Via ESPN: “Angry, drunken fans ran wild Wednesday night after the Vancouver Canucks’ 4-0 loss to Boston in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, setting cars and garbage cans ablaze, smashing windows, showering giant TV screens with beer bottles and dancing atop overturned vehicles.”
In the aftermath of the Stanley Cup Finals, a microscope is now placed on the nature of fandom. From the beating of a San Francisco Giants fan at Dodgers Stadium earlier this year, to the riots that have occurred after victories, questions are raised as to why passion for one’s team has led to moments of insanity. While these incidents are often isolated, it’s a bit alarming when considering that this is not the first time that fans in Vancouver have drunkenly rioted after a playoff loss.
Consider that last sentence again: “drunkenly rioted.” Drunken. As in, inebriated and intoxicated. Is alcohol really the external factor that pushes fans towards violence? Arguable, but not the sole cause when considering that these offenders are in the minority of fans in attendance.
So if not alcohol, then what is the catalyst? Could it be the nature of fandom in itself? Are we, as a society, so taken by the sense of belonging that sports creates, that we merely get carried away? Are we pushing each other to be more “dedicated” and more “passionate” than the others? Are we taking sports so personally, to the point where an insult towards our team is now sacrilege? Are we simply taking fandom too far?
Or, is it something else? Is it the teams that are encouraging our bloodlust with their violence on the clock? Is it the nature of competition that makes us want to act on our raw emotions?
Though we may never know the exact reason, I’d like to hear your thoughts. Continue the conversation by hitting the comments section below or follow me on Twitter (@FranchiseSAYS).