The unfortunate thing about having a Tuesday deadline is that if my favourite hockey team plays in the Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday, a game that ends with a riot that makes headlines around the world, I can’t write a column about it for another week and a half. But so what? It’s not like I’ve never been late to a party before.
Being late is actually the story of my life. That, and forgetting stuff. Like the fact that it was Father’s Day last week which would have been a far more relevant and timely topic for me to write about rather than my weird problem with staying awake. (Thanks to all the people who wrote to me about that, by the way. Apparently falling asleep at the drop of a hat isn’t normal and I’ll be checking in with a doctor now.)
So, getting back to the disappointing hockey game and the ensuing Vancouver riot. I watched the game at a restaurant with a group of friends and felt nervous for the Canucks. I desperately hoped they would win, but felt that same anxiety that I did in 1994 when they were playing in game seven against the New York Rangers.
From the beginning, when our national anthem was played and I saw the Green Men waving the Canadian flag with fans singing along with excitement and pride, I got a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. There were a few other times during the game that my eyes welled up a little, especially at the end when they lost. But it was hours later when I turned the news on that the tears actually streamed down my cheeks as I watched what was going on in the beautiful city where I was born and raised.
Even though a riot broke out back in 1994 when we lost the Stanley Cup to New York, I felt shocked all over again at the sheer destruction that was taking place and prayed that no one would be hurt or killed in the process.
The next morning I woke up to the following email message from my friend from Boston: Fires and riots in Vancouver last night? Unbelievable. Makes you feel like they didn’t deserve to see their team win after all.
He was right about those particular hooligans not deserving to see their team win, but I was quick to point out that they were not a good illustration of the majority of peaceful Vancouver residents and Canucks fans who were just as horrified as we were.
I later turned on the TV and saw that the Vancouver riots were the leading story on almost every network, including the talk show, The View.
For Vancouver to make headlines this way was devastating. But amid all the photos and videos that circulated at warp speed around the world thanks to the phenomena of social media, there was one stunning shot of a couple kissing that I loved immediately.
Of all the pictures out there, I hope this is the one everyone will remember most about the Vancouver Riot of 2011. For it is love and peace, not war and destruction, that is a more accurate representation of Vancouver and Canada and its beautiful people.
Lori Welbourne is a syndicated columnist. To watch her Daily Dose videos or to contact her, visit OnaBrighterNote.ca