What do you get the quarterback who has everything, on the occasion of his 40th birthday?
“A shower pill,” said Luc Brodeur-Jourdain. “I think that’s going be plenty enough for him,” says the man closest to the future Hall of Famer in the huddle and at the origin of every offensive play with his shotgun snaps from the centre position.
|Look who's 40|
“I don’t think Anthony ever expected to play this long, but he has done a phenomenal job bouncing back time after time after time which is the true test of any athlete. Just like a warrior and a champion he’s come back each time even better and stronger.”
- Ben Cahoon
“Since I’ve been here, I feel like he’s not old at all,” the 29-year old Laval Rouge et Or grad said, now in his third season as a starter in front of Calvillo. “He’s playing better than any other quarterback in this league.”
Jeff Perrett and Scott Flory chuckle at the thought that they are actually catching up to AC in football years.
“It’s quite amazing…he’s ageless. He’s found the fountain of youth somewhere and I need to get on that,” said Perrett, the mountain of a man with the fuzzy mountain-man beard that has gone unshaved since training camp.
“If he knows something the rest of us don’t I wish he’d tell us,” added Flory, at age 36 the seniority leader on o-line. “If you can slow down time as much as possible I think he’s figured that out.”
Flory insists Calvillo has NOT changed with age.
“He’s the same guy he was when I showed up here in 1999,” says Calvillo’s right-hand man at right guard, the only remaining teammate from the 2002 Grey Cup winning team, Calvillo’s first of three Cup wins.
“He’s got the same demeanour, same everything and he’s playing at an incredibly high level. We don’t want to mess with his game day rituals so getting a win is the best gift of all. We’re starting to build some confidence here and understand we can’t just show up.”
Coach Marc Trestman hopes even the young pups are taught by the Old Passing Dog.
“I’m hopeful each and every guy in our locker room will take the time to walk by and spend a few minutes with him and ask ‘how do you do it?’Most of it’s done off the field in preparation and how you take care of you body.”
“I’m hopeful the young guys are students and ask ‘how do you do this…how have you stayed durable and stayed up with the game.
“We marvel at it,” admits Trestman. “There aren’t many that have been that able to do it for that long. It’s a credit to AC and the work he puts in and the love he has for his job.”
At 40, Anthony has the confidence to step into the public confessional: turning 30 bugged him more than turning 40, he used to hate lifting weights because his physique was no match for most of his teammates, and even after hitting the CFL jackpot and winning a QB competition of 13 contenders for the starting job in Las Vegas---he had to take a civilian job after, fearing he’d lost his bonus money on The Strip.
How the script of Calvillo’s life could have been different after his CFL rookie season.
The 19-year veteran reluctantly admits what happened in Vegas after the Posse folded his rookie year. He was owed “incentive money” and so with an uncertain future, took a job waiting tables at a Mexican restaurant.
Don’t feel too sorry for the pride of East LA; it was in Honolulu, Hawaii.
“I actually had to work and became a waiter for the first time and believe me I had a new appreciation for people who wait on tables. It was called Rodeo Cantina...right on the pier, it was beautiful.
“I had great friends there; we worked out at the University of Hawaii, played golf and waited tables at night.”
For years, Calvillo escaped the indignity of being the oldest player in the Als’ room thanks only to his go-to receiver of more than a decade Ben Cahoon, his senior but only by a matter of several weeks.
“I’m glad he’s finally hit 40,” Cahoon said on a recent early-morning drive into his coaching office at Brigham Young University. “It’s about time. This time of year when I was already a year older, he would always give me a hard time.
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.