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June 14, 2011


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Eric H Janzen

It seems a little short sighted to blame the actions of the rioting crowd in Vancouver on hockey.
Firstly, if you cram 100,000 + people into a three block area for any reason, say to watch two elderly women race at baking a two tier cake, you have created a context and situation for trouble. Too many humans in close proximity leads to rapidly spreading stupidity without fail. It is well documented, that's why we all know the saying 'mob mentality'.
Secondly, there were young people walking through the crowd as early as the first period of the game spreading the 'word': "Riot win or lose". These are not hockey fans nor does it have anything to do with sport. There were a section of people present with the intent of rioting. Hockey or bake off would not have mattered to them. Indeed, the smashing of windows and looting began by the middle of the second period of the game.
Thirdly, there are now reports of individuals who came from out of area with a plan to incite a riot downtown and came equipped with backpacks filled with little gerry-cans of gasoline etc.. They saw an opportunity to foment violence and crime and they took it. Again, they wouldn't have cared about the event, hockey or bake off, what they saw was a crowd ripe for manipulating. The fact that the crowd is so dumb as to get sucked into it is a testament to human nature I suppose, though personally I can't comprehend such blind stupidity.
Fourthly, the level of absolute outrage from the overall public, both local and nationally, against the riot and rioters has been expressed by hockey fans...die-hard hockey fans, such as myself. We have expressed in numerous locations in the wonderful world of online communities our total disgust for what occurred especially because we, more than non-fans apparently, realized that what was transpiring had nothing to do with the game we loved and enjoyed all season.
In the end the only blame that can be laid at the feet of the sports event in all of this is that it occurred at a time and place. Blaming sports, which does far more good and has a positive effect on society as a whole just doesn't make sense, particularly in a situation where the violence and stupidity was the result of other factors, and not the sport itself.
Regardless, Vancouver's reputation as an easy place to cause a riot is well known and now cemented. The next time anyone wants to gather to watch something, say the icing of the finished cakes in the bake off, families will be looking over their shoulders for masked morons setting fire to smart cars and waving at the 'smart'phone wielding morons who think it's all funny while videoing everything.


Brian Zahnd

This is easy for me to agree with...unless I apply it to the NFL...but you're still right.



here is one wee thought...
every CROWD is untruth, including the church crowd.

it is the individual that can, and usually does reflect God's beautiful artistry and workmanship.

i am learning to appreciate that in sport now too,

there is the opportunity to see God manifest in the midst of sport, the same as anywhere else.

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