August 2016 – Waiting for the Other Shoe (Dying on the Inside)

I keep checking my Google Calendar. At THIS point it’s really only been 3 days since the Alouettes lost to the Eskimos. Hard to believe…

A pall has fallen over this city. I keep checking the media…NOTHING. Nothing about the rolling tragedy that IS the Montreal Alouettes. NOTHING at TSN or CFL.ca, or even 3DownNation. Not especially surprising. At best the Alouettes have been the “vestigal limb” of this league…it’s importance limited to demarking the CFL’s Eastern boundries. As far as the rest of the country goes….Montreal is a GREAT place to party. THAT’s about IT.

But when the Montreal Gazette, and RDS the French TV network, have limited their analysis to ONE article EACH, when this team is literally tearing itself apart, it’s an insult to the city, and whatever true blue Alouettes fans exist within it’s borders.

Make no mistake…we’re HERE. OK…I’ve NEVER actually met another Alouettes fan OTHER than at sports appropriate events. But I’m convinced they’re out there…somewhere. Maybe I need to get out more in VISIBLE Alouettes paraphernalia.

If I did…MAYBE SOMEONE WOULD DO ME THE COURTESY OF AN OPINION ABOUT WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THE ALS. Oh…NOBODY at this point is shocked when you coyly  suggest Anthony Calvillo is in over his head. One TSN camera shot of AC tells you ALL you need to know. Calvillo is so LOST he makes Tom Higgins look like Chris Jones after someone slipped him an ARROGANCE pill.

“Win with class? KISS MY ASS!!!”  (I’ll bet Dickenson wishes he’d thought of THAT comeback)

RDS’s Pierre Vercheval wrote a 6 million word THESIS entitled “Les Gros Canons des Alouettes doivent mieux s’acquitter de leur tache”  which loosely translates as “Alouettes Big Guns need to do their jobs better.” He goes on to point out that Alouettes players have to do a better job executing the playbook. THEN…halfway through his article, he switches gears and writes a LAMENT about how unfair it’s been that Calvillo’s was promoted to his position WITHOUT the benefit of adequate tutoring.

BOTH of which may well be true. Calvillo is OBVIOUSLY out of his depth. And ascending from receiver’s coach to offensive-coordinator, in your 1st season as coach, in the span of 2 weeks, is INSANE. NO DOUBT all the players are aware of this bizarre situation, have little confidence in Calvillo’s ability to lead the offence, and as a consequence are NOT executing as they should.

BUT…is it REALLY the time to muddy the waters? THIS team is in BIG trouble. It is essential that we identify the cause and adjust…NOW. EITHER the cause of our problems is a group of players who are underperforming (Jim Popp’s apparent claim) OR the root cause is a coaching staff that’s INCAPABLE of putting it’s players in a position to win. ONE OR THE OTHER. You can’t choose BOTH!

At least Zurkowsky’s efforts end with a flourish. But what does it say of a city, and it’s relationship with this team, when THIS is the 1st time, in the almost 1 full season since Calvillo’s ascension to his present position, that ANYONE has publicly questioned his competence? Herb publicly dropped a BOMBSHELL.

But it’s something we’ve all known since Turk Schonert was let go and was replaced by AC…AND THINGS GOT WORSE.

September 5th 2015: Calvillo was promoted to “co” offensive-coordinator and solo “playcaller”. The Alouettes record since? 4 wins 11 losses!!!

-We’re dying on the inside. Dying on the inside. DYING ON THE INSIDE!!!

HONESTLY…the ONLY question of ANY validity on this team…is whether WE get rid of Jim Popp BEFORE he gets rid of Rakeem Cato, and potentially the future of this franchise.

Could NEVER happen? Cato’s too talented? Popp was shopping Cato around in the offseason. THIS IS FACT. Never happen?

Tell that to Chad Owens, who was released (according to Popp) because he tried to strong-arm the team into getting rid of Andrew Hawkins. Interestingly…Popp’s attempt to discredit Owens came ONLY after the Flying Hawaiian cleaned up as league MOP…and Popp was beset by furious Alouettes supporters. And now there’s Chris Rainey…

Jim Popp HAS TO GO. AS GM, Director of football operations, Head Coach AND football God. JIM POPP HAS TO GO FOR THIS FRANCHISE TO SURVIVE!!!

I would hope Anthony Calvillo realizes his mistake in accepting a position WELL beyond his abilities. Who knows what kind of coach he’ll make eventually, assuming a NORMAL apprenticeship?

But AC needs to start at the bottom…and NOW apparently…so do WE.

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