In Their Words: Peers, opponents reflect on Calvillo
MONTREAL — Having played for exactly two decades, Anthony Calvillo has crossed paths with some of the most recognizable names that the Canadian football community has to offer.
Today, on the heels of his retirement, some of those names have offered and extended their well wishes, memories and experiences from their time spent with the legendary quarterback.
“AC will go down as one of the greatest CFL quarterbacks ever. To see how he’s overcame setbacks in so many areas, shows his true leadership and abilities to win no matter what. It’s been a privilege to play against one of the all time greats. I know he will take all he’s accomplished on the field and have the same success off the field. Thanks AC for all the highlights that you provided me and football fans all over the country!” – Henry Burris, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
“What I learned most from my relationship with Anthony is how great of a man he is. He is a man of God, first and foremost. He is a loving husband and father, a loyal friend and teammate, a true competitor, and the ultimate professional. I am truly grateful to witness a part of his journey through his adversities and his success, both on and off the field. It was an honor, as a teammate and coach, to have been a small part of his exceptional career. I wish Anthony, Alexia, and their girls all the best as they embark on their new journey.” – Marcus Brady, former teammate and coach
“What I admired most about AC as a player was his consistency. Every year it seemed like he had his team finishing in first place and he was taking them to the Grey Cup. Then you throw in that he was also being nominated as the East Division MOP. Most players would love to have a couple of great years like that throughout their career and AC was doing it every year.” – Ricky Ray, Toronto Argonauts
“I’d like to thank Anthony for his contributions to the game of football and the Canadian Football League. He has set the bar very high when it comes to playing the quarterback position, and he has undoubtedly made our league better because of it. His numerous on-field accomplishments speak for themselves, and it’s hard to imagine some of his milestone records being broken. He has been a tremendous role model on and off the field, and has continuously displayed many qualities that have made him him the player and person that he is. He has shown courage, overcome adversity, been a fierce competitor, led several of his teams to championships, and he’s done it all with class and humility. Congratulations to Anthony on achieving the type of career we all dream of.” – Travis Lulay, BC Lions
“We all know that he’s a great player, but he’s an even better person. He’s such a humble person. In my opinion, he’s one of the best players who’s ever played in the league because of how hard he works and how well prepared he is. That’s what I learned from him — the importance of preparation and becoming a student of the game.” – Adrian McPherson, Calgary Stampeders and former teammate
“We were both fierce competitors with a lot to prove. A true competitor hates to lose and having those losses made him what he is today. He knows nothing is guaranteed, that you can lose what you have at any point.” – Barron Miles, former teammate
“I would like to give my heartfelt congratulations to Anthony Calvillo for a wonderful career, and an even better one off of it. The people of Montreal, the province of Quebec, all of Canada, and yes many of us here in the good old United States know about the way that you’ve carried yourself in triumph and defeat. The memories that you have and the ones that you provided for everyone else are going to last forever. Way to go.” – Chris Berman, ESPN
“We all grew because Anthony Calvillo showed us how to carry ourselves on a daily basis through the journey, the long marathon that is a football season. He showed us how to be accountable, responsible, all different life-skill things we tried to teach our guys. Every single day Anthony Calvillo took the lead.” – Marc Trestman, former Head Coach
“Anthony Calvillo is more than one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. He is one of the most remarkable people to ever grace our league. He has shown us what it takes to be a winner on the field. Along the way, he taught us much about what it means to be a true teammate, a loving father and a devoted husband. All of us will miss AC the player. He is a singular talent. But Canadians from coast to coast, and football fans beyond our borders, have also come to know Anthony the person. And that is why we have every confidence that he will continue to excel, in his career after football and in his life, most of all.” – Mark Cohon, Canadian Football League Commissioner
“I would like to give my heartfelt congratulations to Anthony Calvillo for a wonderful career, and an even better one off of it…The people of Montreal, the province of Quebec, all of Canada, and yes many of us here in the good old United States know about the way that you’ve carried yourself in triumph and defeat…The memories that you have and the ones that you provided for everyone else are going to last forever. Way to go.”
“Today a hero to many steps to the side, not to be forgotten but to be cherished and respected for years to come. Anthony, you have earned your stripes,” added Alouettes General Manager and Head Coach Jim Popp. “I, first and foremost, want to thank you for being a true gentleman and professional. Secondly, for inspiring us all with your courage and determination. And thirdly, for being such a great leader on and off the field.” – Jim Popp, Montreal Alouettes General Manager and Head Coach
“I would like to congratulate Anthony on his exceptional career. As a coach and a former quarterback, I have a great respect for his abilities and for his many remarkable accomplishments in the CFL. His combination of talent, intelligence, game savvy, perseverance and toughness made him one of the best players this league has ever seen and he has established a number of records that may never be broken. I wish him all the best in the future.” – John Hufnagel, Offensive Coordinator Las Vegas Posse (Current Calgary Stampeders GM and Head Coach)
“He’s a great player and I always enjoyed watching him play. When he was at his best, he made the game look really easy. With some of the obstacles he had to overcome early in his career, he’s good guy to model yourself after in regards to perseverance. He kept working at it and, eventually, good things happened to him. I also think he didn’t get enough credit for being a good athlete because I know he made some very nice plays.” – Dave Dickenson, Former Quarterback