Sports in Montreal: the 2013 Montreal Alouettes

Posted on September 12th, 2013 by .

alouettes football montreal

An interesting thing happened to professional football in Montreal in 1998: it was allowed to breathe. And almost as soon as the Montreal Alouettes inhaled high on the side of Mount Royal – a spectacular setting complete with scenic views of the city – away from the closed-in confines of the Olympic Stadium, their previous home, the people came. And when the people came, so did the wins…

Indeed, when the “Als,” as they are known within the Canadian Football League (CFL), moved to the open-air Percival-Molson Stadium (nestled amongst the centuries-old architecture of McGill University), football in Montreal underwent a renaissance. The very affordable CFL games were now very accessible as well, situated a short walk from downtown bar areas such as Crescent Street to the south (with popular sports spots such as Hurley’s, Les Trois Brasseurs and La Cage aux Sports close by) and the storied St-Laurent. to the immediate east (the historic artery is lined with eateries, pubs and clubs of all manner, including one of Montreal’s best-loved sports bars, Champs).

Montreal sports fans are known for loving a winner – they have little patience for anything else – and that’s what they’ve had with the Als now for more than a decade. In fact, since the move to the mountainside, the Als hold one of the best records in the history of the CFL with a 168-88-1 record from 2000 to 2010, which translated into eight appearances in the finals battling for the league’s top prize, the Grey Cup, which they’ve taken home at total of three times. It might also be noted that the Als are defending the CFL’s longest playoff streak, having made the post-season 17 times in a row. That said…

Almost halfway through the regular season, the Alouettes are sitting third in the Eastern Conference. The story again this year is coaching (general manager Jim Popp assumed head coaching duties after new coach Dan Hawkins got sacked after only five games) and aging all-star quarterback Anthony Calvillo (the 41-year-old QB – the CFL’s all-time leading passer – is currently suffering from a concussion). But as the Als have shown time and again in recent years, rallying from a deficit and coming up with a win is central to the team’s character.

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