I received some strong feedback from yesterday’s gallery of the rioting in Vancouver in the wake of the Canucks’ Game 7 loss in the Stanley Cup Finals. My original intention wasn’t to blame hockey fans for the disgusting display of violence and societal breakdown, because I know that there’s a deeper reason behind this riot and others that we’ve seen over the years. It’s not about sports as much as it’s about people just being generally unhappy.
Hold on, someone just threw a brick covered in feces through my window. Ah, apparently I’m wrong and the rioting is indeed the fault of sports fans. Male sports fans with tiny penises, to be precise.
“People invest themselves, their identity, very much in the sports clubs,” explained Professor Ervin Staub, a psychologist and the founder of the program in Psychology of Peace and Violence at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “There is evidence that when a team loses, fans get a little depressed and when the team wins, they get a little high.”
Such biological effects, Staub explained, are directly linked to behaviors. Losers feel “diminished” and “powerless,” he said, and people then become tempted to “use destructive means rather than constructive means to regain one’s sense of effectiveness.” So they lash out. (Maybe the team lost, but I can bust a department store window!) (MSNBC)
To blame Vancouver’s riot solely on sports fans is lazy and unfair. This isn’t about thousands of young people being pissed off that the Canucks lost. Sure, it doesn’t help that they lost and it certainly gives people a good excuse to go out and get stupid, but this is about something so much bigger. All those people flipping cars, lighting fires, fighting each other, smashing windows and pillaging stores don’t give a crap about a hockey game. They’re pissed off at life.