It's bound to be discussed ad infinitum
But it would be interesting to see what people think here.
As AC continues to break records this year...some of them "all time gridiron football" records
It begs the questions:
Is Anthony Calvillo the greatest quarterback to ever play?
I guess the first point would be to discuss the NFL/CFL thing:
I'll leave the question of relative talent to someone else
But 2 down football and 3 down football are distinctly different
Someone will doubtless point out that while Anthony is close to breaking records in completions and total yardage...his CFL touchdown record leaves him well behind his NFL competition. While I prefer the CFL, there's no doubt that trying to put the ball into the endzone with only 2 attempts will...over the course of a career...skew that statistic. And I don't think that a larger endzone and wider field quite makes up for it.
Two down ball makes the CFL more of a passing game. It's been said over and over. So can a CFL quarterback even be compared to the greats in the NFL...when this basic fact is taken into consideration?
While Calvillo's talents include quick reads, a great release, accurate arm...and as has been so often mentioned...the tenacity to study, study, study...he doesn't exactly WOW you with his scrambling abilities.
It might be said that he's had to learn to read defences and release the ball quickly because of his lack of mobility...and a few painful seasons of high sacks and low success. But he has learned...and the last few years have been nothing short of spectacular.
To my mind, the only thing keeping Calvillo from being considered among the all-time greats was his lack of success in the Big Game. There's something wrong with a quarterback that can out-perform all others...every season...lead them to a Championship berth year after year...and then fail to lead them to the Ultimate Goal.
If you'd asked me 2 years ago I'd have said this is what disqualified Anthony from consideration as the Greatest Quarterback Ever.
But after 2 consecutive Grey Cups...and if he manages to lead the Alouettes to a 3rd...and however he's managed to turn this essential downside into glory I maintain that Anthony...as he continues to mow down all-time records...deserves consideration as one of the all-time greats...if not the Greatest.
Lets see... Doug Flutie, Warren Moon, Ron Lancaster, Damon Allen, Russ Jackson... I would put them all ahead of Calvillo... Calvillo is great, and should be mentioned among the greats.... but he isn't even in my top 5... you could even put guys like Dunigan, Wilkinson, Ploen, Brock in there as well.
Useless to compare the CFL/NFL players. You can't do it no matter how much you discuss the differences between the game. Unless a guy spent time in both leagues a la Flutie or Moon, there's no way of knowing.
As far as the CFL goes.. Flutie is the best. Moon is probably second best, though I didn't get to see him play. I'd have Calvillo 3rd all-time in the CFL.
If I was playing half NFL, half CFL games in the season - Warren Moon
If I was playing straight NFL - Joe Montana
If I was playing straight CFL - Anthony Calvillo
I think he's among the greatest to play in the CFL, but the truly great QB's were only here a short time so I still leave him behind Flutie and Moon for sure.
to truly answer this question as much as we can not being able to take intangibles into account, figure out per game stats for all leading contenders. AC, just like Allen, will not be very near the top. Got all the respect in the world for AC and he is for sure better than Allen, but I think there was more than just Flutie and Moon that were better. For sure, he is no better than 3rd.
Not sure what kind of interest there may or may not have been in AC from the NFL
It's fair to say that AC's first years with Las Vegas and Hamilton were lean...but it's also fair that the teams behind Anthony weren't exactly powerhouses. Moon was coming off a 5 GC Championship in a row Eskimos team...and Flutie won two Grey Cups with the Toronto Argonauts, in 1996 (The Snow Bowl) and 1997, before signing with the Buffalo Bills.
It sometimes strikes me as amazing how AC and other CFL greats can keep drives alive with so little margin for error. There's no question that the NFL's extra down can be a huge boon to a quarterback and his stats.
That alone makes it really difficult to compare quarterbacks from both leagues....but looking at the success of a Moon, Theismann, Flutie and others...I can't help wondering how Calvillo would have fared down south.
Lots of super thoughts here.
What is sad is that there is a Montreal Gazette writer, by the name of Mike Bloome, wbo basically mentioned to.me he doesn't care or respect AC,.a.qb in his own city because he told me he is "total NFL" guy. Loser writer. I responded I am a total football guy. Like Paul Godfrey and Phil Lind, these guys don't have the intelligence to know bow to love both.
He's certainly among the best, but not the greatest QB. Calvillo's best seasons have come in his later years and unlike guys like Moon and Flutie, he didn't instantly dominate in the CFL. Another knock on him is that he isn't all that dynamic personality wise or as a player. Also until 2009, he was seen as a QB who couldn't win the big game. Grey Cup losses in 2003,2005,2006,2008 is a blemish on his resume.
All in all, Clavillo still had a great career and a very classy guy.
Can't argue with that geroy. Love Calvillo but would he be the no. 1 guy in my books to toss around a ball with a CFL great qb in my backyard? No. But in the top 4 of 5 for sure.
Russ Jackson is my man followed by Flutie and then Lancaster, AC after that, perhaps.
And forgot about Moon of course!
yeah, I thought so.
Maybe throw in Parker as well?
Parker, before my time but of the clips I've seen, wow!
For those who cannot remember him in a Hamilton uni, here is a clip just posted:
damn do I ever miss earl winfield.
And the TiCats let him go? :?
I am old enough to remember Jackie Parker and IMHO he is the greatest CFL player of all time, hands down. Many considered him not only the best quarterback in the CFL at the time but the best quarterback on the planet. He came to the CFL because at that time the CFL paid more than the NFL. Many CFL quarterbacks at that time were heisman candidates, Ploen, Joe Kapp etc.