Today, in memory of Ted Kennedy and his dogged defense of the little guy, we look in a different direction. Friends, let's talk 110-yard fields, three downs to get 10 yards, and rouges. In the first (and possibly last) installment of Know Your CFL Squadron, we examine the fabled Montreal Alouettes.
What's an Alouette? I've wondered this nearly my entire life. I thought it was a made up word used to rhyme the French version of that children's song. Jaunty Alouetta, or something. As it turns out, an alouette is a skylark. In either case, not a terribly intimidating mascot. Though better than the original Montreal nickname, the Petit Fours.
Guys You Know on the Alouettes: Mark will be pleased to know that Chris Leak is drawing a professional paycheck, taking his questionable arm and mediocre overall game to Montreal to back up Anthony Calvillo. If you knew that Anthony Calvillo ranks 5th in all-time professional passing yards, you're a sick bastard. Leak's better off than Adrian McPherson, who not only has to listen to the former's taunts about Florida State's mediocrity, but also finds himself stuck on the Alouettes' Inactive List. Former West Virginia tailback Avon Cobourne totes the ball for the A's, while erstwhile Auburn Tiger Damon Duval handles the kicking and punting duties. I'm surprised that an Auburn grad was allowed to leave the country.
Why Alouettes Fans Love Bono: According to the impossibly accurate Wikipedia, the A's were down on their luck in the late 90s and on the verge of folding. They played their games at the cavernous Olympic Stadium before thousands of empty seats. When a playoff game the the BC Lions was scheduled in conflict with a U2 concert at Olympic Stadium, the Alouettes moved the contest to the much-smaller Molson Stadium. The ensuing sellout and raucous atmosphere revived the club's fortunes. As a result, the Alouettes now play all their games in the cozier venue, and play U2's Sunday Bloody Sunday before every home date. Odd, in a way, as Bono is a known hater of all things Canadian. Except backbacon.2009 Outlook: The Alouettes are fresh off a Grey Cup loss to the Calgary Stampeders, and have opened the new campaign winning 7 of 8 games. So I guess it's not really an outlook, per se. More of a 'hey, how are the Alouettes doing so far?' sort of thing. Avon Cobourne is second in the CFL in rushing. I smell another Grey Cup in the offing.