Alouettes football madness
Football-mad Montrealers may love their Montréal Alouettes, but it’s most definitely not all fun and games. As we get just past the mid-point of the Als’ 2017 season, it’s fun and games and food and fabulous football and fighter jets – for real! – and more. We invite you to read on…
Excitement always runs high for our Canadian Football League (CFL) Montréal Alouettes, who enjoy a lively and visible presence in the city, not only for the action on the field, but their many charitable actions off it. Fans can also be proud of the team’s record: the Als were arguably the top CFL team of the 2000s, claiming three Grey Cup championships in that span, and from 1996 (when football returned to Montréal after a nine-year hiatus) to 2014 the team had the CFL’s longest active playoff streak.
Home is where… the amazing view is
Great football deserves an equally impressive setting, and home field Percival-Molson Memorial Stadium more than fits the bill. Nestled into the southern slope of Mount Royal – and against the stately and historic backdrops of McGill University and the former Royal Victoria Hospital – the stadium provides for a dramatic and easily accessible setting complete with scenic views of the city.
Leave your pickup truck at home
Due to the CFL’s three-downs play format (as different from American football’s four-down format), Canadian pro football is a fast and high-passing version of its U.S. cousin, which has always been famous for its pre-game tailgate parties. Starting two and a half hours before each home game, the Alouettes host their very own tailgate party, but with a certain uniquely MTL flair… Foie gras on the burner? Filet mignon with a touch of Armagnac? New this year are private tailgating parties, and barbecue professionals from BBQ Québec will be on hand to give courses in cooking. Additionally, there are special food and drinks menus for certain games. The regular tailgate party is free with BBQs, picnic tables and a DJ supplied by the Als – just bring your meat and beer! (Cans only.)
And the good eating doesn’t end there, not by a hail Mary of a longshot. On gamedays, the Poutine & Co. food truck will be offering up their new pulled turkey poutine; the very hip and homegrown Bad Monkey popcorn company has their own tent with a rainbow of sweet and salty flavours; the Archibald microbrewery kiosk will have several sudsy original offerings on tap; and this season fans attending the game in a loge can choose from a selection of wines recommended by sommelière Jessica Harnois.
And if you thought the fans in the stadium are loud…
On September 17, the Montreal Alouettes will play a game in honour of the Canadian Armed Forces. The theme of this game is a nod to the history of the team, which was named after the 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron (a.k.a., the Alouettes), the first French-Canadian Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force. As part of the game festivities, two CF-18 fighter jets will overfly the stadium twice. And the team warns: “While the spectacular flyovers will be short, they will cause noise that is likely to surprise passersby and the residents of surrounding neighbourhoods.” To say the least.
Jamie O’Meara, blogger
Jamie O’Meara is a writer for The Montreal Gazette, C2 Montréal, Moment Factory and more. He also manages the PR Team at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival and is the former Editor-in-Chief of alt-weekly newspaper HOUR Magazine.