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Dirty Bird Blog: Back In The Saddle

Posted By Clifford Pine On Aug 27 2011 @ 2:00 pm In Montreal Alouettes | No Comments

The 2nd part of the season begins today for the Montreal Alouettes as they take on the Calgary Stampeders. Both teams have been mirror images of each other this season; this too has the potential to be a possible Grey Cup match later this year.

I won’t break down too much of this game, there’s lots who have already done that. But with the bye week break over, let’s have a look at what’s gone down so far this season including some of the highlights & lowlights.

There’s been some pleasant surprises so far this year for the Alouettes; the play of Brandon Whitaker further validates the decision to let Avon Cobourne leave as a free agent. The play of Sean Whyte makes giving up next year’s first-round draft pick look brilliant. And Anwar Stewart is playing with renewed energy amidst reports that his role was being reduced in favour of the younger defensive players.

What hasn’t been a surprise is the play of our ageless quarterback Anthony Calvillo. Setting records and putting the ball in the end zone are as natural to him as breathing. People from all over the league marvel at his accomplishments, but to him it’s just another day at the office.  And yes, it’s very possible for him to play for yet a couple more seasons. If AC plays until age 44 like Damon Allen did, the records he sets could very well be simply unreachable.

Another non-surprise is the play of the receiving corps. Whether it’s the highlight reel worthy catches from Jamel Richardson & S.J. Green, the steady hands of Brian Bratton or even the silent threats of Brandon London & Eric Deslauriers, there’s no shortage of targets for AC to throw to.

As far as expectations not being met, special teams had really stumbled out of the gate. The last game versus Edmonton was a major improvement, hopefully some momentum can be built from there. Tim Maypray hasn’t exploded the way people have expected him to on kick returns. Dwight Anderson has played well, but has been overshadowed by some unfortunate penalties and completely baseless off-field accusations. Jerald Brown, Etienne Boulay and Marc-Olivier Brouillette have been hit hard with the injury bug after having amazing seasons last year.

But perhaps the biggest disappointment is everyone’s doom and gloom perspective regarding the Alouettes front office. There have been a lot of changes as the Ray Lalonde era takes form. Some changes have been positive, some not. I really want to take a wait-and-see approach as far as these changes go.

But it’s hard to remain positive when I hear whispers of players being asked to take pay cuts, the possibility of no more cheerleaders and many other things that affect how people view this team. Success on the field is one thing, but if no one’s there to appreciate it, then it’s all for naught.

So let’s get ready for the end of summer and the beginning of our run towards a 3rd Grey Cup. It starts tonight in Calgary and a win against this Stampeders team will go a long way.

I’ll be live-tweeting [1] throughout the game as I always do. I’m also planning on attending the Alouettes practice next Saturday to see their new facilities. And I am also happy to report that I will be in Edmonton in late September to see the Alouettes play there and give you all the perspective on how Eskimos fans do their games.


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