Press-Republican

Black

November 29, 2013

Rouge et Or Tide rolls on

Much like I probably will never understand the system by which Americans choose their presidents, what with primaries and the electoral college and all, I likely will never understand how Americans decide the best college football team.

I have gleaned this much: there is no such thing as an official national college football championship and that something called “selectors” pick the best teams.

If I understand Wikipedia correctly, the University of Alabama Crimson Tide won the “championship” last year, as it did three of the past four years.

From what I read, UA is being dubbed a dynasty, and again this year they are on top with an 11-0 record going into this Thanksgiving weekend.

Up north, we have what might easily be described as a football powerhouse to equal The Tide; in fact you might call it the red and gold tide. This would be the Laval University Rouge et Or team.

On Saturday, Laval captured its eighth Vanier Cup national university football championship. The team did it at home in front of a monster crowd, by Canada college ball standards, of 18,500 tailgate-fueled fans.

The win was the team’s third in four consecutive Cup appearances. The only time it lost a championship game, in 2011, it was in double overtime.

The success of the Rouge et Or football program is the envy of the 27-team Canadian Interuniversity Sports league. Critics, though, say Laval, the oldest school of higher education in Canada, has stacked the deck with an exceptionally well-funded program financed by corporate sponsors.

While the best of facilities, coaches and other support are certainly the infrastructure of a successful sports program, the key to Laval’s winning ways lies in an observation made about 20 years ago by a local physical-education instructor.

Mike Labadie, who teaches at the only English-language pre-university college in Quebec City, populated mostly by French speakers, noted that francophones playing football in Quebec at the high-school level had nowhere to go to advance their game except the English universities in the province or elsewhere in the country.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Black
  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Big shift in Quebec vote

    Being a man of science, Philippe Couillard, premier-designate of Quebec, chose to use a geological term (though his field is actually medicine) to describe what happened in Monday's election, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Trench warfare in Quebec elections

    I've seen many a Quebec election in my day (I'll skip the "by cracky"), writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Dr. Phil's election prescription Philippe Couillard is a brain surgeon, not a psychiatrist, so his expertise is not necessarily understanding the collective mind of Quebecers, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    March 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Party's charter flight to majority

    It's not surprising the political maneuvering in recent weeks in Quebec City has been dubbed the "winter games," writes Canadian columnist Peter Black

    February 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Joe Ryan's mountain vision

    Eventually someone surely would have taken the initiative to turn what the Algonquins called Manitonga Soutana and the locals called Mont Tremblant into a popular outdoor recreational destination, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    February 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Montreal's Genie on the courts

    In a land where raquettes de neige (snowshoes) are more popular than raquets (tennis), a young Canadian with classic California surfer girl looks is turning heads on the court.

    January 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Columnist's Canada in 1954

    I will depart from my usual discreet journalistic anonymity just this once and offer a few personal reflections on my life as a Canadian, writes columnist Peter Black.

    January 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • peter_black.jpg Prime minister's hockey history

    By my count, President Barack Obama has written three books under his own pen, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    December 27, 2013 1 Photo

  • peter_black.jpg Quebec City displays Holy Door

    It's the first and only such thing in North America: a Holy Door, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    December 13, 2013 1 Photo

  • peter_black.jpg Rouge et Or Tide rolls on

    Much like I probably will never understand the system by which Americans choose their presidents, what with primaries and the electoral college and all, I likely will never understand how Americans decide the best college football team, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    November 29, 2013 1 Photo