IT'S FALL, HOCKEY'S AROUND THE CORNER... AND I'M ORNERY.
While I'm often bummed to let go of the summer and the vacations that accompany that season, there's a lot to look forward to when we flip to the ninth page on the calendar.
1. The kids go back to school - meaning peaceful mornings at home.
2. Fantasy football - because it's better than the actual product the NFL produces anymore.
3. Hockey training camp - just two weeks away and I'm Jonesin' for it.
Now, of course, once we're in camp mode for a few days, I'll be complaining about how it's dragging (yes, I can be insatiable), but there is something invigorating about returning to my beat on a regular basis after months of constant uncertainty.
And while I can envision several stories that I'll be writing from camp in a couple weeks, I thought I still had a little more hockey down time left.
Until I woke up this morning and read a story on NHL.com about a months-long investigation into the Vancouver riots following Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals last June.
Cory Masisak, a fine reporter, does a nice job in providing all the nuts and bolts of this news story, so I don't want my impending outrage to be geared toward him. I'm going to spare the messenger up front.
However, I can't even begin to describe the incredulity that washed over me when I read these opening two paragraphs:
Two months of investigation into the events that transpired the night of June 15 in Vancouver have led 53 recommendations for future preparation and prevention of events like the riot that occurred after Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, according to the report released Thursday by an independent review.
The review, co-chaired by former Nova Scotia deputy attorney general Douglas J. Keefe, QC and former head of the Vancouver Olympic Committee, John Furlong, concluded the main problems on the night of the riot were too many people in the downtown core and too much alcohol involved.
We needed two months of investigations and countless dollars to be paid to these investigators to come to that conclusion?
Next thing you know a report will come out to tell us that sitting in the sun all summer will change the complexion of your skin.
HELLO INVESTIGATORS! It was Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, in a hockey-mad Canadian City. WHAT DID YOU FREAKIN' EXPECT!!!!!
I don't know, maybe it's only in Philadelphia that thousands of sports fans gather outdoors for major sporting events to tailgate, carry on and imbibe alcohol - or at least that's how the national media wants to present it at times - but anyone who didn't think Vancouver wasn't going to be an alcohol-laced pressure cooker that day is a clueless clod.
Oh... there's more... but here's something that wasn't included in that report: those riots would have happened in Vancouver even of the Canucks won! You know how much research that took on my part? NONE! You know why? I USED COMMON SENSE!
Then there's this:
"There were too many people," (Keefe said). "Not too many people for the police but too many people for the venue. ... They were too drunk. Alcohol sales that day were 68 percent higher than they were the year previous on the same Wednesday."
Yet another shocker. Alcohol sales were increased by 68 percent over a random June Wednesday in 2010? How mind-boggling! I never would have anticipated that. Hmm. Oh well, excuse me while I go and try and buy a Super Bowl commercial spot for $20,000.
The report also pointed out that the crowd management plan was solid, but didn't anticipate such an early-arriving crowd that started to form in the afternoon for a night game.
Again, HAVEN'T YOU PEOPLE EVER SEEN A FOOTBALL TAILGATE? Sunday night football? No problem, we'll be setting up the Winnebago in the parking lot at 9 a.m. Stop by! Seriously... how moronic is this report?
I had to stop reading at this point (apologies Cory). There is nothing else that Mr. Keefe could have said that would have made me think that this investigation wasn't a complete and utter waste of time.
What I want to know is, how can I get a gig like that - get paid for two months of ... ahem... work to publicly proclaim the emperor, in fact, wasn't wearing any clothes all along?
Yeah, I'm fired up... and there's more that's eating at me. But I'll save the next rant for tomorrow.
My son is calling me out for a duel on Madden 12. Just four more days until school starts.
Til then. I'm out.