‘I guarantee it’: Alouettes owner Gary Stern promises victory in rematch with Bombers, Grey Cup championship if William Stanback returns

Photo: Bob Butrym/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

The Montreal Alouettes are at least nine-point underdogs according to every Ontario sportsbook heading into their Thursday night rematch with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, but owner Gary Stern doesn’t believe those odds accurately reflect his football team.

Joining Melnick in the Afternoon on TSN 690 in Montreal, the outspoken steel magnate was as confident as ever that his 2-6 team would emerge with the victory over the back-to-back defending Grey Cup champions.

“I don’t think I’m allowed to talk betting or whatever, but I think the professionals have got it all wrong. This is going to be a really, really close, hard-fought game and I believe we have the talent,” Stern predicted. “If we stay away from penalties and everything in the fourth quarter, we’re going to win. And you know what? I guarantee it. You got me going, I guarantee it.”

Stern has made a habit of promising wins for his struggling football team but has struggled to deliver. He made similar comments last week before the Alouettes’ first clash with the Bombers but was proven wrong when Winnipeg surged to a 35-20 victory after a slow start.

However, Stern liked what he saw from his franchise in the early going and expects a much different result this week.

“Our game plan going into that was really, really good. [Head coach Danny Maciocia] put it together with the coaches and it was to play really good, steady football and go after them,” he explained hours before kickoff.

“They are the best team in the league. They’re well-coached, they’re professionals, they know what they’re doing and they played great, almost mistake-free football. We knew to play with them, we had to do that and for three quarters, it was fantastic. Traditionally they come on in the fourth, that’s what good, well-coached professional teams do, and we tended to… not fall apart but they took advantage of our mistakes and the score was more distorted than I felt how the game had gone.”

Believing that their strategy last week had merit, Stern insisted to anyone listening that Montreal wouldn’t be changing their approach.

“Tonight — I hope Danny and the coaches don’t get mad — we’ve got the same game plan but this time, we’re going after them in the fourth quarter,” he quipped.

Not all are fans of Stern’s outspoken approach to CFL ownership, especially when it comes to providing bulletin board material to the league’s reigning dynasty. However, he was not satisfied with limiting his promises to a single game.

Asked about the potential return of William Stanback in late October, the owner was quick to the star running back’s praises with his boldest guarantee yet.

“Not only am I going to guarantee we win a game, I’ll guarantee the Grey Cup when he comes back,” Stern promised.