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Danny Groner

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Three Lessons From Vancouver's Post-Stanley Cup Riots

Posted: 06/16/11 07:20 PM ET

"Why do these riots happen? Why do sports bring out the worst instincts in otherwise reasonable people? Why do we take moments of civic unity and turn them into uncivil idiocy?" asks Sports Illustrated's Michael Rosenberg. In total, almost 150 people received hospital treatment and close to 100 were arrested after the Canucks lost to the Bruins in Game 7 Wednesday night. "I don't understand how a mob perverts otherwise decent folks, but it's mean in its intent and its intent is to destroy," says Dean Broughton of the Vancouver Sun. Pundits weigh in on what might have helped fuel the destruction:

Vancouver didn't take precautions:

"The key mistake that Vancouver made was trusting its own citizens far past any reasonable point," says Cathal Kelly in the Toronto Star. "You cannot pack 100,000 people with a single rooting interest into a few city blocks, fill them with alcohol and then trust to their better natures when things don't go their way. Nobody else in the world does it this way. Nobody."

Violence and hockey go hand-in-hand:

"Violence is implanted deep in the game's DNA. But it doesn't have to be, and it shouldn't be," says Adam Gopnik at The New Yorker. The "brutality" that players must endure "is one of the worst things about the game now." It's time to get rid of the fighting once and for all. We must accept that "the future of the game we love depends on whether anything is done to change the circumstances that make it so."

Let's get rid of sports altogether:

While these other suggestions might help, says David Berreby at Big Think, I'd like to offer another suggestion: Outlaw professional sports. "Big-time sports franchises waste resources, screw up urban life, and trigger violence. Society would be better off if the whole apparatus didn't exist. (I know; we'll sooner see world peace and the end of human hunger before we get rid of all these bowls and cups and pennants, but being hopeless isn't the same thing as being wrong.)"