Boston, Kingston and Vancouver

Time for a long post to catch up. Dropkick Murphys, a band from Boston had a gig in Vancouver last week. Came out to ‘We Are The Champions’. Ooooh, that’s gotta hurt. Bruins Stanley Cup Champions and on a visit to Toronto all the T-Shirts in my size were sold out at the Eaton Centre. Not that bad for me considering I’ll get it eventually. Does show how many Boston fans there are.

2 weeks Vancouver went from Stanley Cup hopeful to ‘most hated team in the NHL’. Huh? Booed like crazy at the NHL Draft in Minnesota. Which seems strange until you realize the Wild are in the Canucks division. Even friend of the blog Jody Vance noticed it on Twitter:

“Really bugs me that canucks got boo’d at the draft #notusedtobeingmosthatedinnhl”

To paraphrase a line from The Dark Knight, ‘you either become a Stanley Cup hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain’. After 40 years of the franchise being around, “hated” is a sign you’ve made it. Some fans hate the Leafs, Habs, Bruins, Flyers, etc. Anyone hate the Minnesota Wild or Columbus Blue Jackets?

Not isolated opinion since I’ve seen Canucks blogs discussing dealing with the ‘haters’ who have popped up. I said before the series on Twitter I don’t have any hate for that team. Even I will admit they tried and test my patience.

Biting a guy’s finger. Lame.

Trying to sell broadcast rights for the parade during the Finals before getting shot down by the league. Annoying.

http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2011/06/12/report-nhl-shoots-down-vancouver-selling-broadcast-rights-to-potential-stanley-cup-parade/

[Canuck Fans saying: A story broken by the Boston Globe] Bit shady a Boston paper got that info of all media outlets, however they still tried to sell it. Thanks Colin Campbell for that inside info [Canuck fans: I knew it] ….. I’m kidding. I think.

Constant complaining about the refs, which I heard on sports radio from Vancouver. Hilarious. Because the Canucks had 33 powerplays compared to Boston’s 27. They were saying things like “Those crooked refs make Andy Van Hellemond look like a saint.” Oops, hope I don’t get sued.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Ex-NHL-ref-Van-Hellemond-intends-to-sue-papers-o;_ylt=AqkJN0fd_j1GZcN2N_xW.797vLYF?urn=nhl-wp8499

Rome’s hit on Horton, which possibly changed the series. I blamed the NHL not him. He doesn’t have a history of dirty hits so the Horton one is a byproduct of the horribly vague rules. Which they finally are changing.

Still, people who now ‘Hate the Canucks’?

Sure, Oilers/Flames/Avs/Wild fans would be a part of that but they were like that before. Part could be the “Canada’s team” stuff. ‘Seeking Stanley’ crew and the media in BC get a pass. What else are they going to say? They look around and they are the only Canadian city left standing. I said earlier Jim Hughson was obviously for the Canucks, and I didn’t fault him for that. Made sense.

I found non-Canuck fans were irritated in other parts of the country. I detailed my feeling in an earlier blog post about how in the NHL there never has been ONE team for Canada. I forgot about one thing.

1982-90 there was at least 1 Canadian team in every final. So that idea of cheering for a team just because their Canadian doesn’t register to me personally. Maybe for younger fans it does. Across Canada there always are stories about Leaf vs Habs from decades past for instance. Heck, one of the most famous NFB shorts “The Sweater” sums up the rivalry between Canadian cities. If you haven’t seen it, leave this blog for now and watch. It’s 10 minutes….. you can come back later.

http://www.nfb.ca/film/sweater/

Shows the divide not only between hockey fanbases, but regions and cultures. Do most hockey fans on the East Coast feel a strong connection to an NHL team in BC? No. We’re all Canadians but it is such a large country we feel more connected to our region. I’ve lived in Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland. Visited Nova Scotia and Quebec a few times too. Was no PEI bridge when I lived in NB for those wondering why no trip there. That still leaves all the Western Provinces and the Territories that I’ve never seen, except on TV.

Imagine Toronto today celebrating a Habs win. Or Montreal rioting over a Leafs Cup……. well that could happen in Montreal’s case. They riot over a Round 1 win so they might be upset enough if Toronto won a Stanley Cup to smash things. 🙂

That’s one bad part Vancouver has to deal with. Being the butt of jokes for years. Any Habs fans I know I can always tease about the rioting. Like Kryptonite. ‘Oh, you had to mention the idiots who riot’, Canuck fans won’t like it either.

Strange to be in a town that can identify a bit with the Vancouver riot. Although Kingston’s Homecoming problems doesn’t look so bad compared to Vancouver’s rioting. It still is a good comparison. Main thing is you can’t pin it down on just one thing. Too complicated.

Homecoming is where recently was the year where a car was flipped over, people jumped up and down on it then set it on fire. Town been feeling the pinch of extra police on that weekend ever since. Difference for Kingston was that it’s an annual event. So everyone here knew 12 months later it would have to be dealt with again. A bit more political will when you are positive something will happen.

Maybe that was a part of Vancouver’s problem. A Stanley Cup Final is a big “IF” when you are thinking policing and security. Olympics, G20 were both things governments could plan months or years in advance. Stanley Cup you can’t even be sure a week ahead of time when it might end. Game 5, 6 or 7?

Kingston didn’t have the talk of ‘anarchists’. Just the power of a drunken mob. No sign of masks or molotov cocktails. Those people did exist in Vancouver, how many of them is the question. That’s a bit harder to figure out. Watching the coverage all night the ones who must’ve had a plan with wearing a mask was the first hour or so. Then the idiots took over.

One thing I will remember was a looter with a makeshift mask, a sweatshirt tied around his nose/mouth. Why that sticks out was because he was yelling at someone trying to get his attention, possibly a friend. His friend couldn’t hear him. So what does the guy do, while a CTV camera is pointed at him? Pulls it down to yell at his buddy, then pulls it back up again. Showing his face for all to see on national TV. If he was an ‘anarchist’ he was a really dumb one.

Same thing as the Homecoming problem is over a few days some in the media were saying, ‘Those people aren’t from Queen’s or from Kingston’ or ‘They are not Canucks fans or they’re not from Vancouver’. Sadly some of them are. Not all of them by any means, but they did exist in the mayhem. Can’t stick your head in the sand.

Front page of The Kingston Whig Standard the Monday after showed a guy jumping on the car. He ended up being identified as a local high school student from Kingston. Vancouver had a picture of someone trying to light a police car on fire, later also identified as a high school student. In his case, a member of Team Canada’s Under 21 Water Polo team. Power of a mob on some people.

That said, each one does have people from outside the area who don’t care what happens either way. My sister was at University of Guelph when the worst Homecoming happened. She said the Monday morning in her class some guys mentioned they drove to Kingston just for that street party. That’s a 3 1/2 hour drive. That has been common for the Aberdeen street party. It attracts people from a number of schools in Ontario. Before they’ve set up Facebook groups to plan trips that weekend. Can be sure they don’t care about what happens to this town on that Saturday. Sure a number of similar stories in Vancouver. They knew Game 7 was happening so if things go wrong, they don’t care much.

You could say, in a way it doesn’t really matter why it happened. Majority view it as a ‘Queen’s/Kingston problem’ even though it was more than that, and people will just remember it as ‘Vancouver Rioted’.

I’ll write another post later on Boston winning. With the riot/homecoming stuff I knew it would go down that road.

For Canuck fans, remember my team blew a 3-0 series lead against the Flyers last season. Including being up 3-0 in Game 7. A lot can change in a year. Can be a thin line between success and failure. Boston/Vancouver both had a Game 7 overtime in the first round we barely squeaked out against a hated rival.

But today I will end the blog post with nothing but video of the good times in Vancouver from the Finals. Games 1 through 6 from CBC Vancouver’s coverage. Jody, Shane Foxman and Karen Larsen with the local CBC post game show. Which got more than 700,000 viewers during the finals! And that was only shown in BC, or on satellite if you get that channel.

To put that in perspectivce, if a nationally televised Canadian show cracks a million people ‘nationwide’ you are considered a big hit. On the sports side Blue Jays games are seen by around 500K this season to show how big that 700K number was.

Here are the good times in the Finals for British Columbia.

Game 1 



Game 2



Game 3



Game 4



Game 5



Game 6


That's it for now.
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