Over here in North America what we call football is much different from what the rest of the world means. In North America what we mean when we say football is the game that involves throwing or running a brown pigskin ball up and down a field to score points. No goalie, no net and you are allowed to use your hands. Right here in Montreal we have a very successful football team and their 2011 season is about to get underway.
The Montreal Alouettes are two-time defending CFL (Canadian Football League) champions. Throughout their 40 odd years the Alouettes have been a model franchise in the CFL. The latest incarnation has been very successful under the guidance of vice president/general manager Jim Popp. Fifteen years ago the Baltimore Stallions were relocated to Montreal and the Alouettes were reborn. Since their return to the league they have been one of the top teams year after year. Counting on quality players like Mike Pringle, Jock Climie, Tracy Ham, Neal Fort, Ed Philion, and Bryan Chiu they have been near the top of the standings almost every year.
It is now the end of June and training camp has come to an end. They have also played their two pre-season games (a win and a loss). Players have been cut. The roster has been decided. Several players from last year’s squad are gone via either retirement (slot back Ben Cahoon, tackle Skip Seagraves, safety Matthieu Proulx) or not being resigned (quarterback Chris Leak, running back Avon Cobourne, kicker/punter Damon Duval). Veterans like quarterback Anthony Calvillo, wide receiver Kerry Watkins (who had sinus surgery recently and is on the injury reserved list for now), safety Etienne Boulay, linebacker Chip Cox, cornerback Mark Estelle, and guard Scott Flory will be counted on to keep Montreal at the top of the East. New faces like punter/kicker Sandro DeAngelis (formerly of the Hamilton Tiger Cats and Calgary Stampeders), running back DeAndra’ Cobb (injured right now and formerly of the Hamilton Tiger Cats) and corner back Dwight Anderson (formerly of the Calgary Stampeders) will be looked at to fill in the gaps.
The Alouettes are predicted to be the power team in the East once again this year. Though it will not be as easy as the past couple of years as Hamilton and Toronto have been thought to improve over the off season.
The 19 regular season games they will play begin this Thursday in Montreal against the improved B.C. Lions. B.C. has a good core group of players and are led by the like of corner back Davis Sanchez, kicker Paul McCallum, slot back Geroy Simon, quarterback Jarious Jackson, and defensive end Keron Williams. Expect it to be a good test for the Als.
-Website: www.montrealalouettes.com (for schedule)
-Venue: Percival Molson Stadium (McGill University)
-Ticket Purchase: www.ticketmaster.ca
-Ticket Prices: $34.40, $51.40, $66.40, $99.40, $124.40