People have gone mad


Living in Wisconsin all my life and witnessing the changes that have occurred politically, not only here but nationwide, I’ve come to the conclusion that people are going mad.

When the Packers won the Super Bowl in early February, the state went crazy. Packers fever had never been higher. Even the championship in 1997 was sweet, but this one was sweeter. Nobody, in their wildest dreams, believed that the 2010 team had a chance in hell of winning a single playoff game, let alone the Super Bowl! It was outrageous. Hell, the team didn’t even win the division and they ended up being Super Bowl champions! It was great. It was a reason to celebrate!

And we did! People screamed, jumped up and down, high-fived, hugged, drank a beer or two and basked in the glory of a world championship. Songs were sung, fans enjoyed the moment.

A few days later, fans jammed the streets for the parade that was held to welcome the team back. The very next day thousands packed into Lambeau Field in near sub-zero temperatures for a celebration of the team – an event that lasted a couple of hours – again in freezing temperatures.

Now, the question I ask is this: What if the Packers had lost the game? What would the reaction have been? Let’s ask the good people from Pittsburgh what their reaction would have been?

Probably the same as any sane person would give: That we would have accepted it as a part of life. There are winners and there are losers in every athletic competition. You learn from the experience … you bring perspective into the equation … you tell yourself, “it’s just a game.” We appreciate the experience and the efforts of those for whom you have been cheering the entire season and you look forward to next year.

That’s what the fans in Pittsburgh did after last year’s loss to the Packers … and if I’m not mistaken, that’s been the practice for most residents of cities who honor their fallen athletes after losing the big game.

But apparently not in Vancouver, Canada.

Last night’s reaction (probably from a small segment of “fans”) to the game seven loss to the Boston Bruins is at the very least embarrassing and at the most shocking.

According to initial reports of events in the city following the loss of the game, the problems started when small fires were lit, but it eventually escalated to include mass destruction of property, major looting and hundreds of injuries.

There were no fatalities, but at least one person was reported in critical condition.

This all as a result of a game.

Can one imagine this happening to this scale as a result of the loss of a hockey game?

That’s why I feel the world’s peoples are simply going mad … using any excuse to revolt, to destroy and to take their own pathetic individual situations and make it the problem of society as a whole.

My hope is that, like the lessons learned from the loss of a sporting event, those who instigated this crisis, will be sought out, confronted, arrested and have their day in court. Finding, arresting and bringing these individuals to justice may be a difficult task, but my hope is that those in charge are at least able to find and prosecute SOME of them. Maybe an example will be enough … maybe not.

Let others be aware, however, that this IS only a game. It’s not the end of the world and to react this way in unconscionable, irresponsible, and just plain pathetic.

We live in a civilized society and it’s time that people start acting civilized. It’s time to let games be games. It’s time to celebrate when the team wins and it’s time to get back to understanding the world isn’t ending if your team loses.

The sun will rise the next morning after a loss. I know – as a Packers fan who lived through the 70s and 80s, I know. It’s difficult, yes, but is it worth destruction of property, injury to others and potential death?

I think not.