Marsh Madness QB controversy?
Happy 41st Birthday and get well soon.
Make no mistake---this is still Anthony Calvillo's team.
A last-play miracle comeback doesn't change that. But as a near-full moon was exposed over Molson Stadium after fans and the Als players survived torrential downpours, swirling winds, more injuries and the 5-2 Lions, we may have witnessed a quarterback eclipse.
Tanner Marsh, wise beyond his 23 years, self-professed "Old School" quarterback proved he was over the moon, not over his head.
Marsh become the first Alouette quarterback born in the 1990s to throw a TD pass. Fresh out of Arkansas Tech---"The Wonder Boys"---he hasn't even had time to learn his interview cliches yet.
Asked if he thought Eric Deslauriers would haul in the long bomb toss moments after a drop on a short route, Marsh said of Deslauriers: "I'd go to him any day of the night."
Jim Popp had warned anyone who'd listen he might make the switch, but nobody expected the interim head coach to be Captain Hook.
Popp told me on the eve of the game his Marsh Madness moment came in the easily overlooked Als' pre-season loss to the Argos. Marsh rolled away from trouble he saw or sensed out of the corner of his eye, rolling back to the direction from where the pressure came. He then fired a bullet right on the mark.
Born in 1990!
Anthony Calvillo was already in junior college. His mentor Tracy Ham had already won a CFL "MOP" award.
But the Alouette quarterback circle of life goes all the way back to Texas and another "Old School" scrambler who could throw in the face of pressure.
Joe Barnes. He led the Als to a 7-0 start before breaking his leg and relinquishing the reins to Sonny Wade who went on to 1977 Grey Cup status.
Barnes would go into coaching and with the Baltimore Stallions helped relaunch Canadian Football Hall of Famer Tracy Ham's career.
Ham would then mentor Calvillo out of the wreckage of Las Vegas and one of the worst-ever Tiger-Cat clubs.
Calvillo has mentored Josh Neiswander, whose era as starter lasted all of 8 plays against the Lions. Neiswander's buddy and offseason workout partner Tanner Marsh has been eavesdropping and constantly asking questions of the man he has now surpassed as No. 2 on the QB depth chart.
So if AC is ready to become the first 41-year old to ever start a game for Montreal at QB, Marsh will have to wait for the next outbreak of "Marsh Madness" (his twitter handle @marshmadness16 finally shows more than 900 followers).
If Calvillo CANNOT start Labour Day Tuesday night against the Argos in Toronto because of ongoing post-concussion symptoms, Marsh become the 2nd Alouette in back-to-back games to make his first start in pro football.
All the evidence suggests he may not win, but he'll be entertaining while he battles for a win and for his teammates.
The Calvillo Era may yet extend for another 3 years, taking Anthony to the ultimate QB record by surpassing Damon Allen as the oldest to ever win a Grey Cup.
Tanner Marsh has proven worthy of another look and certainly won't let a 2006 Heisman Trophy winner named Troy Smith be be annointed The Next One.
And when no greater authority than Arland Bruce says you "got swag"...you got swag.
He also has fan support, winning hearts and minds and votes from Als supporters voting on our poll asking if he has won the right to start the next game.
A future Hall of Famer doesn't lose his job because of injury, but Montreal does have something special in Tanner Marsh.