Dirty Bird Blog: Running On Empty

After six grueling months of camp, practice, 2 pre-season games & 18 regular-season games, the Montreal Alouettes had to win 3 more games to continue their Grey Cup dynasty.

With all the injuries they’ve suffered this season, it was nothing short of a miracle just to compete in the Eastern Semi-Final versus the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. But success requires a combination of talent and luck and despite their best efforts this past Sunday, the depleted talent of the Alouettes wasn’t enough and their luck simply ran out.

Anthony Calvillo certainly silenced the critics that felt Jamel Richardson deserved the nod over him for Most Outstanding Player by turning in a tremendous effort. Throwing for over 500 yards & three touchdowns to rack up 44 points would normally be more than enough to win a game. Unfortunately, the depleted defense unit allowed 52 points to be scored.

With starters like Shea Emry, Jerald Brown, Etienne Boulay and so many more on the injured list, Hamilton was able to take advantage & torch the Alouettes in their own home away from home, where they’ve never lost an Eastern semi-final before.

So now all the wags are out & talking about the dynasty being over. That AC is now washed up and needs to be replaced/retire. Blow up the current team and start over!

Whoa now….let’s step off the ledge and have a little talk, shall we?

While Calvillo hasn’t been stellar in the weeks leading up to this last game, he’s shown that he still has a lot left in him despite being 39 & his body taking a major beating this calendar year. That being said, should he return next season management will have to strongly consider the future for when AC does hang ‘em up for good.

Adrian McPherson has proven he can win and has paid his dues as the backup. I truly feel that he can start for any CFL team and it’s clear that the time to make him the man in Montreal is fast approaching.

I think starting next season if he is truly going to be the next great Alouettes QB, you start slowly making the transition from Calvillo to McPherson. Thankfully, AC is NOT Brett Favre and will not overstay his welcome and become a pathetic shell of himself. He has expressed the interest in helping Mac5 take over this team when the time comes and hopefully the coaching staff will work towards that goal. Not to mention wanting to help advance youth football in the Montreal area, which again speaks volumes to Anthony’s character.

Calvillo has nothing left to prove to anyone. He is the greatest quarterback this league has ever seen and the numbers, records & Grey Cup rings prove it. I think the only thing he has left to do is to leave the organization better than how he found it & helping McPherson the same way Tracy Ham helped AC take over would complete the circle.

There will be other changes afoot; players retire or move on to other teams. In the unforgiving world of football, that’s to be expected. In the coming weeks I’ll expand on who I’d want to stay and who will likely go and other changes that need to happen. Right now it’s all speculation as the Alouettes faithful will sit and look back on what might have been for this 2011 season.


I was hoping to go to the Grey Cup this year to watch the Alouettes three-peat, but it was not meant to be for either of us. I was involved in a contest to win a trip to it and like our beloved Alouettes, just didn’t have enough to win.

Perhaps it’s just as well; I wasn’t exactly looking forward to watching the Winnipeg Blue Bombers versus the Edmonton Eskimos, even if it was an all-expenses paid trip to Vancouver.

I get that a lot of people go to Grey Cup to support the league and that’s great….but I don’t go to Stanley Cup Finals games to support the NHL or World Series games to support Major League Baseball. I’d go if my team was playing.

But I do hope that all the CFL fans have a great time in Vancouver. I’ll be sure to be in Toronto next year for the 100th Grey Cup. My focus as a fan in 2012 though will be to cross off another stadium from my bucket list.

If it’s not the Alouettes at Touchdown Atlantic (an event up in the air due to aforementioned Grey Cup), then I’m leaning towards invading Riderville in Saskatchewan. We’ll see what comes in February when the CFL schedule is released. Be prepared, Western Canada!


There’s still time to enter the Sun Life Financial contest! Details below:

The 99th Grey Cup is the first one where Sun Life Financial will be a major sponsor and they are excited to be a part of the game. Whichever two teams make it to the game on November 27th will have a patch on their jerseys featuring the Sun Life Financial logo.

To celebrate, the company is having a contest open to all CFL fans where the winner will receive an authentic jersey of the CFL team of their choice! Entering the contest is so easy; just head over to http://www.facebook.com/SLFCanada and “Like” their page.

If you don’t have an Alouettes jersey already, then shame on you. But now’s your chance to fix that with this great contest. Enter now and help support a terrific sponsor of the Grey Cup.


So I’ll be checking in every now and again this off-season with news and assorted events. To be sure you see it all, bookmark www.dirtybirdblog.ca or follow me on Twitter to know for sure when the next DBB will appear.

Thanks again to the folks at ProSportsBlogging.com for giving me the forum to speak to all you great football fans. Already, I can’t wait for next year!

So for one last time in 2011,