So, you’ve come to a couple games, loved it, yet still don’t fully understand what’s happening on the field? Or you’re about to attend your first game and have no clue what to expect? Here’s a quick guide that will surely help you become a pro football fan (or at least pretend like you know something about the game).
The Dress Code
• We strongly suggest you wear the team’s colours (red, white & blue). Definitely no orange, no yellow and no green.
• If you don’t have anything appropriate in your wardrobe, swing by one of our stadium stores to snag our latest gear. We have a brand new logo and it’s dope!
• You can also choose to borrow your dad’s, your aunt’s or your neighbour’s vintage Als jersey. That’s cool too.
• Make as much noise as possible. Like you should hardly be able to speak the next day.
• Come with your buddies to make even more noise. *Beer can also help with that*
• However, WATCH OUT, there are times when you should NOT scream:
- When our offence is on the field (that’s the unit with the quarterback), scream only when the play is done. You don’t want to disrupt the playcalling.
- When the opposing team scores a touchdown, makes an interception (that’s when they steal the ball from us), gets a first down or makes any good play: DO NOT CHEER.
• When our defence is on the field, please scream your lungs out. You do want to disrupt the opponent’s playcalling.
• When the Alouettes get a penalty flag you can always scream in disagreement, as long as you remember to stay relatively polite.
• You should know the lyrics to the song “J’aime les oiseaux” by Yann Perreau. It’s our touchdown song. We plan on playing it as often as possible.
• First, this is not the NFL. It’s better!
- There are 12 players on the field here versus 11 in the NFL. The more the merrier.
- CFL fields are bigger: 10 yards longer, 12 yards wider and the endzones are double the size. We all know bigger is better.
- Our goal posts are directly on the goal line.
- You might have heard that the CFL is crazy fast. That’s partly because the guys only have 3 downs, instead of 4, to make a first down.
- The defensive line needs to line up one yard behind the line of scrimmage (the imaginary line where the ball is placed).
- When a kick occurs, the player who is catching and returning the ball has what we call the five yards of immunity. No other player can tackle him within that space.
- Also a reason why our game is so fast, the guys only have 20 seconds to snap the ball rather than 40. OK, it’s a little more complicated than that, but bottom line is you have to get moving faster.
• Second, this is not soccer, there are many different ways to score points.
- You can catch the ball or run with the ball in your hands in the endzone and score a touchdown for 6 points. Then, you kick the ball for an extra point. Or, instead, you can decide to go for 2 points by either throwing or running the ball into the endzone again from your 2-yard line.
- If unable to reach the endzone, you opt for the field goal. In other words, you ask Boris Bede to kick the ball between the two yellow posts for 3 points. In the event he misses (don’t worry, he’s good, he won’t), the opposing team can try to run with the ball and return it for a touchdown.
- When a player gets tackled in his own endzone, it’s called a safety and it gives 2 points to the team on defence.
- Lastly, a single point is awarded when any type of kick (except a successful field goal or a kickoff that goes out of bounds without hitting any obstacle) goes all the way through the endzone, or when a player puts a knee down in his own endzone. If you are confused by this rule, please consult an experienced fan.
• Fair warning! The orange flags thrown on the field are not called tissues. The referees don’t have a cold! They’re penalty flags signaling that a foul has occurred.
- Listen carefully as the head referee announces what the penalty was given for, to whom and for how many yards.
- Revert back to the section about noise if you don’t remember how to adjust your reaction.
• Show love and encouragement to our players because they give their everything day in and day out to put on a great show for y’all.
• Follow the Montreal Alouettes on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with all the team’s activities.
• Wear our colours proudly outside of the stadium as well.
• Use #ToujoursGame when posting the awesome pics you take at our games.
• Smile, have fun and enjoy this beautiful game we call football.