Spent quite a few bucks driving the family posse to Montreal for the game on Saturday night. We scored some front row seats at the 52 yd line behind the cat bench and some other fronts at the 12 yd line (that was our Ticat blanket draped from the front row behind the Cat Cheerleaders).
Here's what I saw:
Really nice facility - no wonder they do so well with attendance.
Very friendly Montreal fans. Many people openly expressed concern about the state of our team (before, during and after). One man felt so bad for my two male teens that he purchased an Alouette Cheer Calendar for them and got one of the girls to autograph it.
I rarely, if ever, notice cheerleaders, however, The Cat Cheerleaders are a real credit to the organization and conducted themselves with class.
Lumsden was playing in real pain right from the opening drive, but he's awesome.
Cody and McKay-Loesher took the time to acknowledge us in the stands and we appreciated their efforts on and off the field.
We seemed to lose twenty yards on every kicking exchange with the wind or without.
As a long time coach, I watch the players reactions for momemtum. The opening Montreal drive, the last Montreal drive in the first half, the Cat field goal after 1st and Goal from the two, the Maas fumble and the Maas interception were all killers on the bench. The defense provided some positive momentum swings in the first half shutting the Als down, and recovering a fumble. The Punt cover team's fumble recovery and then the defensive stand in the fourth quarter on a 3rd down gamble were others.
Also, there was a palpable lifting of spirits on the sidelines in the fourth quarter when Chang went in to replace Maas. I can't be the only person on the sidelines who saw that, and when he completed his first pass there was quite a surge of energy on the bench. Unfortunately the cats couldn't sustain that drive...
The referees called a UC penalty on Montreal for spiking and then ignored the Ticat spike right after.
The usual, unbelievable level of consistency...
So many penalties were called that no play seemed over until you had scanned the entire field for flags.
It was a very long trip home after watching that debacle, and it's 11.5 hours of driving for the Labour Day game...
I don't have a problem with that at all (and I'm an Als' fan). French spiked the ball as enthusiastically as did Davis, but Davis did it right at an official, almost hitting him with the ball. That's why he got called and French didn't. Fair call.
I'm pleased predscoachbrew and family came away with a positive feeling for the facilities in Montreal. My impressions couldn't be more different. I found the stadium clausterphobic, but my ghetto endzone preasure-treated 2x8 seat likely had alot to do with my negative attitude. I found the Al fans in the other ghetto seats rude, the combination of youth and alcohol was likely the cause; the stadium security were worst, they watched us like hawks and instantly swooped in to harass at any opportunity. I certainly did not feel welcomed.
I agree with predscoachbrew in regards to our cheerleaders. They showed class, (especially compared to those Montreal skanks) I just wished they could have been closer to those of us in the ghetto seats and I also wished they would have visited the fans in the train. As for the players game performance, I can't comment. I didn't really SEE the game. That trip really made me appreciate Iver Whynne: the best facility in the CFL. (Although Regina's field is special too)
LOL! I can't relate to this point AT ALL my friend. Especially the way the Tiger-Cats have played at home the last couple years, the cheerleaders have been one of the saving graces of the Ivor Wynne experience. :lol:
Those momentum swings actually come through the tv too. You can almost hear the WTFs from the players after one of their team mates takes a bonehead penalty, or fails to make a routine play, or kicks it wide or gives up a long gain, or can't stop the opposition.... And you can sense the team rising up when Chang gets in as if they now have a chance. These swings are obvious when I sit in the stands at IWS but I can sense it at home as well.