Montreal Alouettes / Rogerio Barbosa
10. Anthony Calvillo’s Jersey Retirement
Anthony Calvillo had a tremendous CFL career. He was among the best CFL quarterbacks to ever play the game. Then, his wife Alexia was diagnosed with cancer and he took a leave of absence for the rest of the 2007 season.
I thought he was going to retire then. Then, the next year under Marc Trestman, the team made the Grey Cup at Olympic Stadium and lost to the Calgary Stampeders. He was in tears after the game saying this was a chance that would never come again. I realize now, he had promised his wife a win in that game. I thought he was going to retire then.
He ended up coming back and won back-to-back Grey Cups. One of those while battling a cancer scare of his own. And he became the best statistical passer in Canadian Football League history.
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The point is, Calvillo throughout his life and career was the image of perseverance. He brought so much to the Alouettes organization both on and off the field, and in October on Thanksgiving Monday, the Alouettes biggest crowd of the season came to thank him.
There were even Saskatchewan Roughrider fans in attendance who had “Thanks Anthony” on the back of their green jerseys. He earned respect around the entire the league and he deserved everything. He will join his teammate Ben Cahoon (who was also honoured at Molson Stadium for his Hall of Fame induction this season) at the Canadian Football Hall of Fame soon.
It was a great ceremony with former teammates and the Alouettes did it right. Calvillo gave a great speech as well. He will now also be a coach for the Alouettes this coming season.
Next: No. 9: Back-to-Back Golds