|Monday, September 15
'Blitz' draws penalty; outcome not affected
MONTREAL -- Blitz, the Montreal Alouettes' mascot, received a reprieve -- but a stern reprimand -- after being given a penalty for pecking an official during a Canadian Football League game.
Alouettes head coach Don Matthews wanted the bird mascot cut after drawing a 15-yard penalty for knocking an official on the head during Montreal's 30-10 victory over the Ottawa Renegades on Sunday.
Team spokesman Louis-Philippe Dorais said Monday that the mascot will keep his job but will be confined to the sidelines. He didn't reveal the identity of the person in the costume.
"He's been given a warning, but he's not going to be released," Dorais said. "Everybody deserves a second chance. We'll make sure it doesn't happen again. You don't want something like that to affect the outcome of a game."
Blitz, a giant lark who likes to bounce up and down on his inflatable head, had taken to joining the Alouettes' celebrations in the end zone after they scored a touchdown.
While celebrating Kwame Cavil's 28-yard TD reception in the third quarter, Blitz tapped an official with his head, apparently while trying to peck the ref on the cheek.
The official responded by throwing a flag.
Dorais said that in the future, Blitz will be confined to the sideline.
"He will continue to provide entertainment, but not on the field," he said.
The penalty was applied to the ensuing kickoff, and the improved field position helped the Renegades kick a field goal, although it hardly mattered in the Alouettes' one-sided win.
Matthews led his post-game comments with a tirade against the mascot, saying that "if I can, I guarantee he will be cut."
General manager Jim Popp jokingly suggested that Blitz be plucked. ("Je te plumerai" in the children's song is French for "I will pluck you.")