Let's be realistic

Okay people, let's have a show of hands. How many of you played football? Of those who did, how many of you realize that an offensive line is not just a bunch of meat sacks pounding on another bunch of meat sacks?
I will hazard a guess and say you all do.
It's a complex, multitasking machine that has to attack and defend at the same time. It will take time to gel and, in the meantime, there's no doubt the team will suffer.
I can't imagine that the decision to overhaul the o-line was a knee-jerk reaction. The line was performing poorly and something had to be done. Jim Popp, arguably the best GM in the league, knows the consequences.
But there is strong reason for optimism. 1) The coaching staff has consistently built awesome lines in the past and has the brains to do it again. 2) Veterans Chiu and Okeke seem to be classy, intelligent guys and can anchor this new enterprise. 3) A.C. is hurting today but has the personality and professionalism not to blow his stack and go into a sulk. He won't rack up impressive numbers, but he will persevere.
Let's face the facts. The Lions and the Stamps are the class of the league in 2006 and the west (groan!) is the superior division, once again. I think it's an astute move for the Als to begin the rebuilding stage now, rather than at the end of the season...particularly when it comes to the offensive line.
In the meantime, I live in Ontario and all I'm hearing about is how Montreal is full of fair-weather fans and Molson Stadium will empty out if the Als have a season where they lose more than they win.

I live Montreal, only the french do that because they hate losers. They beleive if they separate they need to have winning teams so nobody will leave.

Well said danpel!

I don't believe that the Als are in the process of rebuilding their O-Line at the moment, just applying some patchwork and trying to light a fire. They're still relatively young (Okeke is the oldest, I believe, at 36) but they need an infusion of 'attitude' again and I believe that can be accomplished (or initiated) by getting back to some form of a more consisten running game. That balanced attack is what makes B.C. and Calgary so dangerous (and Toronto building towards that). Give the hoggies more opportunity to pound the D-line as opposed to always being on the 'defensive'.

As for fairweather fans in Montreal, I prefer the word 'fickle with high expectations' but that mostly applies to hockey. Baseball started to die here after that blooming strike that cost the Expos a possible shot at the big game. Playing at the 'Big Owe' (more distant, bad seating, too cavernous) didn't help. Heck, when the Alouettes moved back in 1996 and were dominant from the start, you couldn't give away tickets to a game at the Olympic stadium. The stands started to fill when the Als moved downtown. With the large back log of people waiting/hoping to get tickets to a game, I'd be surprised if there were any significant number of empty seats, losing streak and all.

Hey umaga,

even as an Anglophone born and raised in Montreal, I find that statement to be greatly generalised and borderline prejudical. This isn't a political forum - it's about football.

There are fickle fans everywhere whose level of support is not dependant on language, nationality, colour etc...

I look at Hamilton, and their season they are having, people always go the stadium to cheer on the Cats.

The Alouettes start losing, all the people want Calvillo out of town.

Umaga is right. They do demand the "Best" team, if not, they want the "French" team.

Please don't tell me you disagree. That's the way it is.

I do disagree to a point.

I see that happening in Hockey with the Canadiens. Now at the risk of sounding stereotypical myself, up until recently - if you were French, you generally played hockey while the English in this province were more inclined to football and hockey. So the French were far more passionate about what happened on the ice than they were between the goal lines. That could also explain why the Als attendance dropped in the latter part of the 70's when the anglo population here began an exodus. Now that is starting to change as the success of the Als has peaked interest in football within Quebec and within the Francophone community.

Why I feel that umage is still more wrong than right (besides using something as language to generalise which I am, unfortunately, equally guilty of doing at times) comes from my personal experience. Most of my football buddies and I, out of frustration, were talking about how, perhaps the time has come for Cavillo to go or to sit for a bit. We're anglos. At work, the majority of Cavillo detractors are the anglos who grew up watching and/or playing football than the French guys who love the game and/or have sons playing it. There are significantly more French speaking people here than English so inevitably there will always be the appearance of a higher number of Francophones opinions (such as 'Cavillo must go') even though the actual percentage may be the same or less. I don't know if that makes sense... I haven't had my morning caffeine shot yet! :slight_smile:

With Hamilton as an example, it wasn't too long ago when their stands were as equally empty as they were full. The Tiger Cats were a mess, their fan base was leaving and it looked as though they could eventually fold if something wasn't done. New ownership, new coach, new players and a few decent seasons helped but I'm sure if the Tiger Cats continue their present trend for another season or two, the fans will slowly fade away. Toronto is the same as was B.C. for awhile.

You know, the more I look at it, past and present, I'm beginning to think that impatient and/or fickle fans are more prevalent in bigger cities and in the eastern division. Perhaps as a result of more entertainment venues/opportunities available for the dollar.... not sure.