Montreal Alouettes: emotional, Kristian Matte wants to stay in seventh heaven

When Kristian Matte told the story that would lead him to first lift the precious and coveted Gray Cup trophy, his eyes began to water. In seventh heaven since Sunday evening, the 38-year-old veteran refuses to see further than the festivities and the parade surrounding this conquest.

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The 6-foot-4, 296-pound man spent 13 seasons with the Alouettes. He was just a rookie on the sidelines when the Sparrows last lifted this iconic Canadian football trophy in 2010. It was also the end of a victorious era.

Matte waited 13 years and crossed very turbulent tides in the dark moments of the organization. But he never gave up and lowered his flag. He hoped. And with each season launch, he told himself that it would be better.

Kristian Matte lifts the Gray Cup in Hamilton on Sunday, November 19, 2023 in the victory of the Montreal Alouettes against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

“It really is a special feeling. There are no words to describe it,” he said in the team’s season report at the locker room doors at the Olympic Stadium.

“It’s been a whirlwind since our victory,” he added. I am extremely proud of the fans and our team.

“We don’t fall from seventh heaven.”


Matte would obviously like to hang on to it, because at his age, he knows that retirement is approaching. Will he be back next year to defend this championship title?

“Finally, we did it. We won by working really hard. I don’t want to think about next year. I tell myself that two in a row would be really fun, but I’m not ready to think about it yet.”

As the week went by leading up to the final match in Hamilton, several teammates discussed the procedures in the event of a victory. It was Marc-Antoine Dequoy who first joked about the identity of the one who would lift the cup first.

It didn’t take long for Matte’s name to make the rounds in the locker room and he was chosen without hesitation.

“Thirteen years of waiting is a very long time. He has the respect of everyone. He is a veteran who gave himself body and soul for the team,” said Dequoy, who highlighted the leadership of the guard who learned from the epics of 2009 and 2010.

“It took the little old guy on the team to lift the trophy,” Matte joked, his eyes red with emotion. Everyone wanted it for each other in that locker room.”


As the 2023 campaign dawned, Matte felt that little something in the atmosphere of the locker room and saw a little spark. Eight months later, against all odds, he was crowned champion with his gang.

Montreal Alouettes: emotional, Kristian Matte wants to stay in seventh heaven

Photo Martin Chevalier

“I blocked the bad times and the bad seasons in my career,” explained the man who refused to give up. Every year I hoped. Thirteen years was a long time.”

Whatever he decides about his future, no one will be able to make him forget the intense moments experienced since Sunday evening. A real treat for the one who stayed in the nest for over a decade.

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