Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ex-Coach Levy Inspires Alouettes, but Last Home Game vs. Ti-Cats Meaningless

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ex-Coach Levy Inspires Alouettes, but Last Home Game vs. Ti-Cats Meaningless

Article excerpt

Levy pep talk too late for Alouettes


MONTREAL - A visit from 92-year-old coaching legend Marv Levy may have been uplifting but it came far too late to save the Montreal Alouettes season.

Levy, who led the Alouettes to a pair of Grey Cups in the 1970s, spoke to the players and coaches in a meeting room at Olympic Stadium before practice on Friday about being prepared for games and battling back from adversity.

For Montreal, most of the adversity has already happened. The last-place Alouettes (3-12) take an eight-game losing streak into their final home game of the season Sunday against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (4-11). Both teams are already eliminated from playoff contention.

To mark the occasion, several members of the Alouettes side that won the 1977 Grey Cup at the Big O, including Levy, quarterback Sonny Wade and receiver Peter Dalla Riva, are in town for a charity dinner and will be feted at the game.

"OK, you're going through some tough times, so make the pendulum swing the other way," Levy told the team. "It's up to you.

"You can talk about all kinds of magic -- special offences and defences -- but what it takes to win is to run, throw, block, tackle and kick better than your opponent. And if you work at preparing and if you bounce back."

The Alouettes can try putting that into practice next season, but for now, they are all on what coach and general manager Kavis Reed calls "audition" for jobs for next year. The Tiger-Cats are in the same boat.

And for some Alouettes, it may be a final game in front of their fans at Percival Molson Stadium.

Receiver Nik Lewis, 35, has not confirmed it but has hinted broadly that it will be his last season. It may be the same for defensive end John Bowman, 35, a career Alouette and the team's all-time sacks leader. Decisions will be made on kick returner Stefan Logan, 36, linebackers Kyries Hebert, 37, and Chip Cox, 34, and others.

Even 35-year-old quarterback Darian Durant, the team's big off-season acquisition who has struggled, is not safe. …

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