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Dubbed the "Ordinary Superstar" Rodgers shocked the football world after leading the Nebraska Corn Huskers to the Rose Bowl in 1972.  The San Diego Chargers selected Rodgers in the first round of the 1973 draft, but he rebuffed the NFL to join the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.

"I had always dreamed of having $100,000, and San Diego didn't offer me anything close to that," he said. "So I went to Montreal, and they offered me what I was looking for right out of the gate."

Rodgers played four seasons in the CFL, winning Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player and All-Pro honors, along with a Grey Cup. He had the personal glory but still longed to prove himself in the United States. In 1977, the 5-foot-10, 180-pounder got into tip-top condition and finally became a Charger.

"I did all I could do in the CFL," he said. "So I came back to try because I wanted to see just how good I could be."  Read more about Johnny here...


Entrepreneur Nelson Skalbania purchased the Montreal Alouettes from Sam Berger following the 1980 season. In a series of moves that shocked the football world Skalbania signed several high profile U.S. college and established NFL stars; entirely changing the face of the Montreal club. The moves however backfired and the club stacked with 4 down superstars limped to a 2-14 record, not to mention heaps of criticism from both sides of the border. The 1981 team was a fascinating mix of talent that never came together and adapted to the Canadian game. Read about the 1981 Alouettes that included Vince Ferragamo, David Overstreet, Billy "White Shoes" Johnson, James Scott, Tom Cousineau and others from a Sports Illustrated feature from July 1981 here...


Fred Biletnikoff was a Super Bowl champion with the Oakland Raiders named the MVP of the 1977 Super Bowl. The crafty receiver was a master route runner with sure hands who enjoyed a 13 year hall of fame career in the NFL all with Oakland. After being unceremoniously released by the Raiders following the 1978 season Biletnikoff retired.  Prior to the 1980 CFL season Alouettes head coach Joe Scannella a former Raider coach contacted Biletnikoff and after some convincing the 37 year-old spent the 1980 season with the Alouettes, imparting wisdom and stick-um to a new generation of CFL players. Fred moved on as a coach with the Calgary Stampeders in the late 1980's and now serves as a receivers coach with the re-born Oakland Raiders. read more about Fred here...


Marv Levy the Hall of Fame NFL coach spent 5 seasons as head coach of the Montreal Alouettes in the mid 1970's compiling a 50-34-4 record and capturing two Grey Cup championships. Levy credits his time in Canada as invaluable in shaping his career as a head coach. He coached some prominent players in team history and had great success. Levy left Montreal following the clubs Grey Cup Championship in 1977 and went on to coach the Kansas City Chiefs before moving on to his longtime post as head man with the Buffalo Bills. Read more about Marv's stay with the Als and the Canadian Football League here...


Jesse "Sonny" Wade was named the Most Outstanding Player in the Grey Cup on 3 occasions, a record he holds with Doug Flutie. The rangy Wade graduated as an All-American from Emory & Henry in Virginia in 1969 and joined the Alouettes as a quarterback and punter.  Sonny led Montreal to a Grey Cup in 1970 under coach Sam Etchevarry, defeating Calgary 23-10. Wade suffered through injuries and coaching changes but returned to the big game in 1974 defeating Edmonton 20-7. For his final championship in the infamous 1977 staple game, in front of a record crowd of 68,318 at Olympic stadium Wade led the potent Montreal attack to a 41-6 destruction of the Edmonton Eskimos in the 1977 title game. Wade retired after the 1978 season as was one of the most successful big-game players in league history. Read more about Sonny here...


Wally Buono has had a hall of fame career as a head coach, first with Calgary and now with the B.C.Lions. Prior to his coaching career Buono spent 10 seasons as a linebacker and punter for the Montreal Alouettes. Buono who emigrated to Canada from Italy as a child went to Idaho State University on a football scholarship. Buono joined the Alouettes in 1972 and was a member of Grey Cup championship teams with Montreal in 1974 and 1977. A constant with the franchise as it made numerous changes in ownership and philosophies (most notably Nelson Skalbania in 1981), Buono lasted with the club retiring in 1982 and moving on to a position in Montreal as assistant coach in 1983.  Buono coached with the club until 1986 when the franchise ceased operations. Read more about Wally as an Alouette here...


When the Montreal Alouettes returned to 'La Belle Province' in 1996 they were Grey Cup champions from Baltimore. The team was led by veteran CFL star Tracy Ham. Ham would play for Montreal from '96 until 1999 as one of the top quarterbacks in the league. Montreal would advance to the Eastern final each season with Ham at the helm only to lose first to Toronto in '96, '97 and then Hamilton '98, '99 although the seasons ended in heartbreak Ham definitely led a potent offensive attack. The Georgia Southern grad brought his 'option' style abilities to the quarterback position with a strong arm and great running ability. Prior to joining the Montreal franchise Ham had great success with the Edmonton Eskimos and 1 forgettable season with the Toronto Argonauts. Tracy Ham captured the 1990 Most Outstanding Player award and is considered by fans as one of the most exciting quarterbacks in league history. He won a Grey Cup with Baltimore and helped bring the franchise back to Montreal not to mention the mentoring of current Alouette quarterback Anthony Calvillo. A great CFL quarterback and a great Alouette read more here...


Dickie Harris joined the Montreal Alouettes in 1972 out of the University of South Carolina. The New Jersey native received a better offer from Montreal than the competing New York Jets of the NFL and he elected to sign north of the border. Harris was brought in by J.I.Albrecht and went on to become a 7 time All-Canadian for the Alouettes at defensive back. An outstanding return man in addition to his top notch defence Harris captured the Grey Cup with Montreal in 1974 and '77. Dickie was named the leagues top defensive player in 1979. Harris retired after the 1980 season and he is a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. Dickie Harris a New Jersey native came to Canada to play CFL football in 1972 for the Montreal Alouettes and never left. Harris and his family continue to live in Canada now in Kelowna, B.C. Read more about Dickie in the CFL here...


The best running back in league history - it can be debated but the consensus is usually between 2 backs. Saskatchewan's George Reed and Mike Pringle. Mike had simply an amazing career. He holds numerous rushing records including the 2 highest rushing totals in league history. He is the only running back in CFL history to rush for over 2,000 yards in a seaon with 2,065 in 1998. Mike was named the leagues Most Outstanding Player 2 times in 1995 and '98. Mike was a member of 3 Grey Cup winning teams with Baltimore, Montreal and Edmonton. Mike played his college football at Cal State Fullerton the alma mater of 2 other CFL legends Allen Pitts and Damon Allen. Pringle was a draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 1990 - he first joined the CFL with Edmonton in 1992. Mike had two incredible seasons with Baltimore in 1994 and '95 before moving up to Montreal where he had his greatest success. Read more about Mike Pringle here...


 

 

 

 

Lawrence Phillips came to the Montreal Alouettes in 2002 following another failed NFL attempt with the San Francisco 49ers. Phillips dominated the world league in 2001 as the only back in that leagues history to eclipse 1,000 yards rushing. The troubled back turned his sights on CFL defences and was a force to be reckoned with in his first season with the Alouettes that culminated in a Grey Cup championship. read more here...


Turner Gill one of the all-time great quarterbacks produced by the NCAA powerhouse Nebraska. Upon completing his senior year with Nebraska in 1983 the 2nd team All-American signed with the Montreal Concordes and went on to play two seasons leading the club to consecutive playoff births. read more about Turner here...


The Buffalo Bills drafted Ohio State Lineman Tom Cousineau with the first overall selection in the 1979 NFL draft. When the Bills played hard ball in salary negotiations, the Ohio State alum turned to the CFL and signed a lucrative multi-year contract with Montreal Alouettes. Cousineau made it to the Grey Cup with Montreal in his first year and was named the top defensive player in the game. The lineman cut his ties with the Als after the 1981 season and signed with the NFL Cleveland Browns. read more here...


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jock Climie played university football at Queens. He was a 1st round draft choice of Toronto in 1989. Jock joined Montreal when the club returned to the city from Baltimore in 1996 and had his greatest success as an Alouette. As one of the top options in the powerfull Montreal offence, Climie was invaluable as a non-import receiver. Montreal advanced to the Grey Cup in 2000 but was defeated by the B.C.Lions. It would be the closest Climie would get to a championship - he retired after the 2001 season and is now a practicing lawyer as well as a panelist for the CFL on TSN. read more about Jock here...


Peter Dalla Riva was an incredible non-import receiver with a career spanning over three decades with the Montreal Alouettes. Dalla Riva began his career with Montreal in 1968 he would go on to lead the team in receiving 5 times. As a tight end Peter provided clutch receptions for Alouette quarterbacks. With Montreal Dalla Riva went to six Grey Cups winning three he retired in 1981 and his signature #74 was promptly retired by the franchise that year. Read more about Peter by Perry Lefko here...


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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