Saturday, September 20, 2008
Esks Urged To Resist Charming Montreal
MONTREAL - When the Edmonton Eskimos touched down in Montreal on Friday afternoon they were greeted by a warm, sunny day and a vibrant city full of temptations that have derailed many visiting sports teams.
Staying focused on the job ahead is the first challenge the Eskimos faced, two nights before they stride into Molson Stadium to tangle with Anthony Calvillo and the Montreal Alouettes. While the stadium presents its own set of challenges, it is the city itself that can be a temptation.
"The distraction is the city," head coach Danny Maciocia said earlier this week, "The distraction is not the stadium, the distraction is not the 20,000 fans." Many of the Eskimos have played in college bowl games, some in the NFL, many of them before 70,000 or 80,000 fans, so the noise of the Montreal crowd pales in comparison.
"That's not what's going to get you," Maciocia said of the stadium. "My speech when we go to Montreal is similar to the speech being given to some teams when they go to New Orleans: Be careful, because the city will get you.
"That's why (the Alouettes) have the record they have since they came back into the league in '97, because the city has a tendency to get you." Running back Mathieu Bertrand is a Chambly, Que., native who has played often in Montreal, both in college and the CFL, and said Montreal doesn't offer any more temptations than some other CFL stops.
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