Veteran OL Brodeur-Jourdain give emotional speech as Alouettes career comes to an end

Centre Luc Brodeur-Jourdain had tears in his eyes as he poured his heart out to teammates ahead of what could be his final home game as a Montreal Alouette.

On the eve of Montreal’s game against the Toronto Argonauts on Sunday, the 10-year CFL veteran gave an emotional speech about team pride and the future of the organization.

The league-worst Alouettes (3-13) are nearing the end of a challenging year in which they missed the playoffs for a franchise-record fourth consecutive season.

“He really told people how much and how important being a Montreal Alouette meant to him,” said head coach Mike Sherman of Brodeur-Jourdain’s speech. “I wanted the younger players to hear that. His tears were generated by an affection that he has for the Alouettes and this organization. It was very moving to hear him speak his heart.

“I was almost crying too.”

Fellow veterans John Bowman, 36, and Stefan Logan, 37, also spoke at the team gathering on Saturday morning.

“They talked about the chemistry we have in this locker room, and how strong that is and to keep that going,” said Sherman. “Hopefully it will help us continue as we go down the road into the future.”

The 35-year-old Brodeur-Jourdain is in the final year of his contract, with no talks of renewal. The two-time Grey Cup champion first signed with the Alouettes in 2008 after being the last player selected at the Canadian college draft that year (48th overall). He played all 10 seasons with Montreal – a total 165 regular-season games.

Though he said his body has been slowing down for a few years now, Brodeur-Jourdain said he would sign an extension with the Alouettes in a heartbeat if they wanted him back.

“If they need me, I’ll be there, for whatever it is,” he said. “I’m an Alouette and I’ll forever remain an Alouette. Forever, when I go for my groceries, people will talk to me about the Montreal Alouettes and what’s happening, good or bad. It’s just how it is. It’s a lot of love that we get.

“I’m thankful and appreciative of what I’ve lived here as a football player.”

Brodeur-Jourdain wants to end this difficult year on a high by winning the last two games of the season, starting Sunday afternoon against the Argonauts (4-12).

Both teams have already been eliminated from playoff contention.

The game is a rematch of last week when Toronto quarterback James Franklin scored in the final minute to give the Argos a 26-22 comeback victory and snap a seven-game losing skid.

Montreal quarterback Johnny Manziel had a career-best 23 completions for 220 yards, a touchdown and an interception as the Alouettes lost their fifth straight game.

Manziel is still looking for his first victory at quarterback. His 0-6 record is the longest losing streak to start a QB career in the CFL since Andre Ware went 0-8 in 1995-96.

“Winning is a team thing,” said Manziel. “So as much as winning and losing goes on a starting quarterback’s record, it goes on this team’s record forever as well. People are making a big deal about me getting my first win, but I want this team to get another win. It’ll come in time.

“Whether it’s down the road or (Sunday), I feel like these guys have faith in me. I want to win for the team.”

Toronto Argonauts (4-12) at Montreal Alouettes (3-13)

Sunday, Percival Molson Stadium

Season series: The Als and Argos have split the season series 1-1. Montreal defeated Toronto 25-22 on Aug. 24 before the Argonauts returned the favour last week.

Going for the record: Toronto QB Franklin needs one more rushing touchdown to break the all-time CFL rushing record for quarterbacks (14 TDs) set by Doug Flutie in 1991.

On the doorstep: Argonauts receiver S.J. Green is 31 yards away from his sixth career season with 1,000 receiving yards. Only 14 players in CFL history have accomplished that.

First-half struggles: The Argonauts have only led once at halftime this season _ on July 7 versus Edmonton. Toronto won that game 20-17.

Bottom of the barrel: The Alouettes are last in many statistical categories, including total points, passing yards, rushing touchdowns, sacks allowed and time of possession.

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