I checked out the Canadiens' official website this morning, to see if there's anything happening with the sale of the team, or the free agents, or the signing of any prospects, or the hiring of a coach...you know, the actual dire and pressing questions that have to be answered before we can guess whether the team will be a contender or a lottery squad next year. Nope. Not a word about anything of actual interest to Habs fans. Instead, there's yet another big plug for the money-grab that is Centennial Plaza.
You have to give credit to the marketing department for having brass balls. After the season the team just had, and the unmitigated disaster of the Centennial, a group with more sensitivity might be embarrassed to keep asking the public for money. But no, it keeps on going. This time, they're promising brick-buyers a "guaranteed photo-op with a Canadiens legend." The fine print says the brick-owner will be notified when the "legend" is available for the picture sometime this summer. The lucky buyer gets to stand in front of a statue in the plaza...no friends or family allowed...with the "legend" for one quick snap. And you'd better hope there's no squinting or red eyes...there're no do-overs. There's no guarantee who the "legend" will be either. So, I'm guessing for your $175 or $349 (depending on the size of your brick and not including tax) you get the privilege of paying your own way to Centennial Plaza to get a shot of yourself with Rejean Houle.
It's time for it to end. The Centennial was a disgrace and the organization, if it had any shame, should be offering the damn bricks to the first hundred people who pony up for season tickets to watch a team that's been mediocre at best for most of the last two decades. Instead, the marketers continue to soak the fans for more without the team giving anything satisfactory in return for the dedication...both emotional and financial...of the people who support it.
I hope nobody buys anymore bricks and Reggie Houle is standing in front a statue in the Plaza someday this summer by himself. And I hope I never hear "Centennial" ever again.