CFL: Is Anthony Calvillo The Greatest Quarterback Ever?

TJ ZwarychSenior Writer IJuly 28, 2009

26 Nov 2000:  Anthony Calvillo #13 of the Montreal Alouettes runs with the ball during the Grey Cup 2000 game against the British Columbia Lions at the McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The Lions defeated the Alouettes 28-26.Mandatory Credit: Craig Klem /Allsport

There is a legitimate argument that Montreal Alouette quarterback Anthony Calvillo is the best quarterback in the history of the CFL. Calvillo currently sits second all time with 335 career touchdown passes, and is 34 yards away from being the second quarterback in the history of the CFL to reach 60,000 yards passing and is just over 12,000 yards away from being first. Now you might think, well, wouldn't the person who is first in both of these categories be the best ever? Well maybe, but considering Damon Allen has played 7 more seasons than Calvillo and has attempted over 2,000 more passes, I don't think so.

There are other people in the equation that you could consider: Doug Flutie, Dave Dickenson, Warren Moon, Ricky Ray, Ron Lancaster and Jeff Garcia to name a few. Warren Moon and Doug Flutie probably are the two best quarterbacks to ever play in the CFL, but both had the majority of their careers in the NFL so can't really be considered the best ever CFL quarterbacks.

The three main ones in the debate are probably Anthony Calvillo, Damon Allen and Ron Lancaster. Anthony Calvillo just broke Ron Lancasters record for second most all time touchdown passes, but Calvillo has played one less season and currently has 210 less interceptions. The most touchdowns Lancaster has had in a season was 25, for Allen it was 34 and for Calvillo it was 43. Interception wise, for Lancaster it was 28, Allen it was 31 and Calvillo it was 21 in his second season in the league. With these stats it surely looks like Calvillo is the best, but like Rider legend Ron Lancaster said himself "Stats are for losers". 

Anthony Calvillo and Ron Lancaster each have on Grey Cup while Damon Allen has 4. That and having almost 12,000 rushing yards in his career are the biggest arguments for Damon Allen being the best. However, considering how good Calvillo and the Alouettes are right now, it's fair to say that Calvillo could win 2-3 more Grey Cups as the Alouettes are currently the obvious favorites to win tis years Grey Cup.

Now I can't predict the future, but Anthony Calvillo could easily beat Damon Allen's passing yards and passing touchdown records with three or four more good seasons, but he is getting old and no one knows if his arm will hold up for that long. My pick, is Anthony Calvillo but the debate continues and we will have a much better idea once his career is over.