'It shows they still care'

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 12:47 PM ET

Dave Mudge asked Dan Gyetvai and Cory Annett to bring his truck to Canad Inns Stadium yesterday.

Mudge, whom the Winnipeg Blue Bombers traded to the Montreal Alouettes 12 days ago, figured his former offensive line teammates, who were truck-sitting for him, weren't going to just put the vehicle in the parking lot.

They didn't disappoint.

While Annett directed traffic, Gyetvai guided Mudge's truck onto the track that surrounds the field.

When the Alouettes finally arrived early in the afternoon, Mudge went about his business on the field with his new team while his truck, plastered in Bomber stickers, posters, a flag and an inflatable helmet, sat just 50 yards away.

"I'm sure once (Gyetvai and Annett) got here they had mentioned that they brought my truck in and had got some help, I'm sure, from (Wade) Miller and the boys to decorate it up," said Mudge, looking odd in his white Montreal jersey.

"They're a good bunch of guys here, and I was one of the pranksters as well, so I could totally see it coming. We got Pat Barnes a couple years ago, so I understand I had it coming.

"... It shows they still care."

Mudge, a right tackle, was one of the most popular and talented Bombers over the past few years until the trade on July 10. The Bombers felt the CFL's Most Outstanding Lineman in 2001 wasn't playing up to snuff, so they shipped him east.

"I watched him on film, and I thought he was playing very well," Als head coach Don Matthews said yesterday. "We're very delighted to get him. Not only for this year, but we think that he's a long-term plan for us. We're happy to have him."

Tonight the 6-foot-7, 305-pound Ontario native will make his Montreal debut against his former team. Mudge will see spot duty at right tackle.

"They've been playing really well as a group," Mudge said, "and I just hope not to let that down."

Bombers defensive tackle Doug Brown, who lined up against Mudge in practice for the past four-plus seasons, will get a kick out of facing his former teammate tonight.

"It will be a little different having him line up across from you," Brown said. "But just like when Khari (Jones) came to town, these were the kind of things that added a little more energy and excitement to the game."

Considering the quality of Mudge's new team, chances are he'll be driving his truck out of the parking lot tonight with a win.

"Any time you're gonna play football, you really want to be in contention for the Grey Cup," Mudge said. "It wasn't in the cards for Winnipeg this year -- at least early -- and Montreal's always a favourite, so it's great to be a part of that."


Photos