A key member of the 2010 edition of the Alouettes and a three-time Gray Cup champion as a player, the legendary Anthony Calvillo experienced his fourth win in recent days differently, this one as the offensive coordinator of the team to which he has given so much over the past two decades.
The former star guard just finished his fifth campaign with the Birds as an instructor with the euphoria of victory, following a 28-24 victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers last Sunday.
Since making the transition to the side, Calvillo will not only have glorious moments before he tastes success again, but we can sense that the 51-year-old American is immensely proud to have played a part in this eighth Montreal Gray Cup.
On Wednesday, surrounded by his family members, he paraded through the streets of their adopted city.
After the paradeCalvillo recounted the emotions experienced during the interview given in French to our colleague Luc Bellemare, fromAnteroom.
“I wanted to experience (the parade) with my daughters and my wife, so that they would have the experience. But also for the team, and especially for the Quebecers who are part of it… Marc-Antoine Dequoy and Pier-Olivier Lestage. “For them, winning with the Alouettes is a spectacular achievement,” he said.
If the Als were not in the predictions of the experts, both at the beginning of the regular part and at the beginning of the playoffs, Calvillo persists in the belief that the attitude in the locker room was completely different.
“This year the mentality was, ‘We’re going to win’ every week. It was important for us to block out the noise. (…) We were aware that we were not giving away our skin cheaply, but for us confidence reigned in our dressing room. Trailing or not, we still believed in our chances to win the game. »
Calvillo’s eyes light up when it comes to fullback Cody Fajardo’s stellar performance throughout the season, and of course at the Gray Cup, as the final match’s Most Valuable Player.
“Cody has improved in every match he has played this year. Along with my advice, Jason Maas’ advice as well. He’s grown a lot and I’m proud of all the growth in his game,” said the holder of numerous CFL records at the quarterback position.
Calvillo said the sequence of events that led to Als’ game-winning touchdown took courage, especially after Fajardo took a sack that gave his club a second down and 18 yards to go.
“Jason and I are in constant communication. We told Cody we were in ‘three down’ mode at this point. He made a run to help us win the third game and his pass to Cole (Spieker) was incredible. While he was throwing the ball at him, Austin Mack served him as bait (bait) and successfully completed this mandate. »
Maas and the importance of the French fact
Since he prides himself on giving the interview exclusively in French, it is not surprising that Calvillo praises Maas for the great importance he placed on the French language.
Maas wanted his players and coaching staff to make an effort to immerse themselves in French-speaking culture.
“It’s pretty amazing. He is the first head coach for whom it was very important that every man in the team learn French words, including the jersey number. There was a lot of practice with the DuoLingo tool. There was a big competition to see who could say a few sentences, always in the spirit of the game.”
Calvillo smiled when reminded of Dequoy’s comments, mentioning that as a youngster he was at the 2010 Gray Cup parade, which featured “AC,” Ben Cahoon and Matthieu Proulx, to name a few.
This first victory in thirteen years represents a kind of transfer of power, according to the former number 13.
“New memories are being made for young fans. I was able to share my experience with the Quebecers on the team. Now they could enjoy it in turn. »