Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Top 5: The Bell Centre gets some stadium love

The home opener is tonight!
I'm not sure what I'm more excited about: the idea of a season's worth of potential run-ins with Habs' or rival players, seeing the city more alive than usual before a home game, or knowing that I'm just that much closer to the action.

Probably that last one. Watching a game on TV gives me the advantage of replays, closeups, and making fun of most sportscasters, but going to a Montreal Canadiens game at the Bell Centre is a sports experience that I have yet to rival. Thus...

Top 5 Best Things About Going To The Bell Centre
The ushers. If you're lucky, you'll get one of those old man ushers either pointing you to your seating section or welcoming you to your seats. I don't mean to take anything away from the younger ushers, but for some reason it's the senior Bell Centre employees who really know what they're doing. You get the feeling that this has been their job since people wore their finest clothes to the Bell Centre, before Chris Chelios was even born. It was a time before people in customer service jobs became jaded due to poor treatment, and the old man ushers still act that way. They're having just as much fun as the fans are.

(Some of) the in-game entertainment. Seeing a new "Get To Know Your Habs" video before it's posted online is always a treat. You all know already how much I laughed at Hal Gill's Randy Johnson-related giggling. Or the "puzzle" that one fan gets to solve, and just by seeing a tiny corner of a picture, somehow EVERYONE knows that the eensy bit of black hair visible in that photo belongs to Maxim Lapierre. Except, of course, for the comedian next to you who still calls out "C'est Kovalev!"

Pregame excitement. I'm just going to take the words right out of Czechtacular's mouth: "the sheer and massive amount of ridiculously awesome material put into every pre-game pump-up video for every single year. 101 years of goosebumps, baby."

The music. Okay, I wasn't super impressed with the in-house music during the preseason (too many of those nondescript technopop songs, you know, the kind that are popular thanks to that whackjob Lady Gaga) but in general, the music is pretty decent. Some current hits, some rock classics, and at least one pop song from the 90's. (The latter, in case you couldn't guess, is always the best.)

The crowd. (On a good day.) Sure, when they start booing their own players, fans at the Bell Centre suck. But when they're on their best behaviour, you can't help but love being surrounded by them. Do you remember the goal song that Simple Plan recorded a couple of seasons ago? I don't. I have no idea what it sounds like because you can't hear anything after the Canadiens score at home. Two metro stations stay full for ages after the game lets out, and going home from a game is almost as much fun as actually being there. I've said it before: there are a lot of things that divide Montreal socially, but when a bunch of Habs are having a good time at a game, none of that matters.

If you're going to the game, have a great time! The rest of us are only a little bit jealous.


  1. When I wrote this post I hadn't remembered the Bell Centre DJ's fondness for the eurotrash remix of "Use Somebody" by Kings of Leon.

  2. I'm so jealous. My habs game experience usually goes like this: seated on my couch at 2AM, with the laptop and a headset to avoid making too much noise, watching some crappy stream on the internet, with a picture quality that barely lets you distinguish the players numbers (I'm not even talking about seeing the puck).

    And yet I STILL ENJOY IT! :)


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