Photo: Mark Duncan, Associated Press
The former coach Marv Levy
Before you jump on their training pitch of the olympic Stadium, the players of the Montreal Alouettes have had a visit to an inspiring Friday : that of the ex-coach Marv Levy.
Always right as an oak at the age of 92 although rattled, the one who won the Grey cup in 1974 and 1977 at the head of the club spoke for a few minutes the troops of Kavis Reed. You could hear a pin drop in the large conference room as the players drank the words of the veteran coach, who has also achieved four consecutive years, the Super Bowl — and has lost every time — with the Buffalo Bills in the 1990s.
“What a meeting ! exclaimed Kyries Hebert. I remember looking at these matches in the Super Bowl. There were several players in this team who were my idols : Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith, Don Beebe, Jim Kelly. When I saw that he would respond to some questions, even if I hadn’t prepared anything, there was no chance I would seize the opportunity to talk to this legend. “
Reed wanted to take advantage of the presence of Levy in Montreal — it is in town because of the gala as a tribute to the edition 1977 of the Alouettes this Saturday evening — in order to discover the history of the organization.
“Our guys need to learn this part of our history, he noted. Since I arrived here, there has not been many opportunities to come for our alumni to meet our players. But they must learn who these people are. “
“It’s special, noted the quarterback Darian Durant, who will return to his post after a two week absence on Sunday against the Tiger-Cats. It shows that there has been great players, great coaches who have walked in this locker room. Hear today, after the defeat of the hard he has experienced — a bit like us — it helps us to improve our preparation, even to do a little more. “
It was also the essential message of Levy with the Larks. “I know that you are aware of the difficult times currently. People will ask you : “Are you willing to do what it takes to win ?” But the real question is : “Are you willing to do what it takes to prepare you ?” It is the drive that the games are won. If you are not willing to do the work every day, you will not be able to win. “
“The other point to don’t forget, this is you having fun, he recalled. You play football because it is fun. Yes, it is always more fun to win. But remember that you have chosen this sport because of the pleasure that you gave. “
“It is good to hear this said During. As a person who like himself has reached such a high level we say this, it puts things in perspective. Sometimes, as is currently the case, there are more difficult times, and we can come to doubt ourselves. It reminds us to stay the course, perhaps putting a little more effort, that’s good. Either the 1970s or the 2010s, the basic principles of football remain the same. “
Levy, who has published five collections of poetry since he retired from football, is very touched that we had thought of him for the weekend’s festivities. “I spent 47 years in the world of football, but only 5 in Montreal. They remain for me among the most beautiful. […] I am extremely touched that, 40 years later, people remember still to this conquest of the Grey cup. “
If, During will return to his position, he could do behind a line on the attack decimated. The guard Kristian Matte, and Philip Blake have both missed practice, and their presence at the stade Percival-Molson is unlikely this weekend.
However, During may very likely rely on the veteran receivers Nik Lewis. Even though he has missed practice Friday because of gastric problems, Reed believes it will be able to be at his post in the face of the Tiger-Cats (4-11).
In defence, the Alouettes (3-12) may be required to again pass the half defensive Jonathon Mincy. Touched the hand, it represents a questionable case for the game. Finally, the specialist long discounts Martin Bédard is always subject to the protocol of concussion of the circuit Ambrosie and will not be in the game.
This last game at home this season could be the last one before the supporters of the team for a few veterans, like Luc Brodeur-Jourdain and John Bowman. None of the two players has, however, attempted to disclose the game to any 48 hours of the confrontation.
The Cheerleader, excluded from the series for a third season in a row, will conclude their campaign with two meetings abroad.