Batman (or is it Robin?) is calling on the Montreal Alouettes to stop Superman Simon.
From his secret lair in Utah, a warning for Superman has been issued.
Batman would be just fine if Molson Stadium is laced with kryptonite Sunday and Geroy Simon fails in his chase to surpass the CFL’s alltime leading receiver.
Then again, Ben Cahoon admits from his retirement base that unlike Geroy, he’s never resolved his own identity crisis.
Ben’s not even sure if he’s Batman...or Robin.
“Oh I’d like to see him get shutout frankly,” says the first CFL pass-catcher to 1,017. “I’m rooting for the Als (Sunday) and I think my guys can lock him down and make it hard for him, but it’s going to happen sooner or later so my congrats to Geroy – it’s a great accomplishment.”
Ben was never into comic book characters or superheroes.
“I don’t look at myself as a superhero at all. I just went out and tried to work hard every day. I tried to NOT act like a superhero,” he said.
“Back in junior college I had a really good quarterback Daren Wilkinson and some journalist called us ‘Batman and Robin’ so I got a good chuckle and thrill out of that.”
Some would argue that the Batman and Robin comparison can also be applied to Cahoon and Alouettes pivot Anthony Calvillo.
“I think I had the same chemistry with Anthony, I just don’t know who would be Batman and who would be Robin, but we had a good thing going there for a lot of years.”
“I don’t know who was Batman or Robin in college, either.”
Ben pauses over the phone.
“I think I’m Batman.”
Cahoon and Simon first crossed paths during a mini-camp in Florida for the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I had a tryout with Tampa Bay right out of college before coming up to Montreal. I spent a good two-and-a-half days in the NFL,” says Cahoon in his flawless deadpan.
Simon’s 1,017 catches have come off the hands of many more quarterbacks than Cahoon’s, who spent his entire career in Montreal. The challenge for Ben and Calvillo was to always keep their familiar patterns fresh.
“We always worked on it and just went to work every day. That’s been the key to Anthony’s continued success.”
Simon could bust a move. Ben would bust a tackle. Simon was a high-gear speedburner. Ben had unspeed, downshifting in sneaky bursts of acceleration and deceleration through wiggles and waggles.
“Geroy was a playmaker and had the ability to get behind defences to make big plays. I was the underneath guy to just catch the ball get and get pummelled,” says the 1998 6th overall pick in the CFL draft.
“I just had a lot of respect for him. He’s the full package: runs well, good moves and good hands. Ultimately he’s got the durability and the approach to the game that allowed these numbers to stack up.”
Imagine this dynamic duo: Batman and Superman as CFL teammates.
GM Jim Popp recently revealed to me he considered approaching Simon about coming to Montreal when the Als had his younger cousin Andrew Hawkins on the roster in 2009-10. It was not to be. Hawkins flew off to the Bengals.
“I was grateful I had a bunch of guys around me to do all the heavy lifting and all I had to do was reach those hands out and catch the ball. I definitely couldn’t have done anything without a great surrounding cast and I think Geroy would acknowledge the same thing.”
Simon will have to acknowledge this: Ben still holds the record for most catches in a career. He grabbed 92 more receptions in 23 playoff and Grey Cup games, Simon has 79 in 17.
Batman was really “Mr. November.”
Rick Moffat is the Voice of the Montreal Alouettes on CJAD 800. He works alongside former CFL Dave Mudge. Moffat's first attended Grey Cup was as a fan in '77 - the infamous Tony Proudfoot "Staple Game". Rick is proud to say he had his first beer at an Als' game during the Marv Levy Era. Follow Rick on Twitter @RickMoffat.