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Scott Jones and Alex Thomas live together in an apartment in Melbourne. When the photo of their kiss went viral, the first reaction of many viewers was that it must have been staged. It was too perfect, too much like a movie poster. Then a video of the moments leading up to the photo surfaced, verifying its authenticity. That first weekend, Jones—whom one magazine dubbed the Riot Romeo—and Thomas received hundreds of media requests; now their lives have settled back to normal. Jones works at a bar in Melbourne, and Alex is a water planning engineer. The picture still follows them—Thomas's coworkers only recently discovered she was that girl—but they say that for the most part they've moved on. Jones still finds it weird that a hockey game could inspire such madness.
Madness? Milan Lucic recently took time out from a Bruins road trip to relive the night of Game 7. "As an athlete I cherish that people love you and love the game and the team, but I can't say I understand [the rioting] much," he says. "I've never cared for a team so much that I'd go nuts and break stuff. It's crazy."
Nine days later, in a game against the Ottawa Senators, Lucic would drop his gloves and engage in a spirited, 35-second bare-knuckle fistfight with another highly paid NHL player. Afterward 52.4% of voters on hockeyfights.com would call Lucic the winner.
In Ohio, professor Robert Carrothers is reviewing the accounts of the Vancouver riots with his colleague Jerry M. Lewis for an academic paper. Just as sports get more violent, Carrothers notes, so do fans. "It goes back to when a big college basketball game ends and fans rush the floor, or after a football game when fans tear down the goalposts," he says. "We've been socialized to these behaviors at this point." Lewis has coined a term for riots by the losing fans: the Vancouver Effect.
Rich Lam sits in a coffee shop on Georgia Street in downtown Vancouver in late November, near the epicenter of the riots, talking about that night. For him the aftermath was indeed chaotic: texts, e-mails, phone calls from NBC and NPR. He's pleased with the photo, happy for the recognition, but it is just that: a photo.
Now Lam is back at work. Two nights earlier he was on "riot patrol" at the Grey Cup, Canada's answer to the Super Bowl. After Vancouver's team, the BC Lions, defeated the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Lam shot photos of players smiling and fans whooping and celebrations in the streets. The evening led to nothing worse than some good-natured drunkenness.
The next morning Vancouver media outlets praised the fans for their restraint.