RALEIGH, NC—Only hours after the Carolina Hurricanes won the NHL Championship Monday night in a hard-fought Game 7 against the Edmonton Oilers, North Carolina Gov. Michael Easley mobilized the National Guard to contain over two dozen members of what he described as "some sort of depraved, violent, heretofore unheard-of gang calling themselves the Hurricanes."
"These strange men came out of nowhere with absolutely no warning," Easley said of the Stanley Cup-winning Hurricanes, who emptied garbage cans, overturned vehicles and set them aflame, looted local businesses, and frightened hundreds of citizens out of their sleep. "Nobody had ever heard of them before. No one knows what they want. And nobody knows why they were acting so crazy."
Police chief Jane Perlov is reporting that the NHL club, which was known as the Hartford Whalers until moving to North Carolina in 1997 and has struggled to attract much local attention, "somehow gained access to Raleigh's RBC Center earlier Monday, engaged in some sort of ritualistic violence involving sticks and nets, and then proceeded to drink heavily before heading to their cars."
"Following their leader—a man Canadian officials have identified as one Rod Brind'Amour—a group of between 26 and 30 heavily bearded Caucasians drove onto the Raleigh Chapel Hill Expressway at speeds exceeding 120 mph, causing several traffic accidents and overturning one 16-wheeler, which eventually exploded," Perlov said. "The members of the gang we're calling 'The Hurricanes' then exited their vehicles and descended on Hillsborough Street, where they entered the storied Velvet Cloak Inn, woke up guests by throwing alarm clocks, chairs, and mattresses out the windows, and then promptly burned them."
The Hurricanes then proceeded to loot cherished Raleigh establishments such as Brother's Pizza, Snoopy's Hot Dogs, and the Waffle House, leaving many business owners, who had never seen or heard of the players before, confused and frightened.
"We couldn't believe what was happening," said Sam Weber, owner of Playmakers, a Raleigh sports bar. "I still don't understand it. We had a decent crowd here to watch the 1982 North Carolina vs. Georgetown NCAA Championship game on ESPN Classic when out of nowhere a lamppost comes crashing through the front window. Then these huge pasty white guys, all wearing, like, matching sweaters, run in screaming like madmen and holding this giant planter over their heads, which they demanded I fill with beer. They invited all my customers to join them, but we were too shocked, terrified and disoriented to even move, so the gang got angry and stole four of my big-screen televisions."
"They weren't from around here, I'll tell you that much," Weber added. "When the police arrived, no one could remember having seen a single one of them before."
From there, the Hurricanes traveled to Raleigh's historic Pullen Park, where they took turns riding the cherished Pullen Park Carousel with the Stanley Cup. When no townspeople joined them on the carousel, the players began to grow morose, and demonstrated their displeasure by removing the horses from their mountings and carrying them back to their cars.
"I had never seen a scarier group of people," said Raleigh resident Max Sherwood, who was enjoying a quiet, calm Raleigh evening in the park with his mother. "They all had scraggily looking beards and they reeked of sweat and alcohol. They were screaming things like 'We fucking did it!' and 'Stanley!' When I politely asked them who Stanley was and not to cuss in front of my mother, well, that's when they came after us."
Sherwood suffered a mild concussion as well as facial lacerations after being forced to drink warm champagne out of "some type of weird birdbath."
In an attempt to assuage the confusion and fears of many Raleigh citizens, the Carolina Hurricanes public-relations team, in partnership with the National Hockey League, has issued a statement saying that the "gang" had in fact been playing "hockey," and that North Carolina did, in fact, have a hockey team. The team has also set up a crisis center offering free first aid to anybody who was injured during the riots and free counseling for anyone who wants to learn about the sport of hockey, its rules, its history, and possibly buy discount season tickets for next year.
However, most locals have yet to come to grips with the events of this past week.
"This is a sad, shameful day, not only for Raleigh but for the state of North Carolina," Mayor Charles Meeker said Wednesday. "I still do not understand exactly what caused these 'Hurricanes' to hold their strange celebration in our streets. But I think I speak for all of North Carolina when I say I hope that they never repeat whatever it is again."