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Vancouver Riots, Could It Happen Here?

Wednesday night after the Boston Bruins beat the Vancounver Canucks and won the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, all hell broke loose in the streets. The riot grew ugly fast with fights, attacks on Boston fans, and multiple acts of arson and looting. Vancouver wouldn't seem like a riot-prone city but they do have a history of hockey riots with similar mayhem breaking out in 1994 after the Canucks lost the cup to the Rangers.

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If the peaceful Canadians in Vancouver could riot over a sporting even, could it happen here?

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It's difficult to imagine Arizona sports fans caring enough to actually take to the streets with anger. When the Phoenix Suns lost to the Bulls in 1993 there was sadness but no destruction. When the Cardinals lost in the Super Bowl to the Steelers in 2008 the fans at their house parties simply cleaned up their chips and salsa and went home.

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But then there's the curious case of the Tucson NCAA riots in 2001 after the Wildcats lost the championship game to Duke. Those rascals at the University of Arizona took to the street and went wild.

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The Arizona Daily Wildcat - Tucson Riot Photo Spread
Rubber bullets, fires and broken windows overshadowed the supportive crowd of Wildcat fans on Fourth Avenue when nearly 500 police officers - outfitted with bullet-proof shields and nightsticks - broke up rioting and looting.

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More than 2,000 Arizona fans - who watched the UA men's basketball game in bars along North Fourth Avenue - started out cheerful and spirited, even after UA's 82-72 loss to Duke University. At least five cars were turned over, and a trailer was set on fire just after 10 p.m. at the corner of North Fourth Avenue and East Eighth Street.

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So, it has happened here but kids in Tucson isn't the same as a pro team in Phoenix. With the lack of a central core and a distinctly laid back desert attitude, I still have a hard time seeing Suns or Diamondbacks fan rioting after a loss and Coyotes fans would be thrilled to even have had the chance at the Stanley Cup.

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Riot police look on as two police cars burn during a riot in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia Wednesday, June 15, 2011 following the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins in game 7 of the Stanley Cup hockey final. Angry, drunken revelers ran wild Wednesday night after the Vancouver Canucks' 4-0 loss to Boston in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, setting cars and garbage cans ablaze, smashing windows, showering giant TV screens with beer bottles and dancing atop overturned vehicles. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press - Geoff Howe)