My Letter to Robert Wettenhall (Long)

Some will be harsh, and even crude, in their criticism on this board but I have sent the following via snail mail:

[i]Mr. Robert Wettenhall
c/o Montreal Alouettes
1260, rue University #100
Montréal, QC
H3B 3B9

Dear Mr. Wettenhall

First, let me thank you for having provided many years of consistently high quality football to Montreal Alouettes fans An accomplishment that must be acknowledged and is appreciated.

However, as I am certain you feel, and many will tell you in one way or another, the last two seasons have been at best disappointing, and for more than just the product on the field. In both instances, head coaches were chosen long after the “best? candidates were gone and very late in the game for those coaches to build a quality staff.

Dan Hawkins was allegedly hired with the understanding that a successful, veteran offence lead by an all-time great quarterback should be respected and the playbook retained. He then went out and hired the largest staff in Alouettes history and managed an extensive revision, if not complete re-write, of the playbook. We all know the result.

Last winter the selection of a coach was awkward in that general manager Jim Popp was a candidate, but the decision was again very late and reported as having been made without any true search. Your choice, Tom Higgins, then personally selected an offensive coordinator whose behaviour necessitated his departure before the season even began, throwing a young coach who might have been challenged in his first season as the quarterback coach into both that role and that of offensive coordinator. He also decided that he was able to both be the head coach and the special teams coordinator. Well, the head coach lead the team to a 1-7 start and the special teams coach was a failure all season long; most importantly in the most significant games of the season; the season ending game for first place in the eastern conference and the eastern conference final. Jeff Reinebold dominated Coach Higgins throughout both games and made the difference in both. The Alouettes impressive “second half? seems far more attributable to the addition of assistants Jeff Garcia and Turk Schonert than guidance by Coach Higgins. Apparently there was a reason that no team had “stolen? him from his job of head of officiating when he filled that role for the CFL. Admittedly as a complete outsider, not dousing Coach Higgins after the semi-final win spoke volumes to me about the team’s enthusiasm for their head coach.

Recognizing that the last two off-seasons have saddled you with financial obligations for coaches no longer working for the Alouettes, it must also be acknowledged that the reason is that the ownership team made poor selections.

I must admit that I am not a season ticket holder, as I live in Ottawa, but I have been an Alouettes fan for 46 seasons; dating back to games at the Autostade the year before Sam Berger provided stable ownership and the Alouettes miraculously won the 1970 Grey Cup (I was “at? some games earlier in the 60s’ at Molson Stadium when George Dixon and Don Clark struggled on weak teams, but apparently I was more interested in where the peanut vendor was at any given moment; my older siblings could not always use the family’s third ticket). As a fan, these last two seasons have been the worst the Concordes era.

The impact of the poor on-field product was obvious in the attendance this season, including the semi-final game (despite all the “reasons? cited). Hopefully the need to draw back the lost fans will outweigh the economic impact of having paid several coaches not to coach, and a proper and thorough search will be conducted in short order to replace Coach Higgins. I have no doubt he is a fine gentleman, but even admitting he needs a dedicated special teams coach would not be enough to spark any confidence in his leadership entering next season. I also agree with commentary on the TSN690 post-game show that the Alouettes need their own dedicated practice and training facilities. The team is rapidly falling behind their competitors and the one-time recruiting advantage of dominating the eastern conference is obviously gone. Quality facilities suggest a quality organization.

The team may have player personnel needs, but to me and many other fans the coaching staff is a far larger problem. I ask that you do what is best for the Alouettes, I honestly believe that will also be what is best for you as the owner in the long term.

Regards ...[/i]

[i]Clean up your mess Wetenhall!!!!!!!

Good letter GHT :thup: [/i]

Great letter but I doubt Wetenhall is the type to accept advice unfortunately.

Sell, sell, sell :wink: Bought low, should have sold high Bob :wink:

Mr Robert Wetenhall will "enter the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2015". From Herb


OFF topic!

Compared to some 180 degree tangents threads take you decide to call this one out?

You started a thread about a letter you wrote. Why can't he do the same ? When has Veilleux ever started a thread ? He purposely hijacked this thread because he disagrees with your letter.

You started a thread about a letter you wrote. Why can't he do the same ? When has Veilleux ever started a thread ? He purposely hijacked this thread because he disagrees with your letter.
Well Richard ......... do you disagree?

I definitely disagree with what HfxTC wrote. Since your letter was to Mr.Wetenhall, I did not see the needs to start a new thread/topic and decided to include the information under your thread/topic. I definitely had no intention of hijacking your thread.


Reasonable answer, but avoiding an assessment of the content of my letter. I take no offence to anyone disagreeing, but was just curious whether the allegation made by HfxTc was correct in so far as the disagreement; I never felt the thread had been hijacked.

To GHT120:

Generally speaking I am in agreement with your letter; your comments were positive and respectful; this not mean that I agree with all of them, but I respect your opinion and your decision to write to Mr Wetenhall.

The decisions that Mr.Wetenhall made in the last 15 months or so were,certainly in Mr wetenhall's mind, for the best interests of the Organization; unfortunately most did not go as expected. With regards to Tom Higgins, I definitely don't think that it would be a good/positive idea to replace him in 2015; I was definitely surprised by his hiring, in February, but he is not the only one to blame in 2014.

With regards to"their own practice and training facilities", we all agree that there is a need; unfortunately Mr.Wetenhall does not/will not commit at least half a million of his own money for these facilities. This matter has been discussed for the pas 15 years but the needed funds have never been "au rendez-vous"

In the meantime, let's hope that good decisions will be made in this off-season in order to make the Als better.


Practice facility is his responsability. He's had it good for a long time when he could practice next to the BigO for free. During all that time he could have leased or purchased the grounds and build his offices an facility on it but he chose to ride out the free ride and Saputo came in and woops gone. Als don't buy advertising from any of the media, they don't own or invest in the city (not a nickle in taxes go to the city). They are a non factor. It has to change. That's why he should sell the team to a group who will want to put down a proper setup in Montreal. Something needs to happen fast.

LOL at the idea of showing respect. Without us, the team wouldn't exist, yet some would have us treat the owner of the team like a demigod. Why should I even refer to him as Mr. Wetenhall? Is this the '30s? Am I a bootboy deliriously happy for the opportunity to shine the shoes of "Mr. Wetenhall"?

He should show us respect. We sustain the team, and that's how WE show respect.

Good lord. Paranoia runs deep with you.
Who exactly do you think is asking you to refer to him as Mr.?

He's commenting on the NEED to put the MR title every time Richard write's about the man. He's correct. Richard does not use Mr. Popp or Mr. Higgins or Mr. Weightman. He uses the Mr title when writing about Wetenhall. Which denotes that he has a higher respect or reverence to the man. I just think its funny. 8)

Yeah, some of you have a fetish for capitalists. :lol: The fact that Wetenhall is rich enough to own a pro sports franchise doesn't mean I give him one more iota of respect than I would the next person I see on the street.

Hey ! But he hangs out with Don King ! :lol:

Curious if Mr. Wetenhall ever responded to your letter.

And if it will make you feel any younger I also remember Clark and Dixon with Bob Geary blocking for them.

As do I, fondly

Thought I had posted this. Yes, he responded with a rather long letter addressing each of the points I raised, obviously supportive of the specific decisions but also cognizant that issues remained to be addressed. It was far more than I had ever expected and I was duely impressed.