December 2016 – The Down Side of Sentimentality

At some point last off-season I posited a conversation between Jim Popp and Bob Wetenhall. Popp convinced a reluctant Wetenhall to retain his services as Head Coach in order to preserve Calvillo’s un-merited position as offensive-coordinator. The premise was ROCK SOLID, inasmuch as it was UNDENIABLE that ANY potential legitimate HC candidate would baulk at the prospect. NOT ONLY would an HC wish to create his OWN offence, with his own choice as OC, he’d certainly have more than ONE issue with Calvillo’s lack of experience and ZERO “street cred”.

Here we are one year later and the results were as predicted. As a consequence, Popp is GONE and the Alouettes search for a GM to replace him.

And yet…the 2 legitimate contenders for the GM position have been all but eliminated. 3DownNation reports that the Alouettes owners are considering a radical re-structuring of how things get done…proposing internal candidate and ST coordinator Kavis Reed as GM, with Danny Maciocia as Director of Football Operations and Chapedelaine as HC and defacto OC.

What this MEANS on the ground is anyone’s guess. BUT guessing what’s at the heart of yet ANOTHER Alouettes quirky “DYSFUNCTION” isn’t so hard to puzzle out…once we assume Wetenhall NEVER abandoned the plan for AC’s eventual ascension to H.C., O.C. and Alouettes’ G.O.D.

So…as this has become a tradition…I give you yet another hypothetical conversation, THIS time between Bob Wetenhall and Danny Maciocia:

Bob: “So Danny. What kind of things do you have in mind for this team?”

Danny: “The Alouettes need to give this franchise back to the public. There’s been too many  broken lines of communication. A culture of secrecy and double dealings have created a rift that needs to be adressed before we move forward..”

Bob: “I see.”

Danny: “Furthermore, and I may be shooting myself in the foot by promoting another candidate, but look at what Ottawa has accomplished in 3 short seasons. Canadian players are at the HEART of that Grey Cup win. I can GUARANTEE you I never would have let Patrick Lavoie go, for instance. Having 3 Canadian D-linemen was a CRUCIAL element.”

Bob: “You mean ‘Nationals'” smirking.

Danny: “Nationals…right.” chuckles “This team has populated it’s offensive unit with veteran stars from other teams…and while Nik Lewis and Steph Logan have been ENORMOUS contributors to this team…exciting…dynamic young talent is the way to build a Championship team. We’ve got some work to do…ESPECIALLY on offence.”

Bob: “Speaking of offence…we’re determined to keep Chapdelaine as OC and HC. He’s proven himself EXTREMELY competent, and we’d like your thoughts on what would traditionally be an incoming GM’s prerogative: to pick his guy for the positions.”

Danny: “Look. I saw what Jacques did at the end of last season. Impressive. I can’t think of anyone I’d rather get this done with…for the moment. If things go south down the road, I reserve the right to make changes…that’s only fair.”

Bob: “That’s only fair.” hesitating

Danny: “What? What is it Bob?”

Bob: “You know how I feel about Anthony. Anthony Calvillo.”

Danny: head down…nods. “Here it comes.” he muses in resignation.

Bob: “We have big plans for Anthony. I’ll admit we may have pushed his coaching career along prematurely. But we’re determined that Anthony lead this team on the sidelines. Sooner than later.”

Danny: “Look Bob. I was considering dumping AC altogether. He’s ENTIRELY unqualified as a coordinator. And frankly, I fail to see his value as a coach in any way. I’m sorry to put it to you like this Bob, but I’m convinced you’ll run this franchise out of Montreal with your devotion to AC. Loyalty is ONE thing. But this is business after all.”

Bob: “Well …thank you for your candour Dan. We’ll let you know.”

Change the name to Brock Sunderland, OR any other legitimate GM candidate you can imagine…the results would be pretty much the same. And the results ultimately are these:

The Alouettes MAY have NO CHOICE but to choose Kavis Reed or another “internal” candidate for the job. ANYONE with a half a grain of sense would decline. AND with an incompetent GM…and as the team falls under the ABSOLUTE control of Anthony Calvillo, it’s fate is next to being SEALED.

Hopefully I won’t have to wait as long for the NEXT iteration of the Alouettes in this city, as I’ve been waiting for the Expos all these years.

I’m definitely NOT getting any younger.





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