It was not the kind of Hollywood ending Canuck fans had hoped for: A Game 7 win before a hometown crowd, bringing to an end a 40-year quest for the Stanley Cup.
Instead, the script read more like “The Good, The Bad and The Stupid.”
First, The Good.
They were the majority. They were the true hockey fans who filled the Rogers Arena each night, who sang out Canada’s anthem with gusto, who stood and politely congratulated the Boston Bruins as they hoisted the cup.
They were also the ones who went home after the game, to commiserate their loss with friends and family.
And they were the ones who, in the midst of the mayhem and at great personal risk, attempted to stop the destruction.
Then there was The Bad. These were the people who came to Wednesday night’s street party with a clear intent on causing trouble. They were the ones who brought with them the tools of destruction, saw the event, not as a celebration, but as opportunity to engage in their own criminal acts.
And finally, there was The Stupid.
Despite the insistence by police and politicians the riot was the work of “anarchists” and others, much of it was done by idiots too easily swept along by the chaos. They were the ones who lacked the brains or the moral courage to go home when things turned ugly. They were the ones too stupid to appreciate the damage they inflicted went far beyond a store window, but to the reputation of a tourist-dependent city.
They were the ones too stupid to consider the emotional damage their actions had on the innocent people trying to escape, like Crystal Ratvay who returned to her vehicle to find it smashed and on its roof. (See story, page 1)
They were the ones who cheered others as they rolled over cars, busted windows and looted stores.
And they were the ones too stupid to realize that there is no anonymity in the digital age; that the photos they so willingly posed for inevitably find their way to their families, employers, and maybe one day their kids.
The rehabilitation of Vancouver’s reputation has begun in earnest.
But it seems unlikely that the Game 7 riot will be remembered by anything other than the triumph of the stupid.