One on one with Wally Buono

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:20 AM ET

HOW THE HECK ARE YOU?

I'm great. This is what you work for for 11 1/2 months. It starts the day you lose the Grey Cup.

KNOW ANYONE WHO DID THAT LATELY?

It's 11 1/2 months to get to here.

WHAT DO YOU AND WIFE SANDE LIKE TO DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME?

We go for a walk. That's the one thing I've learned to do here in B.C. because the weather is more co-operative. Walking at night gives you time to talk and be together.

EVERYONE KNOWS ABOUT YOUR OPEN-HEART SURGERY BUT ARE YOU STILL DEALING WITH HIGH CHOLESTEROL?

Flax seed. I take five tablespoons of flax seed, a little Raisin Bran and I put some trail mix in with skim milk. I have it every morning and my cholesterol has gone down to 1.2. I take Lipitor, too. I eat a lot more fish, too. For lunch, instead of having garbage, I have a nice salad with a can of salmon mixed in with the salad. Within three months, the cholesterol goes down like nothing.

FIVE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE YOU?

Oh, man, that's tough. Is hard-working one word? Dedicated, honest, spiritual and I'm human.

WHAT WERE YOU LIKE IN SCHOOL, IF YOU CAN REMEMBER THAT FAR BACK?

I was a terrible student.

THAT'S HOW YOU ENDED UP COACHING?

No, to me education wasn't important. Now I obviously think school is very important.

WHAT'S THE MOST RIDICULOUS THING YOU EVER BOUGHT?

Stock in (Larry) Ryckman's oil venture. ABBAX. I'm still trying to cash it in so I can take a 100 percent capital loss (laughs). No big deal.

WHAT'S THE BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED?

From Grant MacEwan. He said that I should buy property, close to water, within an hour of Calgary. We bought it just west of Spruce Meadows off 22X and 37th St.

NOW YOU'RE RICH?

No but it tripled in value.

WHAT REPAIRS CAN YOU DO ON YOUR CAR?

None.

YOUR CULINARY SPECIALTY?

Everything, other than baking. I can cook but I don't bake.

YOU MUST LOOK GOOD IN AN APRON?

I don't wear aprons.

WHAT TV SERIES WOULD YOU WANT ON DVD?

Something off the Cooking Channel.

YOUR FAVOURITE UNHEALTHY FOOD?

Pizza. I'm allowed once in a while. My doctor says if you have high cholesterol, you're allowed to binge, just don't be eating cheese every day. Once every two weeks, no problem.

WHAT'S YOU FAVOURITE PLACE TO HOLIDAY?

Hawaii. We thought about buying a condo but we just rent.

BEST PART OF LIVING IN VANCOUVER?

The weather.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WEREN'T COACHING?

Probably teaching in high school.

WHAT DID YOU DO WITH ALL THE BILL COSBY SWEATERS YOU USED TO WEAR IN CALGARY NOW THAT YOU'RE IN VANCOUVER?

I still have them. I don't wear them very often but I still have them.

YOU SAID IN 2001 THAT GOD SENT QUARTERBACK MARCUS CRANDELL TO PLAY FOR YOU. DOES HE STILL DO THAT?

I believe God sends all the players and coaches to me. God promises that He will take and give. I always pray about the team, which players God will bring and which coaches He will bring. I couldn't have orchestrated the coaching staff we have here. God did it.

WHAT MOVIE MADE YOU TEARY EYED?

The Ray Charles movie, Ray. It was very emotional in a lot of ways. Just the way he lived through agony. We all live with an agony. I remember Ray Charles when I was growing up. That was his era and I remember all the songs when he was getting big. To see his life and his struggles, it was a good movie and a very emotional movie.

WHO'S THE MOST FAMOUS PERSON STORED IN YOUR CELLPHONE?

I don't know how to do that (laughs). I don't have speed dial. I write all my numbers down in the old-fashioned way.

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE STAMPEDERS TURNAROUND IN 2005?

They did a good job. They've got a good organization, they spent some money and they spent the money in the right places. There's no magic to getting a good football team. You get good football people and let them operate the football team, bring in some good players and the rest takes care of itself. They did a great job and they're going to be a very good football team next year.

WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING GREY CUP SUNDAY?

Coaching. Players win, coaches just coach.


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