It’s game day!! And tonight Alouettes Nation, you are on a mission!
Tonight’s game at Percival Molson Stadium involves your Montreal Alouettes and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who have come out of the gate burning hot. After dismantling the Toronto Argonauts in Week One and barely squeaking by the Ottawa RedBlacks last Thursday, the Blue Bombers are wanting to prove that their winning streak is no joke.
This will be Winnipeg’s first road game, so we shall see if their wins were also helped by their tremendous home field advantage. The Alouettes are currently 1-1 and a win tonight would be a great momentum builder for their annual
loss game at BC Place next week.
There’s quite a bit going on if you’re at the stadium tonight. In addition to the tailgate party and fan zone, a very special man will be honoured at halftime. A man who’s shadow proved to be very long after he stepped away from this organization.
The name Marc Trestman has become synonymous with the success this Alouettes team has known in recent years. No one in a 5 year span has created the kind of culture that Trestman has. Even teams and fans who opposed him couldn’t help but respect this man as he came up north to learn how to be a head coach and far exceeded everyone’s expectations.
The two things that Trestman will most be remembered for are his back-to-back Grey Cup victories and his reviving of Anthony Calvillo’s career. What I will remember as an Alouettes fan is the way he commanded respect; not by screaming and carrying on like a maniac, but by treating his charges as equals and holding everyone accountable for their actions.
Now as head coach of the NFL’s Chicago Bears, his task remains the same. While Trestman didn’t take the Bears to the Super Bowl in his first year, all reports indicate that he has already laid out a foundation to build a winner on. Like he did with Calvillo, Trestman has made it his goal to get the most out of his QB Jay Cutler.
So tonight, the Alouettes will pay tribute to this builder of success. A man who truly made this team a winner both on and off the field.
Also tonight, you fans will be asked to wear white clothing to the game. For the first time ever, the Alouettes will be having a white-out! The team will be wearing it’s white road uniforms for the occasion. To give you an idea of what that looks like, have a look at Penn State University when they had this event:
For the opposing team to look around them and see a singular colour, that will be a sight that is not typically seen in this league, save for Saskatchewan. Even if the Alouettes won’t get 90,000 people into their stands, this still has the potential to be an awesome sight!
The Alouettes will also be selling special white-out t-shirts at the Zone Rouge for only $10. So be sure to do what you can to help create this once-in-a-lifetime atmosphere in Montreal!
Yesterday came the news that the Alouettes have extended the contract of general manager Jim Popp for another three years. So the only GM that this team has ever know, even going back to the days in Baltimore, is staying put. Ask any fan of the CFL whose team has undergone changes in management with the effects it can have and it’s right there that you will see the impact of this extension.
Simply put, there is no price too high for someone who understands this Canadian game the way Jim Popp does. His evaluation of talent is second to none. I have said ad nauseum that his ability to find superstars out of nowhere has been the key to the long time success of this Alouettes franchise. When a player goes down to injury, he always has the depth to seamlessly fill the void.
Some of his moves are controversial and may not endear himself to many fans, but ultimately they end up being the right move. Whether it’s bringing in a troubled player or a former NFL star, he seems to know just how to get the most out of everyone. He also knows when to release a player that is not living up to potential. Practically every move he has made has been to better this Alouettes team.
That said, Popp is by no means perfect; he has allowed a few players to leave and they have flourished elsewhere. The best example of that is CFL superstar Chad Owens; he was on Montreal’s practice roster early in 2010 and Popp chose Tim Maypray over him due to salary management and Owens’ wanting to be a bigger part of the Alouettes’ offense.
Knowing what we do now, I am sure Popp would reconsider that decision. But when you look at the overall body of work, he’s had far more hits than misses. Hence why yesterday’s extension is being considered among the most important signings in this team’s history.
This team has it’s original architect firmly in place and we fans will all benefit.
That’s all for now. Enjoy the game tonight, no matter where you watch it. Rememeber: Wear white, we’ll be all right!
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.