Renegades 39, Alouettes 36 (2 OT)
Three quarters in, the best part of the night for the Renegades was an announcement.
"Tonight's crowd, 18,899."
And for the first time since the Renegades entered the CFL in 2002, we now know what 18,899 really looks like at Frank Clair Stadium.
Pretty darn good.
Mardi Gras Madness didn't turn into that wild orgy some feared. In fact, it didn't register on the madness scale at all.
The beads contest was a two-girl race, according to south side sleuths serving as sources (say that fast 10 times).
One stood on the far west end of the upper-deck seats, going only down to the bra.
The winner had to be the lovely lady in the lime green top who said her name was Anna Nauss and that she was once a Sunshine girl.
She had an estimated 100 beads, and would flash down to the brown for seven.
In the second quarter, Nauss was escorted from the stands and through the tunnel by cops. She returned upon only moments later, after Southsiders loudly chanted, "Bull----."
According to one Renegades employee, Nauss was told she could stay as long as she didn't take her top off again. She could collect beads, but only by exchanging kisses in return.
By that point, the boys on the field finally started providing thrills for the faithful.
The Renegades might have been dead and buried at the half had coach Joe Paopao not changed his mind and gambled from two yards out on the last play of the break. Paopao originally sent in the field-goal team, but called a timeout as the crowd chanted for him to "Go." According to the coach, offensive cordinator Kani Kauahi told him he had a play that would work. "He had that look in his eye," Paopao said of Kauahi. "I don't see that look that often." Seconds later, Joseph ran in from two yards to make the narrow the deficit to 23-10 ... If you don't believe Cheapseats predicted an Ottawa win at 5:30 last night, ask former 'Gades president Brad Watters ... Bernie Glieberman remembers a similarly dramatic victory in his first game as owner of the Rough Riders 14 years ago. Following this one, he said how proud he was of the Renegades, who have now beaten Montreal twice (out of three meetings) including pre-season. He was also very impressed by Kerry Joseph. "He played like Doug Flutie, the way he was rolling out and running," said Glieberman. "He looked like Flutie." ... For awhile, nothing was working right last night. The pressbox TVs were out of commission until the end of the third quarter, (when the game looked like it was already over). The scoreboard was sporadic. Like the Ottawa offence.
Kicker Matt Kellett was calm and cool and somewhat unbelievable as he stood in the dressing room answering questions after the game. "I might look back on this in a few hours and smile," Kellett said after his starring with a 4-for-4 performance, including the winning field goal in overtime against the team that dumped him. "Right now, it's just another game." ... Forget the upper deck south side. You need binoculars to see the "mini-tron" video board in its new location behind the east side end zone ... How is it that everybody in the stadium but official No. 43 could see that a Montreal receiver was three yards downfield before the ball was even snapped ... Silly Sly Landry, the Renegades P.A. announcer, was way offside with his cuteness after Als receiver Sylvain Girard went down in the first quarter. "Don't worry folks, he'll be feeling better in a few minutes, days, years, after that big hit." Girard did not return and is expected to miss two weeks with a groin injury ... "Section DD?" says C.J. "Now that's where they should be handing out the beads."
The red jerseys worn by the 'Gades are sweet, looking much like those of the Atlanta Falcons. CB Dave Donaldson, who had a key fourth-quarter fumble recovery, says he saw something on TV a few weeks back about how red is a dominant colour in sports. "Maybe it pulled through for us (last night)," he said ... Als RB Robert Edwards looks like he should be back in the NFL. The guy will lead the league in rushing if he stays healthy ... Joseph and quarterbacks coach Tommy Condell were doing some last-minute cramming (of the playbook, not bacon and eggs) over a pre-game breakfast at Broadway's in Barrhaven ... Half-time karaoke signer Jonathan T. Henri finishes Sweet Caroline better than he starts it. The middle of the song is when he's best -- and then he's average.