Stupid* Tuesday Questions, British Columbia edition

Yo!  Vancouver!  WTF???!?

Riots?  Over sports?  When did you turn into Detroit?

Can someone please explain to me what possesses people to care this much about sports?  When Helen Hunt and Jack Nicholson won Oscars for their startling performances as Helen Hunt and Jack Nicholson (respectively) in “As Good As It Gets,” I didn’t turn over any cars.  The outcome of a series of games seems no more important to the real world than which people win awards for pretending to be other people.  Why on earth would people choose to demolish bits of their own city because their team lost?  (It would at least make just a little more sense if a bunch of angry Canuck fans traveled to Boston and then started smashing things.)

It’s a game.  It’s only a game. Why would people care so much about it?  Help me understand!

* I’ve found the fervor of sports fans baffling for years, so this week’s question is actually sincere.  However, I suspect to sports fans it might seem pretty stupid.

Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.


  1. The city of San Francisco persuaded Fox to allow it to display what turned out to be the final game of last year’s Series on a jumbo screen at City Hall. [1] I went with some friends, and it was genuinely one of the great times of my life to enjoy the Giants finally winning the big one with a crowd that felt exactly the same way. There was no violence or even hint of it: just cheers, hugs, and high-fives.

    A few hours later, after people had time to hit the bars, came the usual idiocy of brawls and vandalism. I’m presuming that alcohol was a big factor in Vancouver as well.

    1. Though only that one game — had the Rangers won it, the City couldn’t have shown the next one. Since it was displayed with Fox’s commercials, I have no idea what Fox thought it was giving up. In fact, I don’t know why playoff games can’t be shown on the away stadium’s big screen: it’s a great opportunity to let the fans congregate and buy overpriced beer.

    • Mike:

      “it’s a great opportunity to let the fans congregate and buy overpriced beer.”

      BAD idea. In fact, the dumb-sounding but actually very smart Mayor of Boston just flatly denied a permit for the Bruins to do that–although Dallas just did it for the Mavs and got away with it. However, Texans riot over football, not basketball.

      Cheap tickets, expensive beer and high emotions is a bad mix.

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