CFHOF Profile: Bob Wetenhall

130123_lr2q3_wetenhallbob_sn635On the field there has been nobody more important to the Montreal Alouettes than Anthony Calvillo.

Calvillo was the linchpin to the dominance of the Alouettes from the time that the Alouettes came into the league until two years ago when he retired.

He is a hero the Als fans and even had his number retired last year in a massive celebration of what he meant to the franchise.

Calvillo will enter the Hall of Fame next year in his first year of eligibility for the hall and there is no question about that election.

Yet as much as Calvillo was important in the history of the Alouettes there may be no more important person that the man entering the hall this year.

Bob Wetenhall is the reason that the Montreal Alouettes exist and have been one of the more successful franchises in the CFL.

In the mid-1990s the CFL had a very memorable, albeit not for good reasons, expansion into the USA.

Of those teams only one ended up being a success as the Baltimore Stallions were not only a great team on the field but had the fan support as well.

Then the Cleveland Browns relocated to Baltimore to form the Ravens and the CFL experiment ended after only two years.

With no place to go the Stallions began looking for places where they could relocate and as the American teams began to fold they looked back to the north.

That is where Wetenhall came in as he began talks with the Stallions owner to bring back one of the original franchises in the CFL.

With the purchase of the Stallions, Wetenhall brought football back to “La Belle Province” after the Montreal Concordes folded in 1987.edmonton-feb-4-97-robert-wetenhall-man-who-is-interested

His impact on the team did not finish there though as he secured a lease with McGill University to play in their stadium, Percival Molson.

The new stadium was the smallest in the league until Wetenhall went to work alongside the university in adding 8,000 seats to the stadium over twelve years.

He led the renovation of the stadium and made it one of the better fields in the league at the time.

Wetenhall was rewarded for his commitment to bringing the league back to Montreal as the Alouettes held a consecutive sellout streak of 100 games that started in 1999.

It may be the players that put the work on the field and put their bodies on the line but there is a spot for those who give those players a place to play.

Wetenhall never stepped on the field and put up huge numbers but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t become a hero to an entire city of fans.

The Alouettes fans that rewarded him with 100 straight sellout games will be cheering him on again as he enters the hall of fame as a man who changed the game.

He brought football back to Montreal and more importantly began a period of stability that the league continues to enjoy.

When Wetenhall bought the Stallions he ended the misguided American expansion and began a period that has culminated with another expansion team and more stable teams than ever before.

Wetenhall was a big part of that new age in Canadian Football and for a hall of famer he meets the most important requirement, there is no CFL story without him.

The history of the league cannot be written without Wetenhall and there is little chance that the history of the Alouettes would have continued without him.

For that reason he must enter the hall of fame as once again they honour a man who has had a profound impact on the game of football in Canada.


One Response to “CFHOF Profile: Bob Wetenhall”
  1. Catalina Harder says:

    I am very upset with the head coach and general manager of the Montreal Alouettes since he took
    over as coach the team got worse. I got a solution fire him and get some one else to coach the team too late for this year better luck next year providing to get another coach.

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