Calvillo talks potty

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:24 AM ET

Each week a Sun staffer gets to know a sports figure a little better in Up Close. This week, Kirk Penton goes into the huddle with Montreal Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo, who will lead his team against the Bombers this afternoon at Percival Molson Stadium.

The Sun: First off, and most important, how is your wife and family doing?

AC: They're doing great. Alexia is still in remission and the kids are getting bigger, so life is great right now at home.

Sun: I understand you were quite the star at La Puente (Calif.) High?

AC: Yeah, I went there for four years. I played baseball, basketball, football and ran a little bit of track.

Sun: Track?

AC: I ran track for the first two years, my freshman and sophomore year, and figured out I just wasn't winning enough anymore, so I said, 'OK, let's give that up.'

Sun: I heard basketball was your next best sport after football. Is that true?

AC: Actually, I got most of my awards in basketball than any other sport in high school. Pretty much all the local awards and was recognized as one of the best players to play in southern California, but football, I got nothing for it. All my stuff came from basketball because I scored a lot of points.

Sun: Do you know what hotel you stayed at for the 1993 Las Vegas Bowl when you were the quarterback for Utah State?

AC: I think it was the Excalibur.

Sun: Was that the same hotel whose parking lot you practised in a few months later with the CFL's Las Vegas Posse?

AC: No, we were at the Riviera Hotel, down The Strip.

Sun: What was life like with the Posse?

AC: It was my first year in any kind of professional sport, so everything was brand new. It was what I knew and what I thought professional football was all about. As you got older you realized how awkward it was, but for me at that time, that was professional ball. Practising in a parking lot at the Riviera Hotel, walking through the casino and eating at the buffet -- to me that was just part of being a professional athlete.

Sun: Can you tell us a printable Don Matthews story?

AC: I don't know if you can print this, but I think you can. He loved to talk to you when we was going to the bathroom -- with the door wide open. He was there, doing his thing and having a full conversation on what he believed I should be doing in the next game. But he didn't do it just to me. He did it to the coaches, everybody. It was the most awkward thing that you could be doing. That's something that I'll never forget about him. It stands out.

Sun: Who is the toughest DB you've faced in the CFL?

AC: Shoot, man, there's been so many. The one guy that kind of stands out in my mind right now is Less Browne. His last interception was against me, and he actually had me sign the ball. I just remember him collecting quite a few interceptions, not only from me but from a lot of quarterbacks in this league.

Sun: Who's the most famous person in your cell phone?

AC: I guess it would have to be Jim Zorn (Calvillo's offensive co-ordinator at Utah State).

Sun: You're second to Damon Allen in a lot of CFL passing records. How big of a temptation is there to go after those records?

AC: It's definitely in the back of my mind, because when you really look at the (passing yards) number it would be just an amazing feat to sit down after your career and be like, wow, here I am number one as the all-time leading passer. I really didn't think about it too much until this year when people were talking about it and I had time to reflect on it during this off-season. It would be a great accomplishment, so it's something that's not one of my top goals, but it's definitely in the back of my mind that it would be nice, if that ever happened, to accomplish that amazing feat.

Sun: If you were a CFL GM and you were starting a team, which quarterback would you choose?

AC: I really like Darian Durant as a young quarterback. He's been doing a lot of great things, and he's only going to get better. I see him really just taking off in this league, because he can run, he can throw, and when he's able to protect the ball a bit more, he's going to be an amazing quarterback. Which he is already, but he's going to get even better.

Sun: What can stop the Montreal Alouettes from winning the Grey Cup this year?

AC: Ourselves. That's the way we look at it. Like every game we go into, we feel very confident that we should win every one. But the games that we've lost, they've come down to a lot of mistakes that were made somewhere on our team, whether it's on offence, defence or special teams. For us, the only people that we feel that can stop us is ourselves.

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca


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