The road to the 99th Grey Cup ends in downtown Vancouver but starts in the east end of Montreal this Sunday. The Alouettes also begin defense of their Grey Cup championship against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The winner of the game gets the “privilege” of traveling to the windy, cold confines of Winnipeg’s Canad Inn Stadium to face a rested Blue Bombers team in the Eastern Final.
Montreal would be wise not to look past this Ti-Cat team as they have humbled the Alouettes twice this season, three if you count their pre-season match. While the Als have enjoyed much success playing their annual playoff game at the Big O, there remains a lot of questions in regards to this Montreal team. And unlike in weeks previous, there is no tomorrow or next time if they falter. It’s win or, in this case, STAY home.
The big question will be the team’s killer instinct. They’ve had a very hard time finishing what they’ve started, giving up leads and letting wins slip past their fingers.
If they jump out to a huge lead, the Alouettes simply cannot allow Hamilton back into the game. The CFL touts constantly that “No Lead Is Safe” and when it comes to the Alouettes, it’s sad but true.
Both teams have limped into the playoffs on losing streaks. One will come to an end on Sunday. Hamilton hasn’t had to play a meaningful game in weeks, while Montreal was in a dogfight with Winnipeg for first place. Winners find a way to win and the cream will rise to the top in these 2011 playoffs.
All bias aside, I still think this Montreal team is extremely talented. They have a great QB, explosive running and their receivers can make the impossible possible. They have battled injuries on all fronts and still show up and make it an exciting affair.
Yet I feel like they’ve been their own worst enemy these past few weeks, trying too hard to make things happen. Hopefully now they have no more anxiety about their fate. That they realize their goal Sunday is a very simple one: Win one more game.
The Alouettes have shown they can beat these Tiger-Cats, they did it twice this year in Montreal no less. They can beat the Blue Bombers as well; they did earlier this year IN Winnipeg. Realistically they have the talent to win, now the Alouettes need to show they have the desire to become 3-time Grey Cup Champions. They may be taking a more scenic route to the party, but they’ll find a way to get there to Vancouver or die trying.
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 at the corner of Pierre de Coubertin et Létourneux, as shown on the map below with an 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; Heck, even Tiger-Cats fans are welcome to attend! So come one, come all and I’ll see you there!
Thanks to the good folks at Sun Life Financial, I’m proud to announce my first contest promotion here on the Dirty Bird Blog!
The 99th Grey Cup is the first one where Sun Life Financial will be a major sponsor and they are excited to be a part of the game. Whichever two teams make it to the game on November 27th will have a patch on their jerseys featuring the Sun Life Financial logo.
To celebrate, the company is having a contest open to all CFL fans where the winner will receive an authentic jersey of the CFL team of their choice! Entering the contest is so easy; just head over to http://www.facebook.com/SLFCanada and “Like” their page.
If you don’t have an Alouettes jersey already, then shame on you . But now’s your chance to fix that with this great contest. Enter now and help support a terrific sponsor of the Grey Cup.
That’s all for now. I’ll be back Monday, hopefully to report on the Alouettes win! Hope to see you all at the Big O this Sunday!