I’m really getting tired of the corporatization of society, particularly with respect to stadiums and hockey rinks. That crap is sacred.
As you might have already guessed, this isn’t going to be your typical, well-referenced article. This is a rant, dammit.
My parents were never really into sports, largely because my pro-capitalist father, who dictated the personal interests and hobbies of everyone else in the family for many years, and desperately tried to beyond that, couldn’t play them for health reasons; so I didn’t become interested in professional sports until my preteens, in the early 1990s, while he (Dad) was in the hospital near death having a lung transplant. I grew up a lot during those few months, but that’s another story for another time.
At that time, you had arenas, coliseums and rinks (because hockey dominated that time, along with baseball and some Canadian football) with names like Maple Leaf Gardens, The Forum, Northlands Coliseum, Inglewood Coliseum, The Pond, the Boston Garden and the closest to my heart (and vicinity), the 16,500 capacity Pacific Coliseum, where the Vancouver Canucks played some of their most memorable (and forgettable) games.
I never set foot in most of those arenas, with the except of the latter, but watching games from them on low-def television was nearly as good as being there for a kid of 11 or 12. In ’94, I remember waiving a kitchen towel along with fans I saw at the Coliseum for the memorable run started by one of my favourite hockey moment: Pavel Bure’s dramatic double overtime breakaway goal to get the Nucks past the first round of the playoffs. My Dad was and is very strict, so I have no idea how I managed to con my way into staying up that night. But I digress.
Today, we have the legendary Madison Square Garden as the one remaining bastion of REAL hockey arenas, which harken back to a time when a middle-class family could afford to watch a game live.
Now, you see camera shots of crowds at rinks and you see a sea of suits. If I’m missing one, please let me know in the comments. Baseball and basketball have succumbed to the same debauchery.
These days, thanks to corporatization if you want an affordable professional hockey experience, you’ll have to go where few people care about the game of hockey.
Like Phoenix, Arizona or the two teams in Florida. At least you’ll get tickets – and probably free food to go with. Of course, with revenue sharing, those teams are supported by real hockey fans in true hockey cities, but again – another story for another time. But as a final aside, when you see a name like TD Garden, to quote the late, great George Carlin, someone is pulling your prick.
I am all for private money (as opposed to public money taxpayers will never reap the benefits of) going into sports arenas and stadiums – but it’s only recently that these arrogant, overfed, under-taxed Neanderthals have to smear their logo feces all over the landscape. There’s no creativity in the names of buildings anymore thanks to corporatization. Even bloody hospital buildings have to have the name of the benefactor on them. I’m not the most religious person on the planet, but I do agree with Jesus Christ on charity:
Be careful not to perform your righteous acts before men to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be praised by men. Truly I tell you, they already have their reward.…
So when I see the name of an oil company plastered on a building, I expect to hear very little moral or religious comments from the CEO or company representative on television. Note the sarcasm. But I never promised you a love song….