After 2 long weeks off… Alouettes fans, ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL??
After Sunday’s games in Montreal & Vancouver respectively, we will know who will be playing in the 100th Grey Cup. We know that the game itself will be played in Toronto, but so far that’s it. Will the defending champs be back to repeat? Or will their opponents overcome a myriad of issues on & off the field? Will we see another host city feature their team playing in the big game like last year? Or will the team with the best record in the East stake their claim to the championship?
There’s a lot to consider in this Alouettes/Argos match up. Both quarterbacks are coming into this game with guns blazing. Ricky Ray played with intensity last week versus Edmonton, possibly with the motivation to show up the team that considered him expendable last off-season. He’s a proven winner and has beaten the Alouettes earlier this year, so taking Ray lightly is ill-advised.
Whereas Anthony Calvillo still astounds everyone who watches him with his stellar play. This is the type of game he gets excited for; a pressure-filled situation where despite being at home and having the better record, he and the Alouettes appear to be underdogs for this upcoming tilt.
Redemption will also be on AC’s mind; last year in the Eastern Semi-Final also held at Olympic Stadium, he had a career game but still lost to Hamilton. It seems like every time he steps onto the field, he’s battling not just opponents but critics, who have been waiting for years to declare him finished. So you have to believe that Calvillo will be looking to silence his haters yet again.
Defense wins championship is the mantra and for the most part, it’s true. Whose defense will be better this Sunday? Montreal has played mostly brilliant defense this season, especially against Toronto in their last two outings. But once again they have taken a few hits and will be in tough. Going back to last year, Montreal’s offense put up a lot of points versus Hamilton…problem is, the defense also allowed a lot of points versus Hamilton.
The D will be the key…if guys like Shea Emry, Billy Parker & Marc-Olivier Brouillette can have career games, they will keep Argo points off the board. Those guys being healthy will go a long way. And one can never discount the rejuvenated play of Kyries Hebert and the punishment he can deliver.
Discipline will also be a factor; you best believe the referees will call this game as tightly as possible. You can easily say the team that will take the fewest penalties will win.
Special teams will be the Alouettes’ biggest liability, as per usual. They need to neutralize Chad Owens, plain and simple. He’s up for Most Outstanding Player this year and will be looking to add to his record-breaking season on Sunday. The Alouettes have done a good job containing him for the most part and that has to continue in order for Montreal to advance.
Win or go home…or for the Alouettes, stay home. I’m not one for predictions, but it’s obvious where my heart is with this game.
For the last time this year, the fine fellas from LesGarsQuiVivent.com will be hosting their tailgate for all fans to come check out. Everyone is welcome and they will be doing their usual themed party. Come out and meet some great Alouettes fans, cook up some grub on their grill and get ready to cheer the team onto victory!
Normally held at Molson Stadium, they will be setting up shop just outside Olympic Stadium. They’ll be in the parking lot behind Centre Pierre-Charbonneau as shown on the map below with an green A:
For more info, head on over to their web site (N.B.: It’s in French/some English). These guys welcome everyone to their great event and while the Alouettes will also have a tailgate sort of event on the other side of the stadium, this party is the original and the best bet for some awesome times.
So regardless of the outcome this Sunday, yours truly will be at the Grey Cup. I plan on being there all weekend taking in the festivals, events and all the things that make this the premier sporting event in Canada. I am personally looking forward to meeting a ton of people for the first time, reacquainting with old friends and celebrating the 100th version of this great Canadian game.
The plan now is to do a daily recap here on the Dirty Bird Blog; There will be a bit of Alouettes influence, naturally. But there’s a lot to see and do and I certainly plan on covering as much of it as humanly possible. So I hope you will all follow along through Twitter and here.
That’s all for now. Enjoy the game Sunday and if you are part of the over 40,000 at Olympic Stadium, soak it all in. Revel in the moment. For one day out of the year, it’s the most awesome place to watch a CFL game!
GO ALS GO!!!
About the Author
Written by Clifford Pine
Montreal born & bred, lover of sports. Passionate about the Montreal Alouettes. Also a great cook & not too bad a dancer.