It's beginning to feel like Grey Cup weekend

WES GILBERTSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 1:53 PM ET

Now this feels like football weather.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders and Montreal Alouettes continued their Grey Cup preparations Friday with a bit of a twist — chilly conditions and even some snow flurries at McMahon Stadium.

Sounds like Mother Nature finally got the message this is Grey Cup week.

“Especially in Calgary, this is exactly what I expected,” said Alouettes defensive tackle Keron Williams.

“I was waiting until (the cold weather) showed up. I knew, at some point, it would. The key thing is it’s not brutally cold out here. This is manageable.”

While Williams was sporting short sleeves as he emerged from the Alouettes locker-room, he was definitely among the minority.

Players on both sides were wearing warm headgear and extra layers under their football equipment.

Coaches and support staffers bundled up in thick winter jackets. Even Roughriders offensive lineman Chris Best, a born-and-bred Calgarian, was spotted in a tuque.

As the East Division champions filed out of their locker-room for their afternoon practice, backup quarterback and Florida native Adrian McPherson turned to teammate Martin Bedard and questioned his choice of attire.

“Man, you’ll freeze,” McPherson said.

“You’re going to be freezing out there.”

But not everybody was complaining about the sudden change in conditions.

Riders head coach Ken Miller couldn’t conceal his smile when asked about the arrival of the wintry weather.

“I think the men really enjoyed the atmosphere out there and, surprisingly, we were able to get some good work done,” Miller said.

“Yeah, it did feel like Grey Cup week and there were several comments that this is what Grey Cup week should feel like.”

Offensive lineman Gene Makowsky, who was raised in Saskatoon and is the longest-serving member of his province’s only pro team, was also enthused about the blast of snow.

“I love this time of year,” he grinned. “For most people, when the snow starts flying and you have to start wearing winter jackets, it’s not the greatest time. But I love it because I know it’s playoff time — it’s when the games mean the most. Ever since I played in high school, I love it when the weather turns.”

Forecasters are calling for a sunny sky for Sunday’s Grey Cup game, although the participants insisted they’re not worried about the conditions.

“The weather is only a factor (Saturday),” said Alouettes receiver Kerry Watkins. “After kickoff, nobody will think about what the weather is like. It’s more mental than anything. You have to be mentally mature to put it all behind you. You have to realize everybody is in the same boat.”


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