111121612 Vol. 18, No. 8 Saturday, October 20, 2012 Hudson, St. Lazare, Senneville, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Baie d'Urfe, Beaconsfield, Chateauguay, Kirkland, Pte. Claire, Pierrefonds, D.D.O., Dorval, Lachine, NDG, CSL, Ville St-Laurent, Mtl-West, Hampstead, Westmount, Montreal, Lasalle, Verdun, Laval

What's in Our Heads

It's amazing what you can accomplish when your heart and your mind are in the right place. Amazing we never know for sure who or what will steer us there. Anthony Calvillo and his brothers are cases in point, their intertwined fates explored in the great new documentary "The Kid From La Puente" forTSN's ENGRAVED ON A NA- TION series. Rick Moffat Sports It is inspiring viewing for families, cancer patients, and of course for football fans too, although director Shelley Saywell confessed to me this week she didn't know anything about the CFL or our big-hearted quarterback of the Alouettes before making the film. She reveals the story of why Anthony wanted to avoid wearing the #13. Yet he's carried it on his back like a cross to bear while 999102812 his older brother carried the gangland tats of Puente-13, a street-gang from their barrio in East LA, to prison and back. Saywell also revealed to me, in an interview for CJAD 800, that she wanted Anthony to do the narration, but the guy is so darned humble he couldn't bring himself to say any of the nice things about himself in the script. AC finally lost a starting job. Younger brother Mario narrates. True to form, AC hasn't watched the final cut. Too busy with film study of the Riders this week. It is a story of healing and closure. YetAnthony's father is not interviewed. Saywell tells me Calvillo and his dad have had their private reconciliation. It is not addressed on film. The quarterback who has aired it out like no other on the field is not about to air all the family laundry. Now Saywell admits-she's a fan. The only thing cooler than Brandon Prust tweeting an impromptu ballhockey invite on the very day Bettman went on the Lockout PR powerplay would have been Geoff Molson coming down from his Bell Centre office to join the game with fans. Prust was optimistic after sleeping on the owners' new offer. Me? Not so 111012713 much. If I was Aislin, I'd have drawn Bettman and Fehr sitting in the backroom of a gelato shop stuffing millions into their hockey socks. Prust is listed as a LW on the Habs website but admitted to me in an interview for the Andrew Carter Morning Show that he feels he can be more involved and have a bigger impact playing at centre. I swear I could almost hear him speaking with a Danish accent and channelling Lars Eller. For a guy who doesn't care about individual stats or accolades, Shea Emry sure is having fun with his first career CFL touchdown. The heel-toe kick after flapping his ball-hawk wings in the endzone of Rogers Centre to clinch an Alouette home playoff date became his twitter feed profile picture this week. Truth is Shea is taking his life to a higher level on and off the field. "Being back on the field making plays and helping my team win is such a great feeling," says Emry, rewarded by Coach Trestman with 2 days off in a row, a rarity for a short turnaround week in the CFL. The painful twists and turns along the road to recovery from concussion 111012713 suffered last July against Calgary led directly to that joyous jump that also sparked friendly teasing on his facebook page. Concussion stigmata are bad enough in football without ever having to deal with the least-talked about after effects. Depression. From the Latin "concutere"--"to shake violently"--a concussion self-diagnosis was on Emry's mind by the time he hit the bench on the sideline last summer even though it was the first time he'd been concussed as a player. It wasn't the first time his brain had shaken him violently or emotionally. Concussions threaten bouts of depression. Emry,bullied in his younger days, already had experience with battling the demons of emotional illness. "It was something that threatened my livelihood. When that identity as a football player is questioned it hits home," admits the 5th year Alouette. "It made me do a lot of soul-searching in the offseason. I got back to the basics. I take every game and situation outside of football as a blessing and an opportunity to make myself better." "I had to get my mind right and my soul right." His football c.v. says he's a 1st Round Draft pick from UBC in 2008. It doesn't tell you that he'd left EasternWashington after fighting depression. ""The depression came from feeling like an outsider...and here I was again after the concussion, feeling I wasn't part of the team. You're sitting on your butt sedentary,finding some kind of self-worth and it's difficult ....facing the abyss of life. I took a long time to recover." "My emotional state was difficult to deal with," recalls the Vancouver-native listed at 220' pounds of muscle on a solid 6' frame. "I kept calling my parents telling them to get me out of there. I had to take sleeping pills to go to sleep, I was crying myself to sleep,my mind was racing." "I'm glad I had football. When I came out of a cloud of depression,I came out of my cloud of bullying. Football helped me take out my aggression." "Last year I really wanted to get back, I really felt like I was letting my teammates down. Some symptoms would come back...the team handled it with a lot of class,allowed me to take my time." "I was practising at the end of the year without symptoms, but I felt the anxiety of whether I could still do it at the level I wanted to." Shea visited Montreal-area 777082612 schools with theAlouettes "Together in School" program in the off-season to tell his story, help kids, but also to heal himself. "I wanted to do whatever I could to give back. At the same time I wanted to make myself a better person and use my brain in a different way. I was taking French classes at McGill too, all to make sure my brain was in a better state of mind and soul." The next big leap for Shea on the field is teaming up with defensive coordinator Jeff Reinebold to smooth out the inconsistencies of theAlouette defense for the playoffs. The next big leap off-thefield could be teaming up with "Saidat", a hip-hop artist named Saidat Vandenberg who has developed an anti-bullying program called "Music, Movement & Motivation." Their hearts and heads are surely in the right place. Rick Moffat is Sports Director and Voice of the Alouettes and Montreal Impact on CJAD 800, www.cjad.com follow on: twitter@RickMoffat . If you would like to send Rick a letter please e-mail: rickmoffat @westendtimes.ca Comment on this article at: www.westendtimes.ca * OCTOBER 20, 2012 5 888090212




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