In Search of a Sellout

I wonder sometimes how it is in other Canadian cities
Aside from Regina...obviously

I've been more or less passionate about the Alouettes and the CFL since my Dad took me to the Autostade when I was a kid.
But whenever I try to share my passion with my fellow Montrealers...well the best I can say is that they know Anthony Calvillo is a damned good quarterback...most realise the Als have won a Cup or two...and beyond that...blank stares and embarrassed silence.

Of course...one of my neighbours is a rabid New York Giants fan...another roots for the Patriots. But I frankly am not sure I've met anyone who regularly goes to Alouettes games...or even watches every week. It's not a huge representative sampling...but when I think of the intensity with which my whole neighbourhood follows Le Canadiens...how every second car is adorned with Canadiens flags in the playoffs...and how annoyed people were with me when my Bruins won the Cup...I can't help wondering why so few Montrealers have embraced this great Alouettes "dynasty".

It's almost as if the more Quebecois the Als put on the field...the more it plays into people's prejudice that the CFL is an inferior game...a underachieving backwash from the "real" football league. When the fact is this league was conceived and created to accommodate a slightly different type of player...but arguably no less talented. It's a message that seems lost on a large segment of the Canadian population...and the media that at once drives...and reflects it's opinions.

It's downright embarrassing that the Alouettes...back to back Grey Cup Champions can't fill a 25,000 seat stadium. But then the people of this city let the Expos pass into history without the slightest protest...a fact that broke my heart and to this day is the reason why I haven't...simply can't watch the game of baseball.

Greater Montreal is home to roughly 3.9 million people.
The fact that the Alouettes haven't had a sell-out this year is shameful
And must be discouraging to all the teams out there that believe that winning is the way to bring in the crowds.
My Giants fan neighbour believes it's a form of boredom
After a decade of Calvillo...a decade of Grey Cup appearances...the city's lost interest.

He may be on to something
God help us if we lose a few more games
If familiarity breeds this kind of apathy
Losing has to breed contempt.

I’m a New York native and grew up in Montreal watching the Giants on CBS and the Concordes on CBC and I loved them both. You can’t compare apples and oranges, they’re just different games at different levels.

I’ve been an als season tix holder since 1998 and I agree that it is shameful that the alouettes are not selling out but I also think (after getting dissed by some als fans for having said that in another forum) that what we have right now is not so bad and we should not give up and we must continue to build. I have my Grey Cup tix for Vancouver and me and my dad expect nothing less than a third cup. It’s a lotta pressure I know but I know we can do it and if people still won’t support the team after that well that’s just their loss but I am confident people will come. :rockin:

we officially got 2,116-1,322-1,490-2,229-2,102-2,443 seats left for the remaining 6 games. Even if we don’t sell out they’re still decent crowds. I mean TO’s home opener was only 21,000 and their tix prices aren’t as high.

Ya gotta believe. :cowboy:

and actually you should be Senior Zed Me. No? :slight_smile:

Or Senior Ooooo Me

:wink:

Lol. Just left the GoAlsGo forum after 305 posts. Great fans but some guys are a little too serious for my taste. That’s part of the problem, I kill myself trying to get people interested in the Als and then I get dissed by some hardcores. Like being stuck between a rock and a hard place. :cry:

The Expos were a completely different situation. They sucked for years, played at a horrible location that nobody wanted to attend (the Big O), and when they finally put together a championship-caliber team, the players went on strike. That's when my heart broke as an Expo fan. For the remainder of their time in Montreal, they were the farm team for the rest of MLB, operating on a total team salary roughly equivalent to what a star pitcher would make on another team. The Expos were a crap product in a poor location for decades. Very few cities are going to be able to put up with that.

I don't care about sellouts at Molson. Lalonde isn't padding his stats like Smith did, and the presence of extra seats might actually generate more walk-up sales. What I do care about is improving fan participation at Molson. In general, I find Als fans at Molson Stadium are lousy football fans. They don't make enough noise during the other team's offensive drives, they get easily discouraged by game adversity, and in general, they don't make Molson Stadium an intimidating place to play. Over the years, the reason why the Als have been so dominant at Molson has been our team, not our fans. I want our fans to be so loud at home games that we force other teams into procedure and time-count penalties. I want us to make so much noise that we actually take away elements of the visiting team's playbook by making them use a silent count with limited audibling.

True d&p, the home crowd should always be a factor and give the Als an edge.

That said, the game is won or lost on the field, not in the stands. Our D has not been performing up to par, perhaps due to a new DC, a new D philosophy, or simply a lack of execution. In the first 3 games, the O put enough points on the board to make a few D lapses not that significant. In a close game, however, that QB sack, a hurried throw, fumble, INT is what just may put you over the top.

As you say the Als' fans are not the best, but I'm hoping the Als make the Argo fans want to leave after the half, because we're ahead by 30+ points.

Go Als go!!!

Oh, no question that the on-field performance is what's primarily important, but crowd noise is an edge and we need to exploit any edge we can. During the Hamilton game, crowd noise led to two Calvillo time-count violations and at least two (IIRC) procedure penalties. Those are significant effects generated mainly by crowd noise.

You can make every excuse you wish
The fact is....other than the religious nature of Canadiens fandom
This city has a rotten fan base....rotten, spoiled and unappreciative fans
It explains why fans don't make a lot of noise
It explains why they get "easily discouraged by game adversity"
And why Molson isn't an an "intimidating place to play"

It was the death of the Expos
And of two Montreal football franchises:
The Alouettes and the Concordes

Other teams in other cities have been through slumps
Have failed to win it all...etc
Have had less than perfect venues
And people have kept on coming
But I dare you to point to a team that has been this dominant...this productive and this special for over a decade....a 2-time Championship team....and has trouble putting 25,000 butts in the stands

I got caught on my bike trying to navigate through Old Montreal in the aftermath of a fireworks evening
I don't know how many thousands of people were there that night
But that's pretty much the speed of things
Sparkly, popping, glowwwwy light pacifiers for a city of drugged-out party fanatics
And a dedicated, hard battling sports team that can't fill it's under-sized stadium

Quelle honte!

And on another front...
Spoiled children constantly need something new
The latest distraction...the new and talented hero
I can guess that attendance will continue to lag
If the Alouettes win or lose
As long as they do it the same way they have over the last decade

It may sound stubborn and single-minded
But I can almost guarantee that once Adrian McPherson's presence
Transforms the nature of this team's attack
That excitement and novelty will set the city a-buzz
Until it gets bored yet again

Just for fun
Try to imagine what kind of a crowd the Argos would have for tomorrow's game
If they'd had the success the Alouettes have had the last decade

They've supported an appallingly bad Leafs team forever
What if Dave Keon rose again?
But on the football field

Who says we have 'trouble' putting butts in the seats at Molson Stadium? The place has been at capacity for years and even with the expansion, is still usually close to capacity, despite high ticket prices. If we were giving away $10 tickets and only drawing 15,000 to games, I'd be concerned, but frankly, I think you're making a mountain out of a molehill.

Re: the Expos, you don't know what you're talking about, clearly, and are just looking for an excuse to bash Montreal sports fans.

Dude
I sat in the stands at Expos games
Found my way behind the plate to watch some of Montreal's greatest
Just because there was literally no one there
I may not have watched a game since the Expos left
But I've forgotten more about baseball than most will ever know

I may be bashing Montreal Sports fans
But I'm not alone in my opinion
The Alouettes failing to sellout has been a BIG story since Week
1 this year

And not without justification

3 failed franchises in a city this size
There's no hiding that behind vague pleasantries
And even "vaguer" insults

Senior, you frequently make interesting and thoughtful posts.

But at other times, you really go over the top.

First, some time ago you posted that you would be a better GM than Jim Popp.

Now, you post this:

In future, could you tone down the arrogance, just a tad?

Thanks.

From a Herb Gazette story in July:

"The Als have sold at least 20,000 season tickets this season, so Canadian professional football in Montreal continues to thrive. But for some reason, the organization is having difficulty attracting a walk-up crowd."

I think we are overstating this sellout crowd issue. 20,000 season tickets is nothing to sneeze at. The 1000-2000 missing from the walkup crowd can be attributed to many reasons - holiday time, Mtl. festivals, Mtl. construction /destruction issues, thinking no tickets are available, etc.

The bigger issue is how Mr. Lalonde is doing with the corporate boxes.

Not at all
I've played baseball
I've coached
And I think I'm on pretty secure ground in saying what I've said.
While I did play football for a time
There are huge gaps in my knowledge of the sport
(especially on either line...x's and o's...)
And I would never make a similar claim

As far as the Jim Popp comment is concerned...I don't recall making it
Although I don't deny it emphatically
But considering others' recent posts about Popp's recent failures
In filling spots that are lacking on this team
It's safe to assume that some here are expressing a similar sentiment
After all...when you criticise someone in management
And propose strategies and actions in opposition to what they are doing
You're in a small way saying the same thing

If I did say what you suggest I did
I was certainly in that spirit:
In response to what I consider questionable decisions
I feel have hurt the team
That I would have gone in another direction
And in that sense therefore...I would be a better GM

I'm not saying for a second that I have the same level of experience
The contacts...the skills that make a great GM like Jim Popp
But as I just said....maybe my decisions in some cases would have been better

I doubt anyone here would even take the trouble to post
If they didn't think they had an alternative viewpoint
That could in some way benefit the discussion...and ultimately the team
And I'm glad they feel that way
It generally makes for an interesting read
And fills those yawning gaps in my own knowledge

"Man, when I was young I shoved my ignorance in people's faces. They beat me with sticks. By the time I was forty my blunt instrument had been honed to a fine cutting point for me. If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you'll never learn."

-Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451

Well I won't give up on sports in Montreal. I'll be at Rogers Centre tomorrow night. Impact game saturday night and I have also been attending the only baseball that is left in Montreal. The Orioles. A junior elite team that has won a championship 2 out of the last 3 years. It may not be much but it's a start. They play at Ahuntsic park next to Henri-Bourassa Metro station. Tickets are only 5 dollars, hot dogs are 1 buck and beer at 3 bucks just like the good ole days. I've been attending for 4 seasons now and I just got the parents of women's hockey superstar Caroline Ouellette to attend and they got hooked. I'd propose you check it out tomorrow night buuuut.....well it doesn't really top the als of course. :wink: I'm going to Laval tonight to watch them play LaSalle. Whatever it takes. 8)

It's strange that no where in the media are they mentioning Calvillo's next record to be broken. In Toronto of all places that would be soo freakin' awesome. The O-Line better be on top of their game. Just 9 little completions to go. :thup: Who will make the record catch?

Interesting posts all re attendance figures.

But, my two cents' worth is that football just doesn't attract crowds in Canada, Saskachewan notwithstanding. We have 4 cities in Canada with stadia of 50,000+ which never sell out, except for post-season play and even then... I look with great envy at the NFL in this regard and see huge crowds of 70,000-100,000 every game. Obviously, the game is more popular south of the border.

So, what's the deal here? Too many other "distractions" in Montreal? Is Montreal/Canada a "one-horse town" sportswise?

So, come rain, come shine, hell or high water, you are either a football fan or you are not.

Frankly
I'd be happy to go to even a minor league ball game
If Montreal would be so lucky to have a team
Still...the Orioles sound like a good deal
You forgot to mention they're in 1st place by half a game

I think I will try it out
And see if I can re-kindle my love of the sport
Thanks!

I'd amend that to read, "You are either a CFL fan or you are not"
Plenty of NFL fans out there who couldn't care less about the CFL
From a sheer PR point of view
"What we've got here is a failure to communicate"

:thup: :thup: :thup:

And I'm in the other camp. . . I'm a CFL fan and I don't follow the NFL at all. I don't criticize those who do, mind you, just that I don't follow it at all. Used to, years ago, but not anymore.

Me either
I haven't watched a complete NFL game in decades
Part of it is like with the Expos
If there's no hometown team
Who do I root for?

Still
I'm more and more curious
Maybe if some ex-Alouette makes it big down south
I'll have my excuse to watch

Go Hawk!

:thup: