough for people in Vancouver. That is what counts.
Lost in this was a hockey game. It was hard to watch. It hurt so much at the end I could barely breathe. The Canucks had an amazing season but to come THAT close is hard to swallow. You start to think in one of your lesser moments “What’s the point?” What’s the point of following this team for 82 regular season games and then 20+ playoff games only to have your heart so throughly stomped on in the last possible moment. The Cup was IN the building. Then my mind immediately jumped to Mason Raymond. He broke his back chasing his dream. Instead of flying home and starting his long summer of rehab alone he went to Rogers Arena. He stood in his back brace, in immense amounts of pain, and waved to the crowd. He could barely move he was in so much pain but he still wanted his dream so badly and he wanted to cheer on his team any way he could. So I’m coming back for Mason Raymond because he deserves it.
There are many other reasons to hope for next season. They learned so much during this long playoff run and are poised to do so much more. I’m proud to be a Canucks fan and no riot can take that away from me no matter how hard it tried. I’m putting away my bottle of champagne and saving it for next year because the best is yet to come.