Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Hockey Town

Click here (Not Safe For Work)
Click here (Safe For Work)

Above I've posted a couple of links to websites that are doing a good job of documenting the mayhem that is happening in Edmonton's famed Whyte Avenue party district during the 2006 NHL playoffs. BlueMile.ca is the not safe for work site and CopperMile.ca is the family-oriented site.

Anyway, Saturday was kind of a peak insofar as the rampage goes, with rioting on Whyte reaching a seeming apex what with the Oilers securing their spot in the Stanley Cup finals.

The best way to put, though, has to be the way that Mike Gravel put it here.

After reading his accounts of the frenzy I think that I might just have to go down there to Whyte at least once just to say that I was part of it. The planets are lining up for my little burg and if you blink you might just miss it.

I just hope that the crackdown in response to Saturday's festivities isn't too severe that it would prevent me from experiencing some of the madness firsthand.

It makes me wonder how much louder we can get if, nay, when we win the Stanley Cup.

1 comment:

gravel said...

I don't think I'm too out of line in thinking that the media has done its part in promoting the hooliganism and, in turn, generating some slightly misplaced public outrage. Placing drunken jackasses on the front page will only serve to encourage those types who hope to get their photo there.

I've been to all of the Whyte Ave street celebrations (not to party, to observe), and last Saturday's was definitely the craziest. Yes, there were fires. Yes, there was MINOR property damage - to both public and private property. Yes, there were minor injuries - one broken ankle.

In the grand scheme, all of that adds up to a relatively tame celebration. Nobody was seriously injured to the point of being hospitalized. By my count, there were roughly six broken windows - three of them belonging to Chapters. One demolished phone booth, a busted light standard, and some charred asphalt. The next morning, the Avenue looked as it always does on Sunday morning - slightly disheveled, but none the worse for wear.

The property damage is unfortunate, but to the business owners I would say that is the price of doing business on Whyte Avenue. Windows are smashed every weekend down there. That there were 30,000 people present and only a handful of windows got trashed should be considered a good result.

I'm not advocating or condoning drunken riots, but let people have their moment of revelry. As long as nobody gets hurt and there is little in the way of property damage, where is the harm? It's not like this shit happens every day. The actions of a few morons have tainted the awesomeness and sheer beauty of the street celebrations.

The people doing the most squawking over this have likely never been down there to experience it for themselves. So, in my opinion, they should reserve their outrage for things that they have experience in.

And just for the record, I live three blocks North of Whyte on 105 Street. It's my neighbourhood.