While walking in to Vancouver’s Rogers Arena last Tuesday for the big Habs game, I noticed people giving away (or maybe selling), little brochures that looked like like something Avon or Sears might give out as inserts in the daily newspaper. I didn’t take one of course. I needed both hands for beer and popcorn.
But I never, as I walked around exploring the arena, saw a program, although I didn’t think too much about it. I didn’t need a lineup card – I knew who the Habs were, and I didn’t want to read about Alex Burrows. So I carried on my merry way.
It was only after the game and people were filing out that I picked up one of these little brochure-type things on the floor and realized that it was the game program for the night.
How small, how cheap, how inconsequential. Is this what it’s come to? Little pieces of shit like this? Are other rinks doing the same or is it just Vancouver?
Programs, for me anyway, are part of the experience of going to a live game. I’ve been buying and loving them forever, since ancient Douglas Firs were little sapplings. Buying one was automatic, after the doors had opened and the crowd was spilling in. It was Act 1 of a big, magical play.
It’s what I glanced through as the Zamboni flooded the ice, what I read when I got home, and as time went by it became a true little collectable and remembrance of days gone by, to be pulled out from time to time, of rosters of heroes and stories written by crusty newspapermen, all to be poured over once again.
I suppose now it’s all about saving trees and making David Suzuki happy. But what about saving loggers and mill workers’ jobs? What about the great advertisements one can look back on years from now and see how cars have changed and booze and cigarettes were enjoyed by game-going adults?
This reminds me of how record albums were done away with and replaced by little CD’s. We used to hold the record sleeve up, admire the artwork and photography, and read the song list. Now, with CD’s, I squint, look for a knife to take the shrink wrap off, struggle and break the cheap little plastic case, and ask whoever’s with me what songs are on it because I refuse to carry a magnifying glass.
Here’s what I mean. It’s come to this.