A beautiful city filled with beautiful people speaking the beautiful language of French (and English thank goodness for my sake).
Montreal is filled with tremendous history and culture. The food is to die for. I mean you can have a steak dinner at 2am in Montreal. Their passion for sports is very evident starting with the historic Canadiens, mixed martial arts fighter Georges St. Pierre, and of course, the Montreal Alouettes.
|What will it take?|
However, the last four regular season games the Eskimos have played in “The City of Saints” have been nothing short of a Montreal Massacre. The last win for the Eskimos at Percival Molson Stadium was in 2007, a 16-10 victory.
Since then, the Eskimos have lost by scores of 40-4, 50-16, 31-14, and 27-4. Add the total up and the Eskimos have been outscored 148-38.
The Alouettes almost never lose in their own barn.
Eskimos strong-side linebacker T.J. Hill knows about that fact, as he played in Montreal in 2007 and 2008.
He says it not so much the stadium that gives trouble, the team that plays in the stadium is pretty good.
“It’s a wining franchise, they don’t lose too many games at home,” Hill explained.
“They take pride of taking care of home (field), just like any other team. Them being one of the elite teams in the CFL, they just take pride in winning, that’s why it’s difficult.”
Hill says Alouettes fans are no different than any other fan base in the country.
“As far as the fan and everything, it has good fan support,” Hill said. “You go to Saskatchewan; they rank right up there with the best in the league.”
The pattern in the four losses has almost followed the same script. The Eskimos offence fails to sustain drives, while the Alouettes offence marches down the field, and even though they usually don’t score touchdowns early, they seem to ease themselves into a comfort zone.
Quarterback Kerry Joseph, however, doesn’t care so much about the past.
“Trying to reflect back about anything about that, you’re letting a level of doubt and negativity creep into your mind,” Joseph said.
“You have to think positive. It doesn’t matter what happened last year, what happened five years ago, it’s what happens now and on Sunday. “
Then there’s an element of Montreal which has caused the downfall of many CFL road teams. Its name is St. Catherine’s Street, one of the most famous streets in Canada and the world. Filled with night life galore, more fun and trouble than you can shake a stick at. In fact, former Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach Ken Miller once proclaimed many a CFL team has lost to St. Catherine’s Street.
Head coach Kavis Reed says, he’ll be doing his part to make sure he gets the message across that this trip is about gaining a critical two points and not about extra-circular activities.
“The guys will all tell you that I’m very warden like when it comes to away trips,” Reed explained.
“We will definitely make certain that our guys understand that this is a business trip. We haven’t had any situations where we’ve been not proud of in terms of our guys doing things wrong, we don’t expect that’s going to change. Our leadership (group) has already addressed that, they understand we must go there and have the utmost focus. We’ll take some extra precautions to make sure no one tries to break those rules.”
Dave Campbell has been on the Eskimos beat since 2004. He’s entering his seventh season as the Eskimo colour analyst for 630 CHED broadcasts. He also hosts The Points After Show, an openline post-game show. Follow Dave on Twitter @Dave_CHED.
|2||Blue Bombers||DE||Mulumba, Andy|
|3||Alouettes via EDM||LB||Edem, Mike|