Profession: Offensive lineman for the Montreal Alouettes
Hometown: Tecumseh, Ont. (near Windsor)
The car: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT
- May, 2006, signed with NFL’s Green Bay Packers, released June, 2007, without playing a regular season game; August, 2007, signed with Montreal Alouettes; first game Sept. 9, 2007, against the B.C. Lions
- Grey Cup champion, 2009 and 2010
- 2011, CFL Most Outstanding Lineman; 2011 and 2012, CFL All-Star
- Five-time CFL East Division All-Star
- Pre-season: Alouettes versus Argonauts at Toronto’s Varsity Stadium, June 20 at 7 p.m. ET
- Regular season opener: Als versus Blue Bombers in Winnipeg, June 27 at 9 p.m. ET
Josh Bourke is a driving force behind the Montreal Alouettes.
The two-time Grey Cup champion with the Als is hoping for a third Grey Cup win. And despite his hefty build – 6-foot-7 and 315 pounds – the offensive tackle is quick, strong, aggressive, agile, and tough as nails on the field as well as on the road. That's why Bourke drives a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8.
Why did you a Grand Cherokee SRT8?
I've always been a truck guy. I love trucks.
If I had it my way, I'd drive a big, big truck, but I live in downtown Montreal so it's not really that feasible. So I decided to go with a mid-size SUV. I like to go fast. I like a lot of power in my vehicles. That's why I chose this one.
What's the point of a high-performance SRT8 when you can't even use that power on Canadian roads?
I can, if nobody catches me!
No. I got to be careful. There's a track in Montreal where you can go and take it and go as fast as you want. I'll probably do that.
What's your favourite feature?
Probably the one that gets me in trouble the most – the launch feature.
Basically, how it works is you push the launch button and you put your left foot on the brake and your right foot on the gas. You stomp the gas and you let go of the brake and it rises up and takes off 0 to 60! It's pretty cool!
Anything you don't like about it?
Not really. It's got everything. It's got all the bells and whistles.
There are a lot of cool features. When you're on the highway, it has a pretty cool feature on the cruise control where you set it to where you want it – four car lengths or one car length – and then it'll brake for you if there's a car in front of you. Once that car moves over or speeds up, the car speeds up automatically so you really don't even have to drive.
That's pretty cool on the highway.
But it must be a gas guzzler?
Yeah, it's a little bit of an issue. But I don't really drive that much in the city. My work is 10 minutes there and back everyday. Some days I don't use my car at all. Gas is always an issue, but it's not like I'm driving an hour or 45 minutes to work everyday. It's not too bad.
Do you know what's under the hood?
It's a Hemi engine – it's got about 450 horses or something like that [actually 470]. It can go pretty fast when it wants to.
Have you had any speeding tickets yet?
Knock on wood, it's actually been a really long time since I got a speeding ticket, probably since I was in college.
I don't go crazy speeds. I'm aggressive, but I'm a pretty cautious driver. I don't take it to stupid levels to get myself in trouble.
What does a Grand Cherokee SRT8 say about you?
I like to go fast. It's not just a powerful vehicle; it's a nice luxury SUV. It rides great and it's very smooth. It fits me. It summarizes me as a person – easy-going, but I like to have a good time. I like to fly by the seat of my pants.
What was your first car?
My first car was a Ford Explorer back when I was in college.
I'm a big-time pickup fan. I love big trucks. Then I went to a Ford F-150. When I graduated college, I went to Green Bay and I bought a Lincoln Mark LT. I don't think they make them any more, but it was a real nice luxurious truck.
Then I went with my last car, a Charger, and now this.
Is it a conscious decision to buy North American cars only?
Yeah. For me, I'm a pretty big dude and a lot of those cars don't really fit me very well.
I like Chrysler vehicles. My last two vehicles are Chryslers and they ride real nice. You get pretty good bang for your buck.
Windsor is the auto capital of Canada. A lot of my buddies work at Chrysler. My Charger was a great car that I had for four years. I figured the Grand Cherokee combines the Charger with an SUV. It's a nice combination of the two.
But I'm not opposed to overseas cars. I love Audis; if I could fit in an Audi, I may go that road.
Some people like clothes. Some people like jewellery. I like to spend my money on cars. That's the way I am. I like to drive nice vehicles. That's the route I go.
What do you listen to when driving?
I listen to all types of stuff. I'm a huge music fan. I'm a heavy metal fan. I like Metallica, Mötley Crüe – that type of thing. But I listen to everything. I even listen to classical music once in a while, depending on my mood.
Before a game I really don't have a set playlist. I mix it up. I listen to a lot of hip-hop and heavy metal – something to get me fired up for the game. It allows me to escape and get my mind into the game. … Depending on if we win, after a game I'm pretty chilled. I'll probably listen to some R&B or alternative music – something a little softer.
What's your best and worst driving story?
Probably my worst was when I first got my Charger. I had it about a month and I was driving in Montreal on a one-way street and there was a big pickup truck in front of me. He was trying to let cars merge in from an alley – he was trying to do the right thing and let them in, but I don't think he looked in his rear-view very closely and he ended up reversing into me and smashing my whole front end. I was a little pissed off. But what are you going to do?
My best: I love to drive. If I don't have anything to do, I'll just go for a drive to get away from things and think about life. I love to drive to work in the morning. It allows me to clear my head for practice. I put on whatever music I'm feeling and just relax and start my day the right way.
This interview has been edited and condensed.