August 29, 2012

Cauz: The men behind the man – Calvillo’s many backups

So much to talk about this week isn’t there???

Paul LaPolice gets fired, the Roughriders slide continues, Ricky Ray is outplayed by two Edmonton quarterbacks, and Chris Milo kicks the first ever five-yard punt that I’ve ever seen.

Cyborg Calvillo?

Being Anthony Calvillo’s backup is no easy feat. The ageless wonder has enjoyed 19 successfull seasons in the CFL, and it doesn’t look like he’s slowing down any time soon.
» Calvillo’s Career Numbers

However, watching old man Anthony Calvillo and company predictably come back and beat the Tiger-Cats on Thursday night got me thinking … how can I possibly write another article praising the Alouettes when I dropped French after Grade Nine? After about 30 minutes of unsuccessfully trying to conjugate some verbs it hit me.

Calvillo will play forever.

I used to think that one day I would tell my own children about watching this old man make 27-year-old defensive backs look stupid when I realized that my children’s children will be one day be wondering when Cyborg Calvillo will retire as they are racing in their jet packs going to the Maple Leafs’ first home playoff game in 37 years.

My next thought was just how bad I feel for the loneliest, most frustrating, some would some say easiest job in pro sports, being Calvillo’s back-up.

Montreal is where formerly talented quarterbacks go to die. Beyond coming in for mop up duty or short yardage you never hear about them. They’re as anonymous as bacteria and their chances of starting are about the same as Honey Boo Boo winning a triathlon.

I feel it is time to end this injustice. It’s time we get to know something about the present and past Alouette backup quarterbacks. Treat the rest of this article like it’s the dating game, where we get to know a little about them Don’t worry there will be no references to long walks on the beach nor will Chuck Woolery be making an appearance.

Let’s start with our reigning champion…Adrian McPherson.

This Bradenton Florida native is the only player to be named both Mr. Football and Mr. Basketball in his home state during his high school days. Considering the athletic powerhouse that is the state of Florida, this is quite an achievement. When he’s not completing nearly 60 per cent of his passes, McPherson enjoys plunging face first into the line of scrimmage on short yardage situations. McPherson maybe the best short yardage player in the league as is evident by a crazy statistic for quarterbacks … he has nearly as many rushes (188) as pass attempts (213). Calvillo gets all the glory but it’s McPherson who often keeps all those touchdown drives alive. So ladies if you’re looking for someone who enjoys the “rough stuff” may I suggest you pick Bachelor #1.

Next up is a National Championship quarterback who helped Urban Meyer get his first titele; ladies, put your hands together for Chris Leak. At the age of 11 Chris once threw the ball 50 yards during a punt, pass and kick competition and went on to star at the University of Florida. Chris spent two seasons as an understudy in Montreal throwing a whopping total of 59 passes. A low total considering Leak managed to keep Tim Tebow on the bench while in college. These days you can hear Leak on SiriusXM College Sports Nation talking all things College Football. So ladies if you like a man with a silver tongue you may like bachelor #2.

Look out ladies cause our next contestant once actually broke the mythical “1000-yard” barrier throwing for 1,161 yards during the 2007 season. Let’s give it up for Marcus Brady! Brady spent three years in Montreal and while he never starred in the CFL, that doesn’t mean he’s not a Hall of Famer player. The exact opposite in fact. Brady is a member of the Cal State Northridge Hall of Fame – go Matadors! The guy’s numbers and records are all over the record books for the Big Sky Conference. So for you gals who like the collegiate type you may want to vote for Bachelor #3!

For the ladies who love the colour double blue and live in the greater area of Toronto you may want to fix your gaze on Ted White. Who is Ted White you ask? That’s a damn good question. You won’t find his name on many record books as he threw just 88 passes in his CFL career. But if you have a life size poster of Paul Masotti on your wall, this rather chubby quarterback may be just who you are looking for. Back in the 2004 East Division Final it was White who threw three interceptions helping pave the way for the Argonauts to go on and win the Grey Cup. He was never seen again.

Now that I have my Argo bias out of the way let’s go to our final bachelor and the only Heisman finalist on the list, that’s right, I’m talking about Brad “I’m having a hard time finding his CFL stats” Banks!

Brad maybe the best collegiate quarterback to grace the bench of Montreal as he was the runner-up for the 2002 Heisman as a member of the Iowa Hawkeyes. Don’t worry ladies; though he lost out to Carson Palmer for the ultimate NCAA Football individual award he did win the Associated Press Player of the Year award that year. So if you like a man of CFL mystery with strong Mid-Western values you could do a lot worse that Brad Banks!
I could go on but really the pickings are getting slim, let’s be honest they’ve been that way for most of this article. I’ll give you a few other “notables” before I wrap this up.

-Nealon Greene, who once ran for 180 yards in a single game for Edmonton had a one year stint with Montreal that lasted for 15 passes.

-Noted Hacky-Sack Enthusiast Dave Stala has two career passes, completing one of them for eight yards.

-There are three former Montreal “quarterbacks” who have perfect completion percentages. Ben Cahoon for one yard, Kerry Carter for zero yards and Damon Duval for negative 12 yards.

The lesson: kickers should stick to kicking and quarterbacks should steer clear of Montreal.

You ain’t playing.