HAMILTON — The Montreal Alouettes like their tunes, with loudspeakers blaring during practice.
On Friday, Tim Hortons Field reverberated to the likes of the Notorious B.I.G., Young Dolph, 2Pac, Waka Flocka Flame, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Moneybagg Yo, Travis Scott, Meek Mill, Key Glock and Lil Baby.
In contrast, the Blue Bombers practised without a soundtrack although on Tuesday they worked out to the rasping sound of white noise piping through the speakers.
"When we're teaching we don't use the music," Alouettes coach Jason Maas said of training.
But music plays for a good chunk of the sessions, with more than a few players busting a move or mouthing lyrics.
"Since we've gone to it, I've really enjoyed it," Maas said. "It takes a little bit of getting used to but once you have it, it's hard not to have it any more, to be honest."
"When I go to another practice that doesn't have music, it makes it drag on, in my opinion," he added.
While Friday's playlist was all hip-hop, the musical menu varies. Wednesday's are often country music.
"I don't have a say in any songs, to be honest with you" Maas said with a smile. "I think this year maybe there's been a couple of times I've had requests.
"And obviously, if I'm asking for something, it's going to get done," he said with a chuckle. "But I try not to use that card very often. The music's not worth it to me. That card, I don't use if for the music, let's put it that way."
The music also forces players to get used to operating in loud conditions during games, says Maas.
"It gives an energy to your practice," said veteran offensive lineman Kristian Matte. "I thoroughly enjoy it. I'm a guy who loves music to begin with, doesn't matter what kind of music. It gets us in a rhythm.
"We have fun with it. Playing football is fun so we might as well have fun doing it."
Asked who chooses the playlist, fellow lineman Philippe Gagnon laughed. "It's never me, for some reason. What's up with that?"
Usually the equipment guys pick the tunes.
Bombers coach Mike O'Shea says his team has practised to music in the past.
"Why we don't do it now, I don't know," he said Friday.
"I imagine if they asked me then they would get my playlist," he added. "I think that's probably what happened. I put on my playlist, bagpipes, and then they said that no, they didn't want to do it any more."
With files from John Chidley-Hill
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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 17, 2023
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press