Esks' Bertrand Cup-bound

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:58 AM ET

Mathieu Bertrand is going to be at the 98th Grey Cup in Edmonton on Nov. 28, one way or another.

If the Eskimos fullback isn’t playing in it, which is still a possibility despite his team’s 5-10 record, then he’ll once again join the French station, CBC Radio Canada, as a colour commentator.

“It was the first time I did it last year and everything went good,” said the 32-year-old Quebec native out of Laval. “I think they were pretty happy because they asked me to do it again this year.

“I liked the experience and when they asked me again this year my first answer was, ‘I’m not going to comment on that game. I’m playing in it.’

“I’m still believing we’re going to be there and play but if we’re not, obviously I’ll do it again.”

Bertrand attended high school in St. Hubert, Que., and is fluent in both languages. But his first language is French.

“They asked me last year and my answer was the same as this year,” said Bertrand, whose team was bounced out of contention by the Calgary Stampeders in the West Division semifinal. “I cannot say yes right now because obviously I want to be part of that Grey Cup. My answer right now is ‘No,’ because I’m not there because I’ll play. If we’re not there, I’ll be there on the radio for sure.

“I believe in this group. I think we’ll finish the season strong and I think we’ll be there.”

Bertrand’s background makes him the perfect candidate as a Grey Cup analyst.

“I’ve played football since I was young,” he said. “I know the game pretty good. I know players and I know everything in this league so I think I’m a good guy to do that stuff.”

Being bilingual, Bertrand said it is more difficult broadcasting a football game in French.

“It’s hard to translate every single word in French because obviously football has more English terms and everything,” said Bertrand, who looks up to French broadcaster and former Eskimos offensive lineman Pierre Verchevall. “He’s an ex-player, too.”

Whether Bertrand follows in those footsteps or not will only be answered once his playing career is over.

“I’d like to keep the door open for after, just like getting my degree as a phys. ed. teacher,” said Bertrand. “I don’t know what I’m going to do after, maybe coaching or a radio show.”

Whatever he decides, it will definitely involve football.

“Of course, football is my life,” he said. “I love the game enough to stay after even if I’m not a player anymore.”

IN AND OUT: MLB Maurice Lloyd was practising again and is probable for Saturday.

“He’s been out for (two weeks) and I know he’s itching to get back in there to contribute,” said Hall.

T.J. Hill also returned to practice, while QB Ricky Ray was on the field but was held to limited activitiy.

“He’s still sore, but he feels better than he did (Wednesday),” Hall said. “Right now it’s a positive factor and there’s no indication that he’s not going to be able to play Saturday.”


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