Oh Vancouver…hockey has changed you

It is a sad shame to see our sister city, beautiful Vancouver, go into riot lockdown because of a hockey game (albeit an important one).

Riots in Vancouver after Canucks lose Stanley Cup


After all, this is the world’s most liveable city and I would agree with it.  I live in Seattle – love Seattle and will probably never leave the emerald city – but freely admit the beauty of Vancouver and often jealous of its great transportation system,  love the fact that the city is in the mountains, startled by its amazing views, and hunger for its many great restaurants (and that would be a completely different and even more long winded blog post if I started down that path).

Though, from an academic point of view, it is rather revealing of the Canadian psyche of the religion of hockey.  After all, even on the Canadian Five-dollar bill, we pay homage to the great Maurice “Rocket” Richard.  On the back side of the bill, imagethere is a boy skating wearing Richard’s #9 jersey with a quote from Roch Carrier’s short story, “The Hockey Sweater”:

Les hivers de mon enfance étaient des saisons longues, longues. Nous vivions en trois lieux: l’école, l’église et la patinoire; mais la vraie vie était sur la patinoire.

Translated to English:

The winters of my childhood were long, long seasons. We lived in three places – the school, the church and the skating rink – but our real life was on the skating rink.

After all, in 1994’s Quebec referendum where difference in vote to separating Quebec from the rest of Canada was only 0.6%, I was safely walking in the streets with my fellow “No to separation” activists and none of the feared riots ever appeared even with the Sûreté du Québec (Quebec Provincial Police) standing in guard.  Yet, in 1993 when the Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup – most of Boulevard St. Laurent (known as “the Main” which is the unofficial divide between English speaking and French speaking Montrealers) was quite trashed.

While I reminisce for the days where my real life was “sur la patinoire”, I am reminded that what I remember of those old hockey games watching “The Rocket” was not his ability to fight (though he certainly could take someone out and win a staring contest),…

… but of his magnificence and grace.

Fitting words for the city of Vancouver. Do not let a blot of rage overshadow your sunny disposition.


  1. As a native Bostonian, I can say that we riot whether we win or lose. Winning usually involves less car fires, but more pints.

  2. Fair enough – in Montreal its pretty much the same thing as well. I guess its the curse of hockey towns, eh?!

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