Calvillo keeps cool at awards

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:55 AM ET

Maybe if Anthony Calvillo had been pictured wearing a bra ...

Henry Burris did. He’s the 2002 Gibson’s Finest CFL Most Outstanding Player.

“After wearing the bra this means a lot. That bra and this award are going to be my marks for this year, that’s for sure.” laughed Burris.

Cavillo, who already has a couple of Cups, now has motivation to win another one.

There’s a long history of players who lost the award and ended up winning the Grey Cup going back to Jackie Parker in 1956 and including the likes of Ron Lancaster, Tommy Joe Coffey, Johnny Rodgers, Tom Wilkinson, Waddell Smith, Tommy Scott, Terry Greer, Brian Kelly, Kelvin Anderson (twice) and, yes, Henry Burris.

Because Burris deserved to win at least one of these in his career, nobody is likely to write that Calvillo was jobbed and robbed. But the voting results were at least curious considering that the members of the Football Reporters of Canada were dealing with history here.

If Calvillo, the Montreal Alouettes quarterback, had won, he would have equalled Doug Flutie’s three straight.

Burris, when he lost to Calvillo two years ago, said he felt slighted. In winning, one of the first things he did was look at the Als QB in the crowd.

“Anthony Calvillo, I’ve learned so much from you.”

In the interview room after Burris said he made the slighted statement to fire up his team for the game.

“Our team built on that,” he said of winning the Grey Cup on the Sunday.

“We used it to help the team win a championship.”

The Montreal quarterback, who has 68,161 passing yards to show for his career so far and can catch all-time pro football leader Damon Allen with 72,381 next year, didn’t have a problem with it. And he didn’t throw out his own quote about using it as motivation Sunday.

“I know you only have one chance to win three in a row. But I’ll reflect on everything in the off season.

I’m still writing my legacy,” is as close as he came.

“I felt he was going to win,” said A.C.

“I knew it was going to be tight. He’s had an awesome year. It’s well-deserved.”

It was as close as, well, a Grey Cup game.

Burris 32, Calvillo 28.

Of the 60 voters, that’s how it polled.

Sitting at a table at a luncheon with the media earlier in the day Calvillo admitted he’d thought about that.

“It would be amazing to do that,” he said.

He was denied.

“He’s had an unbelievable season, I think better than the last two years I’ve been with him,” head coach Marc Trestman said at the coaches press conference Wednesday.

“I thought he was the guy,” said Alouettes G.M. Jim Popp.

“He had the best quarterback efficiency rating, the best win-loss, the best passing totals and he didn’t play three games.”

Calvillo’s pass efficiency rating was 108.1 to Burris 101.9.

Calvillo had a pass completion percentage of 67.6 to Burris’ 66.2.

And the stat that many figured would settle it – Burris threw 20 to Calvillo’s seven.

Burris threw for more yards – 4,945 to 4,839 – and led in touchdown passes 38-32.

But, again, Calvillo missed three games.

Calvillo is at his eighth Grey Cup, coming to the end of the career and reflected yesterday about coming back to the city where he won his first one.

“The first thing about coming to Edmonton for the Grey Cup in 2002 is that it was my ninth year in the league and only my second time in the Grey Cup,” he said.

One of the scribes at the table asked him about his first one in 2000.

“What would you have said it someone told you, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll be back another seven times?”

The 38-year-old laughed.

“I would have said ‘Yeah, right.’”

The next year Calvillo won his first of what remains at three most outstanding player awards.

“I keep telling guys ‘Listen, this doesn’t happen all the time. We’re in a unique situation. It ain’t because you dress up as an Alouette that you’re going to be in this game.”

And it doesn’t mean that Anthony Calvillo is going to win the most outstanding player award every year.

Follow me on Twitter.com/sunterryjones

terry.jones@sunmedia.ca


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