For any new readers out there, FHF started out of a desire to share our sometimes funny, occasionally insightful, and usually smart-assed email exchanges. Yesterday we discussed the Habs' plans to host a 100th anniversary game at the Olympic Stadium. We're split on whether it's a good idea.
HF4: Horrible idea.
HF29: I don't think its so bad. Finally some use out of that toilet bowl.
HF4: That's the best idea they could come up with?
Panger: Where else are you going to do it? Molson Stadium is smaller than the Bell Centre, as is Saputo Stadium.
HF29: Plus all the Mob bodies buried under Saputo Stadium make it bad luck.
Panger: Don't joke, they could be my cousins.
HF29: So far good idea is winning 2-1. HF10, care to settle this?
HF10: It's a tie. Horrible idea.
Just because they can fill a bigger venue doesn't mean they should. Playing in a dome? A lousy dome with horrible acoustics, sightlines, concessions, etc? No way. The Canadiens deserve better. Besides, isn't the whole idea of the Winter Classic to PLAY OUTSIDE?
Buffalo and Edmonton worked awesome. When Michigan and Michigan State did it at Spartan stadium it was awesome. Why? Outside, big venue, clean football sightlines. Frankly, I think Wrigley might be a disaster but we'll see.
I also think the NHL needs to take a break from this ... after this year, any more of these games are getting to be piling on, especially if your not offering a unique venue. The Big O is not the go-to venue. Get Detroit and Toronto in Michigan Stadium with 100,000 people. Do the Battle of Pennsylvania at Penn State with 105,000. Get Chicago vs somebody at Notre Dame. Rangers vs Bruins at Harvard or Fenway.
Panger: The Big O is a dump. I’d prefer a venue with some kind of link to the team’s past, but the Forum is out, Westmount Arena is tiny, and their other homes have burnt down and the land they’re on doesn’t present the opportunity to host it there (as far as I know). There is really no other choice other than the Big Owe, and apparently it will be outdoors because the roof will be off. I just hope a chunk doesn’t fall off and kill My Boy Chips – hopefully they’ll play the Bruins and it’ll hit Jeremy Jacobs.
Maybe the outdoor idea isn’t fresh and exciting anymore. And I know the Habs (and NHL) will make a ton of money on this, but I’d prefer to think of this game as about hockey history, and the obvious way to emphasize that is to play outdoors. It’s also about the Canadiens celebrating a huge milestone with its fans – and significantly more fans will be able to watch and participate in a bigger venue in a unique atmosphere. Bottom line is that I can’t think of a better idea, nor have I heard one. Plus I miss the Expos.
That's our take. What about you?