Anthony Calvillo is starting to sound like a broken record.
Each week, the Montreal Alouettes quarterback takes his spot in another sort of pocket — a sliver of breathing room in front of a gaggle of newspaper scribes and TV cameras — and fields the same ol’ questions about his historic campaign.
Calvillo has already rewritten the CFL’s all-time record for completions and touchdown passes this summer, and will likely become the leader in career passing yards before the regular season comes to a close.
“The one thing that I tried to do coming into this year was get myself mentally ready to receive all the questions every place that I go and not let it bother me and really just enjoy the moment,” Calvillo said. “And that’s the way
I approached it. I haven’t gotten tired of answering the questions because I really got myself ready.”
Calgary Stampeders quarterback Henry Burris was also prepared for a few familiar storylines.
Every time Calvillo arrives at McMahon Stadium for a shooting match with the Stamps, the latest scheduled for Saturday afternoon, Burris braces for the inevitable comparisons to his quarterbacking counterpart.
Three years ago, Calvillo was voted the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player and Burris stole the show in the 2008 Grey Cup game, leading the Stamps to a crown and being named the top performer in the big game. In 2009, Calvillo once again won the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player Award and also claimed a championship ring.
Last fall, he won another title but was voted runner-up to Smilin’ Hank for the biggest individual trophy at the year-end awards banquet.
While Calvillo is hogging the headlines with his record-setting stats, Burris is also making a steady climb up the all-time charts.
The Stamps star currently ranks eighth in career passing yards and sits ninth in both completions and touchdown strikes.
“I let everybody else do the comparisons and everything,” Burris said.
“Myself, I’m just trying to beat him every year and do whatever I can to make sure that we’re hoisting that Grey Cup on the stage this year in Vancouver and not him.”
Burris and Calvillo have different styles — “Anthony’s accuracy is as good or better than anybody in the league, and Henry makes certain throws I personally don’t think anybody else in the league can make,” summed up Stamps offensive co-ordinator Dave Dickenson — but the common denominator is both seem to be getting better with age.
Calvillo was 37 when he won his second Grey Cup as a starting quarterback.
Burris, 36, already owns a pair of championship rings, although his first came as a third-stringer behind eventual NFL Pro Bowler Jeff Garcia in 1999.
Burris insists he won’t stick around long enough to challenge some of Calvillo’s all-time marks. His goals are more of the short-term variety
— specifically, a celebration Nov. 27 at a refurbished B.C. Place Stadium.
“To me, the best quarterback every year is the one who wins the Grey Cup, and that’s what A.C. has done the last two years. So to me, there’s no comparison to him,” Burris said.
“(The comparisons) get kind of old, but that’s the competition right now. He’s in the position that I want to be — on the team that’s winning championships.”