Here is the official protest
Montreal, Sept. 9, 2009 - The Montreal Alouettes filed a protest with the Canadian Football League and Commissioner Mark Cohon on Sunday night, Sept. 6, 2009. The Alouettes are protesting the game versus the British Columbia Lions held on Sept. 4, 2009.

The information presented in this statement has been gathered by the Alouettes and is only the opinion of the team based on the facts that we have collected and reviewed. We are expecting a decision from the commissioner over the course of the next 36 hours. Until a decision is announced, the Alouettes will not comment on this matter.

The Montreal Alouettes’ protest is based on the following:

  1. While running a second third-down and 1 yard to go play, Avon Cobourne scored an uncontested touchdown. On this play:
    · No whistles were blown (as confirmed by visual and audio evidence and official game film).
    · No official ever tried to stop the play (as confirmed by visual and audio evidence and official game film).
    · No player on the field stopped playing as a result of hearing a whistle, and specifically, B.C.’s defensive players continued to chase running back Avon Cobourne until he crossed the goal line and the whistle blew (as confirmed by visual and audio evidence and official game film).
    · It was an official play that resulted in a touchdown.

  2. CFL Office officials stated that they “attempted? to stop the play by activating a pager device that is worn by four different officials, including the Referee:
    · It is apparent that either the devices did not go off until the player had crossed the goal line or they did go off, no official stopped the play because it had occurred after the play started, thus meaning that the play was official (as confirmed by visual and audio evidence and official game film).
    · The only whistle blown on the field was the whistle to signify a touchdown by Avon Cobourne and the Montreal Alouettes (as confirmed by visual and audio evidence and official game film).

  3. What makes this sequence of events even more confusing, is that the clock that the CFL Office replay officials were trying to check was correct the entire time:
    · After the first third-down and 1 yard to go play was ran, the clock started at 1:05 and ran down and stopped at 1:00 minute when the B.C. Lions successfully called timeout before the play occurred.
    · When the second third-down play began, the clock started at the appropriate time of 1:00 minute.
    · When the CFL Office replay officials decided to void the second third-down play, the Alouettes had to run a third, third-down play that started exactly at 1:00 minute. This means that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the time clock and with the second third-down play that resulted in a touchdown.

  4. The CFL on-field officials and CFL replay officials had every chance to rectified the situation after the on-field officials got together to discuss the play (or non-play) in question:
    · The Referee could have informed the CFL replay officials that the clock was correct.
    · The Referee could have informed the CFL replay officials that their pagers were not activated before the play took place and the touchdown was scored. Again, the only whistle blown on the field was after the touchdown by the Montreal Alouettes (as confirmed by visual and audio evidence and official game film).

  5. The explanation put forward during the broadcast by the Head CFL Referee was that the Montreal Alouettes would have to replay the play a third time, because their intention was to stop the play in question before it began, and they therefore decided to void that play. This is the basis of the Montreal Alouettes protest.
    · If a team wants to challenge a play, it has until the snap of the ball.
    · If a team wants to call a time out, it has until the snap of the ball.
    · If the CFL replay officials want to stop a play, they have until the snap of the ball. This did not occur nor was there a whistle blown before the touchdown was scored as for visual and audio evidence and official game film.

  6. The Montreal Alouettes have suggested the following potential solutions:
    · Continue the game where the touchdown was scored and complete the final minute of the game and possible overtime. This can be done at the conclusion of the contest being held in Montreal against the same BC Lions team on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2009.


· The game is declared a tie.

  1. This decision on the part of both the on-field officials and the replay officials affects not only the Montreal Alouettes, but all other CFL teams as well
    · It has a direct impact on the standings in both the Eastern and Western Divisions.
    · This decision could also result in a crossover in the playoffs, where the B.C. Lions, as a result of the two points they earned in the standings after being given a win in the game in question, could eliminate an Eastern Division team from the playoffs.
    · This would cost the team missing the playoffs potential revenue.
    · In addition, this decision could cost fans a chance to see their team in a home playoff game, or a playoff game at all.
    The Montreal Alouettes have filed this protest in order to have the appropriate corrective action taken. Properly rectifying this situation would be a win-win situation for the CFL.

I agree with this 100%
That screwup affects more than just BC and Montreal.

There are a few Wpg fans calling Mtl whiners but they could lose a playoff spot because of it.( watch them whine then)
SSK(for example) could lose a playoff game because of it.
What if BC makes the playoffs by 1 point and goes on to win the cup?

This was not a judgement call or a missed call, and that does happen. This is an outright error by the officials that had a direct impact on the game.

If they replay, Montreal still might lose, but if they do, this game and all the others will have meaning. With out it.....the entire season is tainted

That would be precious ! And you know what it probably will have some impact... You Sir are a prophet.

The Bombers don't deserve a playoff spot with the performance to date. I am a Bomber fan and call it the way I see it. I thought the Montreal club had a lot more class than this. I would call their so called protest as lowering themselves to Mike Kelly's standards. Officials make mistakes from time to time which can make the outcome questionable. Nobody likes it. No need to worry. Montreal has a good team and will prevail in the playoffs. BC winning a cup is the same as Winnipeg winning the cup. It's just not going to happen.

So let me get this straight!
We have a protest process what is impossible to win because intent must be proven.
If you use that protest are a whiner.
Is that about right?

Those of you who call the Als or their fans whiners simply don't understand the problem
Those of you who think that teams will now protest a call or missed call don't understand it either.

You cannot protest judgement. Penalties, the spot of the ball, complete or incomplete are all judgement calls.
You can only protest the rules......

If on 2nd and 20 the ref calls PI and says its now 2nd and can protest because the rule says automatic first down. intent has nothing to do with is the rule and how it is applied.

That is how it works in Baseball...You cant protest safe or out.....balls or strikes...simply the rules.

You say that Wpg doesnt deserve to be in the playoffs, well neither does BC if they should finish with 2 more points than Wpg.
If BC and SSK finish in a tie and BC wins the tie break....SSK will lose all the revenue that comes with a playoff game.

Yes everyone makes mistakes....but Montreal should not have to pay for the officials mistake....and BC should not gain from it

As for replaying the game from the spot of the error
Is it so silly?

Remember the pine tar baseball game?

i skimmed it, but did anyone mention that there was a penalty call on the play on the BC LIONS, it wasn't even on us?
So the play DEFINITELY stands

You know, the thing that bothers me most in this exercise is the impunity of the officials. From Cohon’s answer we can therefore infer that officials can **** anyone from behind and get away with that. Particularly off-site officials in T.O. I’m not saying that they actually do have malicious intent, but how can a team prove it? They are in a room, watching the game electronically, uncontrolled and unmonitored.

In the words of Juvenal, “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”

That is exactly what I say.....As long as intent is part of the process, there is nothing that can be done.

I dont believe the refs would ever do it intentionally but if they did, how could you prove it? Refs dont even have to know the rules. "Oh you need 10 yards to get a first down? Sorry , I thought it was 5! But seeing how I didnt do it intentionally....My job is safe!"

By having the requirement that the error must be made intentionally for a reversal to be granted makes it virtually impossible to reverse any play no matter how blatant the error is. How is one to prove that the error was intentional......a conspiracy perhaps? I hope that part of the "measures to ensure this particular set of circumstances is not repeated" that Cohon refers to will include a mechanism that will obviate the recurrence of similar disasters.

On another note, the Als did not play well that night and did not deserve to win that game. This takes some of the sting off the wound for me. I would have been totally incensed had this been a tough-fought game on both sides that was unfairly decided by lack of competence from someone that wasn't even in the province at the time.

Dont take me the wrong way but...I never saw the logic in "they didnt deserve to win"
The team that scores the most points is the team that deserves to win.

The Als could have, possible should have scored the most points.
It doesnt matter when they came, first quarter second or the dieing minutes.

Its is being said that BC ran all over Mtl but the bottom line is BC only scored 19 points...7 aided by a bad PI call.
213 yards rushing and still only 19 points.

If this were baseball and your team goes hitless for the 1st 8 innings and scores 5 runs in the bottom of the ninth to win 5-4....Would you be saying they didnt deserve to win?

Hey ro1313. Obviously the team with the most points wins and I have seen many ugly games that were won by the team that did not play to their potential. But also remember that even if we converted the TD the Lions still had ample time to march and go for a field goal (they were moving the ball successfully at that stage of the game). All I was trying to say is that it did not bother me as much because of the lackluster game the Als played. BC did not run all over us, but they played much better than we did, and our effort was clearly far below what we are capable of. You will see what I mean this Sunday when we blow them away. :rockin:

As upset as I was with the call, I think taking action such as replaying the last minute would set a very dangerous precedent. Next thing you know, everyone is protesting after a loss. League admitted to making a mistake and from my point of view, that's all that could have come out of the protest.

That being said, you know what would make me feel better? The Als actually show up this Sunday and kick the tar out of the Lions. That will make me happy. :wink:

Replaying section of game is not unheard of, it happens in other sports, Baseball, Soccer in europe had such incidents. cohon chickenned out IMO.

It is not unheard of at all.

As I pointed out, the baseball pine-tar incident

As for protesting every loss....
AS I keep pointing out, only rules can be protested, not judgments calls like penalties.

Dunnigan agreed with you ...on the half time show...

I assume you mean about Higgins' explaination.