Steve Simmons on Mosca's new book

Steve Simmons's review of Angie's new autobiography. Looks like a must-read. I love the last paragraph below.

An Argo-Cat fan

TORONTO - It doesn’t seem to matter that he is 74 years old, needs a cane to walk and can barely lift himself out of a deep armchair.

It doesn’t seem to matter because he is Angelo Mosca, still King Kong, and the face hasn’t changed all that much over time: still chiseled and distinctive and so easily identified.

“In 1968, Pierre Trudeau was the most recognizable man in Canada,? Mosca said proudly Wednesday. “I was second.?

Today, he would still be high on anybody’s list: The Canadian Football League is filled with players and faces but no one quite like Angelo Mosca. A face we know, a voice we remember, a personality for the ages.

And now, after all these years, an author of his own story.

The launch for Tell Me To My Face, written alongside the fine columnist Steve Milton, at Real Sports, was typical Mosca on Wednesday morning and afternoon. Everybody was there. If you looked around the room, you would have seen George Chuvalo and Dave Raimey and Adriano Belli kissing anyone he could find. But this day, like most days, was about the most colourful, outspoken, angry, dirty, loved, despised figure in CFL history and a book written with love and pain and anguish and honesty. Which is how Mosca played. And how his story is now told.

“I really had no interest in doing a book until Bob Young (the Hamilton Tiger-Cats owner) talked me into it. He said: ‘Angelo, you have to have a legacy.’ And I figure, this guy’s made money, so I might as well listen to him.?

And then his wife said to him: ‘You have a story to tell. Tell the truth.’

And what came out wasn’t just truth, it was the makings of a blockbuster movie.

“I had a really rough childhood,? Mosca said. In just the first few pages of the book, Mosca relates a deep secret he has kept hidden until now. He grew up outside racist Boston, the son of a white father, an African American mother. Mosca was, by the standards of his time, a black child who couldn’t or wouldn’t let anyone know what he was.

“America was a very prejudiced country and being black meant, at the very least, that you probably weren’t going to get anywhere in life. Your chance for success was very slim. Nobody wanted you around. You would be called ‘nigger’ and would automatically be considered a lazy bum ...

“Even in Boston, we would read about lynchings and murders ...

“My dad died 25 years ago. I didn’t go to the funeral. And when my mom died a few years ago, I didn’t go to the funeral, either. I had no reason to go. I raised myself. They treated me like a nigger, in the most ugly and hateful sense of the word. Once I left home, I had no respect for my parents. They didn’t want me, so I didn’t want them.?

About a year and a half ago, when the entrepreneurial Young was preparing to launch the self-publishing website, he approached Mosca about writing a book. The Ticats put Milton and Mosca together, even though they’d known each other for years, and once a week they began meeting at Mosca’s St. Catharines home. Hours and hours and hours of taped conversations turned into 98,000 words, edited down to 65,000 for book size.

“I could have written a sequel,? said Milton. He still might consider it.

There are so many sides to the Mosca story, from lousy childhood to kid on the streets to college football star to prejudice at U.S. universities to his time starring in the CFL on the Ticats’ defensive line, his time in the pro wresting world, and all that his life has been since.

“I’ve learned a few things doing this,? said Milton. “I learned not to piss him off. I also learned he has a heart as big as this country. He’s not a Canadian by birth, but he’s done more for the country, loves the country more than any Canadian I know.?

The old man who loves this country could have ended up like some of his childhood friends, in jail for murder. He did only small-time crimes himself, such as running dice games on the street in his teenaged years.

“We’d have a game going and I’d yell: ‘Police are coming.’ And everyone would scatter. I’d scoop up all the money from the game and take off. Then I’d set up a game someplace else.?

That was a almost 60 years ago. Now he still likes people to know who is he, and who he used to be.

“I introduced myself to a rookie the other day. I said: ‘I’m Angelo Mosca.’’ And he said: ‘Yeah, hi’ — like he really wasn’t interested. I couldn’t help myself. I said ‘Hey, a------, come here. He didn’t know what to do. He froze. I showed him the only two rings I wear — my ’65 Grey Cup ring and my Hall of Fame ring.’ It’s important for people to know who came before them."

Stories like Angies are definitely worth being in the public domain for many reasons.

“I introduced myself to a rookie the other day. I said: ‘I’m Angelo Mosca.’’ And he said: ‘Yeah, hi’ — like he really wasn’t interested. I couldn’t help myself. [b]I said ‘Hey, a------, come here[/b]. He didn’t know what to do. He froze. I showed him the only two rings I wear — my ’65 Grey Cup ring and my Hall of Fame ring.’ It’s important for people to know who came before them."
I don't know about the rest of you but for someone who writes about how he was abused psychologically as a child by his parents, you don't go around bullying strangers 60 years later into bowing down to you by ordering them around and calling them an "a** h***" :? ....they did nothing to deserve that nonsense

He's not quite the legend I would want my kids looking up to.....I'll take classy, polite and respectful people like Garney Henley, Russ Jackson, Bernie Ruoff and a gazillion others any day before a fellow like Mosca....sorry Mosca lovers but the man has no right to treat innocent people this way and I object to it. That's only my opinion of course and you have a right to your own. I'm not impressed in the least by his ongoing antics.I respect those around him who thought it was a good idea for him to write it but there are far better and more worthy people out there who have something of quality to pass on to the next generation.....

that's the way I feel :expressionless:

I guess you won’t be purchasing a copy of his book

He probably won't be. I'm not sure if I will or not.

I respect deerhunter's point, and I must say Garney Henley and Russ Jackson are better examples of the kind of leadership I admire in football players. So is Danny McManus, another retired player whose name has been on this board recently.

Not to say I don't have regard for Angelo, I do... he was a Ticat legend and still is in many ways.

I hear what you're saying deerhunter. I only met the man in person once. That was during Grey Cup week in Montreal in 2008. We had just had lunch at the hotel bar, and when we came out, he was sitting in an easy chair in the lobby with another well-known former CFLer. So we stopped and chatted with them both for a bit. Mrs MadJack, only having immigrated to Canada in 2001, of course had no idea who either of these men were, so I had to do a quick explanation.

But the identity of the other former player? Well talk about contrasts. You referred to "a gazillion others" who would qualify as being classy, polite, and respectful along the lines of Henley, Jackson, and Ruoff. I'm sure you'd agree that this gentleman (and that is what he was, and remains) qualifies for inclusion.

Prince Hal Patterson. an addendum to my post above....this is the stuff that Bob Young does behind the scenes all the time in this really pisses me off when I see the cheap, un-informed criticism of the guy like we saw in the stadium shyte!'s so wrong!.....does anyone honestly believe he needs this crap he gets all the time from "haters" ? :roll:

deer, you are hurting many of those at RTH who see Bob as the "evil incarnate". :wink:

I don't know why everybody is so hard on poor old Angie.
O.K. - he may not be the 'model' citizen, and maybe he swears too much for my liking ( or yours ) .
But give the guy some slack. He payed his dues - let him have the fun to enjoy reaping the benefits.
I don't know him personally; never met the man . But I do remember him playing in the '60s, and saw him play when Bernie Faloney was still the QB, at ( I think they called it: Civic Stadium ). He was a force to contend with.
Now - if Steve Simmons says he has a big heart, I'll believe it, and leave it at that. Angie may be a bit rough on the edges, but I bet he would take the shirt off his back, to help anyone in need.
He kind of reminds me of Don Cherry. Poor old Don - I remember watching my HABS put down the Bruins in the 70s.
There was a lot of talent on that Team, with the likes of Orr, Esposito, Hodge, etc. I think he just got out-coached.
Sure Don has a big mouth, & sometimes he puts his foot in it. But I respect him, 'cause he tells it like it is.
When he talks about 'our boys' in Afghanistan, he really feels for them.
So, you know what you are dealing with, with the likes of Mosca & Cherry.
I would rather have these guys on my ship, then someone who keeps it quiet, and stabs you in the back...
But you are entitled to your opinion, of course...
The Eagle - :cowboy: :cowboy: :cowboy:

Well Angelo didn't bully a stranger per se. He offered a new Tiger-Cat an "Angelo Mosca" introduction to the history of football in Hamilton. How many former players care enough or stick around to even introduce themselves at all? Was it Ang's ego introducing himself? Sure, that's part of it i'm sure, but it's also a certain part of the tough team lore we are known for. He's had 9 Grey Cup appearances. He still follows the team and has a lot to say about current issues. I think he's earned the right to be who he is. I for one am a fan of his abilities, his bigger than life character, his love of Hamilton, the Tiger-Cats, of Canada, and yes his ego. He started out behind the 8-ball and he did what he felt he had to do. Like Milton said, "He has a heart as big as this country". I realize some people are offended by name calling and people who use words in close quarters that make some cringe. I get that. I don't swear myself. But he's Angelo Mosca. Tough, talented, mean, big, egotistical, but someone who knows more than most what heartfelt pain is really like and someone I always got the sense from that he was probably one of the nicest persons you could ever meet.

I can't believe what I'm reading. If we're all products of our environments, maybe Ange can be forgiven for being a bit rough around the edges. Also, linemen are a different breed than the QBs, DBs and kickers that other posters have mentioned. They are chosen for their innate aggressiveness and then further coached to be even more aggressive. This guy is an all-time TiCat because he was one of the best at his position over a long period of time. So he set some young guy straight about who he is and what he'd accomplished. Maybe a few more of these young guys need to learn that lesson too.

An Argo-Cat fan

P.S. As a kid, I used to hate Mosca but damn, I always respected him.

Quoted for truth. Mosca was a different generation.

Just the stories of when Hamilton play Ottawa with Ron Stewart and Billy Joe Booth (The Baby Face Assassin)there would be fisticuffs and Mosca would be right in the middle of them. :thup: :smiley:

Here's a blast from the past, not a bad heel promo

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"and just remember, I'm the master of disaster"

Let Angelo's experience be a lesson to many.I think he took a lot of pain but still left his mark in life and fought through his personal pain to do it also.I would rather talk to a local hero than a silver platter gentleman who had life given to him on a platter any day,you can learn about determination and survival amongst other things from people like Angelo.By the way somebody that would say something nasty about him without knowing who he is is not a true gentleman but just a self rightous judgemental little piggy. :cowboy:


Oski Wee Wee,


Ang is great! Love him! Steeltown black and gold, through and through!

Tough as nails and a fantastic team mate.

Wish more players had his attitude.

A competitor and winner.

A huge asset to Tigertown.

He is Tigertown personified!

@ doubt, as a player, he was all of what you just said. He was a great asset and I'll always credit him for that. He put his body through things that mine wouldn't last 20 minutes.

As a related subject, apparantly Zuger threw the ball so hard, most of his receivers have spent their lives with narled (sp?) fingers. The late Gord Christian showed me his one day and they were an absolute mess. Ouch!

When Mosca played Hamilton ruled the CFL. There's many sides to the CFL and Moaca ruled the ruff tough side in the trenches. Many time I watch those guys run off the field with blood all over their uniforms.

I am looking forward to Reading the Book