CFL training camps were supposed to open this weekend but because of the covid-19 pandemic that won’t be happening. Instead, have some fun breaking down some new and old Alouettes from many different eras. This is Part Six of my series. If you missed the first four parts, you can find them right here:
Part One — Numbers 00 through 9
Part Two — Numbers 10 through 19
Part Three — Numbers 20 through 29
Part Four — Numbers 30 through 39
Part Five — Numbers 40 through 49
Here’s this week’s players:
50 – Pat Bonnett – OL/DL – 1973 to 1979: Bonnett contributed on both sides of the ball during his time with the Als, but he spent most of his time along the offensive line. The Idaho State University product won the Grey Cup in 1974 and 1977. Unfortunately for Bonnett, his career came to an end when he tore up his knee in a game against Ottawa in 1979.
51 – Ray Cicia – OG – 1950 to 1955: Cicia was kicked out of Wake Forest after it was discovered that he cheated on an exam. He made his way to Montreal in 1950 and was named an East Division All-Star 1950, 1951 and 1954 (there were no CFL All-Stars until 1962). While playing for the Als, Cicia also got a side job as a coach at Catholic High School. Of course, Kristian Matte was a finalist for this jersey number. He’s had a terrific career with Montreal.
52 – Ray Watrin – OL – 1974 to 1980: Watrin broke into the CFL in 1969 as a member of the Calgary Stampeders. He moved to The B.C. Lions and Winnipeg Blue Bombers before joining Montreal in 1974. He finished his career in Ottawa. Watrin won Grey Cups with the Als in 1974 and 1977. He was named a CFL All-Star in 1979. During that season, he. also won the Leo Dandurand Trophy, which is given to the top offensive lineman in the East Division. Modern-day Alouettes who wore no. 52 with pride include: Ramon Guzman and Nicolas Boulay.
53 – Uzooma Okeke – OT – 1997 to 2006: Okeke was undersized for an offensive tackle, but not many players played the position at a higher level than he did. He played for Shreveport and Ottawa (both teams folded) before becoming a legend in Montreal. The Als’ franchise left tackle was a CFL All-Star in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005. Okeke won the Grey Cup with the Als in 2002 and he was named the league’s top offensive lineman in 1999. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2014.
54 – Jeff Perrett – RT – 2006 to 2016: Perrett was never named a CFL All-Star or the league’s top offensive lineman, but he was a force at right tackle. I feel very strongly that he’s the most underrated player in franchise history. He was the East nominee for Outstanding Offensive Lineman in 2014 and he was an East-Division All-Star in 2015. Perrett also won back-to-back Grey Cups with the Als in 2009 and 2010. Don’t let the lack of individual accolades fool you. He was one of the top Canadian tackles of this generation. Jackie Simpson and Marc Megna were also in the running for this number.
55 – Barry Randall – RT – 1967 to 1977: As you’re probably noticing on this week’s edition of the list, there’s a lot of great offensive linemen that wore numbers that began with a “5”. Randall was no exception. He was an 11-year starter at right tackle for the Als. He was part of three Grey-Cup winning teams with Montreal in 1970, 1974 and 1977. “I think a big thing we had going for us in those good years (1970s) was continuity on the O-line,” Randall told Ian MacDonald in 2006. “We had four or five guys who played a lot of years together and that makes a difference.”
56 – Herb Trawick – OL/DL – 1946 to 1957: After Jackie Robinson broke the colour barrier with the Montreal Royals, Trawick became the first African American to play in the CFL. He helped the Als claim the 1949 Grey Cup by scoring a touchdown on a fumble recovery during that game. He was a CFL East Division All-Star in 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1954 and 1955. In 1997, the city of Montreal named a park after the former Als great. He was inducted in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1975 and the organization has retired his no. 56. His impact on the city, the team and the league goes way beyond football.
57 – Scott Flory – OG – 1999 to 2013: The Als drafted Flory in the third round of the 1998 CFL Draft and he ended up developing into one of the best interior linemen in franchise history. He was named the the league’s top offensive lineman in 2008 and 2009 and he was a CFL All-Star in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012. Flory won Grey Cups with the Als in 2002, 2009 and 2010. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2018.
58 – Luc Brodeur-Jourdain – C – 2009 to 2019: LBJ spent a decade with the Alouettes. Not bad for a guy who was Mr. Irrelevant in the 2008 CFL Draft. He began his career as a guard, but eventually transitioned to centre, where he spent most of his career. Brodeur-Jourdain was an East Division All-Star in 2012 and 2014 and a CFL All-Star in 2012. He was part of those teams that won back-to-back. Grey Cups in 2009 and 2010.
59 – Josh Bourke – OT – 2007 to 2015: I also want to show Pierre Vercheval some love here. Bourke was drafted by the Alouettes in the third round of the 2004 draft. He spent one year with the Green Bay Packers before coming over to Montreal. Bourke was named the CFL Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2011. He was an East Division All-Star ever year from 2008 to 2014 and he was a CFL All-Star in 2011 and 2012. He won Grey Cups in 2009 and 2010. He also co-hosted the “In the Trenches” radio show with yours truly (that’s not why he’s on the list…really!).
(Numbers 60 through 69 will be revealed next weekend)