There were so many great Montreal Alouettes teams between 2000 and 2009. The Alouettes won 10 or more games eight times, and finished first in the East Division seven times. Although Montreal won the Grey Cup in 2002, the Alouettes would go on to lose four championship games. The 2009 Alouettes were loaded with talent. Young defensive end John Bowman led the league in sacks, while future Hall of Fame offensive lineman Scott Flory allowed quarterback Anthony Calvillo to rip defences apart, slinging passes to receivers Ben Cahoon, Kerry Watkins, and Jamel Richardson. But, unlike past heartbreaks, the 97th Grey Cup was different. Down 27-11 in the fourth quarter, Calvillo orchestrated a championship comeback. Two Montreal touchdowns in five minutes set the stage for kicker Damon Duval's potential Grey Cup-winning kick. Duval missed his first attempt, but Saskatchewan’s too many men penalty gave Duval, and the Alouettes, one more shot.
THE PLAYER: ANTHONY CAVILLO
Pro football would’ve been robbed of an incredible career if Calvillo had simply disappeared after disappointing seasons in Las Vegas and Hamilton. But the Alouettes gave Calvillo the chance to learn from Hall of Fame quarterback Tracy Ham and eventually Hall of Fame coach Don Matthews, and a dormant talent erupted. Only three pro quarterbacks have passed for more than 76,000 yards: Drew Brees, Tom Brady, and Anthony Calvillo.
THE STAT: 13, Saskatchewan’s too many men penalty in the 97th Grey Cup
No other number in CFL history provokes such intense emotion from different groups of fans. For Roughriders fans, the number represents a dichotomy: the number 13 symbolizes the undying passion of an entire province, but it is also an emblem of the team’s great championship heartbreak. For Alouettes fans, the number 13 reminds them of the moment the football gods finally smiled on Montreal. The number 13 was also worn by their legendary quarterback Calvillo.