Thursday, 11 December 2014

Jean Béliveau nights: all fans to wear suits and evening dresses at the New Forum

Just as an aside, the practice of wearing a team jersey to games is a relatively recent phenomenon. In the seventies and earlier, very few fans, perhaps an oddball or two, would wear a Canadiens jersey to a game.

In fact, one of the marks of distinction of the Canadiens franchise was that the fans would get dressed up for the games, much the same way that some of my Western lout friends marvel at how people dress up to go out to the club in Montréal. Anyway, you’d see men in their finest suits and women in their evening dresses, with opera glasses, on a Saturday night. There’s untold “La Soirée du Hockey” and NFB footage of this.

And that’s a tradition that should be revived. Since I know Geoff Molson reads HIO and my posts assiduously, I’ll prevail upon him to declare one or two Saturday games next season as games where everyone should wear their best formalwear to the game. Make it a buzzworthy event, something women will love to attend, team up with menswear stores and rental places to get synergies. Offer discounts or gifts for those fans who participate.

This should probably be held for games against Original Six teams, add even more cachet to a Blackhawk or a Red Wing game.

Or, we could be strategic. These evenings should occur when we play the Bruins and the Leafs, such that these games become a hot ticket not so much because you can scalp it to a bozo from Scarborough, but because it’s the ‘it’ thing to do, one of the great events of the winter. Your wife or girlfriend would assassinate you with her stare if you told her you were planning to sell your tickets and not take her to the game. It might decrease the number of enemy fans in our own barn by half or more.

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