One of the heroes of the Gray Cup, Tyson Philpot, adopted Montreal and… Montreal adopted him.
• IN PICTURES: A touching visit to sick children with the Gray Cup
“I don't want to play for any other team,” the pass catcher, who was voted Canada's top player in the last Canadian Football League final, said Thursday while visiting sick children at the McGill University Health Center.
Originally from British Columbia, Philpot is on track to spend the entire off-season in Montreal. He experiences the Alouettes championship to the fullest, takes part in the team's promotional events and gets to know his adopted home a little better. Just last week he stepped onto the ice rink in the Quartier des Spectacles. Philpot also admits to having a weakness for smoked meat sandwiches and smilingly confirms having tried the famous Putin from La Banquise restaurant.
“I grew up in British Columbia and saw Lions championships there when I was younger [NDLR: en 2006 et 2011], he suggested. The celebrations were not a quarter of what we see here. We've been attending events where fans come in large numbers for months, and that's exactly why I don't want to leave the city. It’s just fantastic!”
“More people stop me on the street here than back home in British Columbia,” Philpot added. I take all of this with humility, but it’s so nice to see that the city is behind our team.”
An unforgettable catch
If Philpot has gained so much popularity in Montreal, it's partly because of a touchdown catch that gave the Alouettes a win in the final against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers with 13 seconds left. The receiver also finished that meeting with six receptions and 63 yards in a 28-24 victory.
“What I want to convey to people who talk to me about this is that without Cole Spieker's previous catch on third down with five yards to go, I wouldn't have had a chance to do it,” Philpot recalled. And there was Cody's beautiful pass on the game-winning play. The credit really goes to everyone for this championship.”
Photo agency QMI, JOEL LEMAY
Philpot has a contract with the Alouettes, extended in December until 2025, and hopes to pick up where he left off with his teammates.
“I started training last week. Otherwise, I continue to appreciate everything about the city of Montreal,” he concluded.
Not too many smoked meat sandwiches and Putin until training camp though…