Sports culture should be kept in perspective

Re: Province, city review riot aftermath, June 18.

To the Editor,

Re: Province, city review riot aftermath, June 18.

I do not believe one can pin Vancouver’s explosion of idiocy on “a small pack of thugs.”

I believe there is a socio-cultural connection between these riots and the sport which drew them. I believe the roots of these events run much deeper:

As I watched hockey’s culture of insanity brew over the last few months, I could not help but ponder our so-called devotion to the game.

This is what we live for? Really?  Do ‘we’ really have nothing else going on in our lives that hockey, a game, is what we live for?

Yet if one looks at the faith and devotion that a sports fan is capable of displaying, it seems this Canucks slogan is not far from the truth.

Sports provide a way by which one can release otherwise inexpressible passions without really exerting much of oneself or making many changes to one’s lifestyle.

In the last few months, these philistines have created an atmosphere of religious devotion to the Canucks; they have evoked a kind of pride and passion that requires a release of pressure when their precious idol’s results cannot live up to their amassed hype.

Sportsfan mentality knows no bounds of class, race, or culture – it is existent everywhere. It is, without a doubt, the ultimate coequal to religion: for most people, it is an escape, but for the non-believers, it is inescapable.

As fun, and as culture-binding as sports are, my only question is: could we possibly keep our priorities in check when it comes to our theistic devotion to them?

After all, they are just games. They do not require the immense exercise we currently put into them; and this passion easily creates a route to which undesirable ends are able to unfold.

To quote Shakespeare:

“These violent delights have violent ends

And in their triumph die, like fire and powder

Which, as they kiss, consume.”

Jay Herringer

Nanaimo