Video: Drunken Riot in Vancouver After Hockey Loss

By Dirk Hanson 06/16/11

Vancouver mayor describes alcohol-fueled mayhem as "embarrassing and shameful.”

Rioters burned cars, broke windows, looted shops, and attacked police in Vancouver during a drunken riot sparked by the defeat of the Vancouver Canucks in the final game of the Stanley Cup. After the Boston Bruins won the championship, drunken Canuck fans took over central Vancouver and began mindlessly destroying everything in sight, as thick black smoke boiled over the city.

Associated Press reported that as soon as the final buzzer sounded, Canadian fans pelted outdoor video screens with beer bottles. People chanted obscenities as riot police tried to hold back a crowd of several thousand in one area of central Vancouver. There were at least four unconfirmed reports of stabbings and other injuries, as police were attacked with beer bottles and fireworks. BBC News reports that “streets were filled with rubbish, broken glass and streams of alcohol.” Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson described the riots as "embarrassing and shameful.”

But have no fear: According to the PubClub, which bills itself as a web site about “Bars, Nightlife & Partying Around The World,” alcohol was not the problem. PubClub hews to the standard defense: A few bad apples. (Watch the horrifying video and decide for yourself.)

 The problem, says the PubClub crowd, is low IQ. Seriously. Here’s their solution: “Some people can handle it and some can’t and an IQ card would go a long way to weeding out the fun folks from the fools.” And how would this policy be implemented, exactly? Simple. “If someone is to drink, when they turn 18 or 19, get them drunk. If they are fun, happy and just want to party, then they get a drinking card. If they become violent, want to pick fights or cause disruption, then they don’t get the card. They are not allowed to purchase alcohol or set foot in a bar.”

But the PubClub has an even more hare-brained scheme in mind: “A more practical application would be for police and bars to have an “idiots sticker” to put on one’s ID if they cause trouble. When that troublemaker shows their ID to purchase alcohol or go to a bar, they are shooed away like a minor.”

We think the PubClub crew is serious about this. There really is no limit to the justifications to which some drinkers will resort as a means of diminishing the truth about the societal impact of  alcohol abuse at sporting events.

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Dirk Hanson, MA, is a freelance science writer and the author of The Chemical Carousel: What Science Tells Us About Beating Addiction. He is also the author of The New Alchemists: Silicon Valley and the Microelectronics Revolution. He has worked as a business and science reporter for numerous magazines and trade publications including Wired, Scientific American, The Dana Foundation and more. He currently edits the Addiction Inbox blog. Email: [email protected]