The Seven Most Bizarre Sports Riots of All Time
Every fan has a different way of expressing his or her loyalty. Some paint their faces, others name their children after the team's starting second baseman, and the Los Angeles Lakers faithful spend every offseason pretending like Kobe Bryant is a decent human being. Here's a roundup of the fans who chose to show their support through undue violence and occassional Mountie assault.
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7. The Mounties Take on Rioting Vancouver Canucks Fans
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In a city internationally celebrated for loose prostitution laws and high quality marijuana, the residents of Vancouver had an uncharacteristically rambunctious evening on June 14, 1994.
After losing game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals to a New York Rangers team that featured an ordinate amount of Esa Tikkanen in its line-up, thousands of Vancouver Canucks fans decided to express their frustrations in the downtown area by trashing storefronts and expressing their Craig MacTavish-related rage all over some parked cars.
The riot required the deployment of over 100 Mounties and the use of tear gas to help settle down the rowdy Canadians. Over 200 Vancouverites were injured in the attack, including one resident who went into a four-week coma after being shot at close range by a police officer’s plastic bullet gun.
Thankfully, the Canucks front office and coaching staff has spent the last 16 years ensuring that the team would never have to deal with Stanley Cup-related complications ever again.
6. Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and Several Hundred Fans Rush the Pitcher’s Mound
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Before performance enhancing drugs and Dennis Eckersley’s moustache had a chance to ruin the sport, baseball was a gentleman’s game filled with rampant alcoholism and limited opportunities for female journalists. Players respected the rules and truly loved the game.
That’s why, in a 1924 showdown between the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers a small riot broke out after Ty Cobb instructed his pitcher to bean one of Babe Ruth’s teammates. Players from both teams charged the mound, while hundreds of fans left their seats to join in on the fun. Police officers were eventually called in to subdue the rioters and clear the field.
(Note: 12 years prior, Cobb was suspended for running into the stands and beating up a handicapped fan who had insulted him during an at bat. He was fined $50 and forced to apologize.)
5. Australians Riot Like it’s 1879
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In an 1879 cricket exhibition between the proud nation of England and recently established penal colony of Australia, a small discrepancy broke out when the British referee made a controversial call in the Sydney stadium. Fortunately, the fans waited several seconds before charging the field with homemade weapons.
2,000 of Australia’s finest rioters jumped over the grandstand fences and began savagely assaulting anything they could find on the pitch. Referees, opposing players, it didn’t matter. As long as you could hit it with a sharpened piece of discarded wood it was fair game.
4. Montreal Canadiens Fans React Poorly to Being Tear Gassed
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In 1955, Montreal Canadiens star forward Maurice “the Rocket” Richard was suspended for the season by NHL governor Clarance Campbell following a small misunderstanding he had with an opposing player that he ultimately ended by repeatedly bashing his head with a hockey stick.
After the suspension, Campbell took a trip to the Montreal Forum to ensure that he had properly destroyed the team’s morale and killed the spirit of anybody who supported the franchise (sort of like when Gary Bettman goes to a Coyotes game). The move displeased the Montreal faithful, who began pelting Campbell with an array of breakfast meats and rotten vegetables.
Campbell responded to the aerial food assault by setting off tear gas in the arena like a 17th century dictator. The smoke, however, only angered the fans who took their rage outside and caused enormous amounts of damage to the city.
Note: The photos in this article are being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the photos is a model.