Gerry Dattilio - Quarterback - 1976-81, 83-84 - Northern Colorado
excerpt - Dattilio’s goal is No.1 not ‘the Canadian QB’ - Kevin Boland – Toronto Star – Sept 6 1980
It was the morning after the night before and Gerry Dattilio who had taken one too many belts during the previous evening’s festivities, was feeling a trifle fragile.
Something like that, says the Alouettes’ quarterback as he perches on the trainer’ table an ice pack nearby should he require its soothing properties. But here is a diefference, slight though it may be between a slight concussion and the comeuppance for intemperate behavior.
“I’ve got a headache and my thinking is a little fuzzy,” he says and shakes his head, ever so slowly, ever so gently. “With a hangover, at least you know you had a little fun.”
Dattilio proof positive that a Canadian has the (ahem) native intelligence to run a football offence in his own land, sustained his injury in the line of duty during B.C. Lions’ 14-6 victory over Montreal. It happened late in the second quarter when the quarterback scampered for life, limb and a first down, butted heads with a B.C. linebacker. The result left him somewhat questionable as Aloeutte quarterback for tonight’s game at Exhibition Stadium a match which will determine atleast temporarily which is the worst Eastern Conference team, However, coach Joe Scanella confirmed last night that Dattilio will indeed be the starter.
The last time he faced Argos, a 43-33 deluge won by the Als at The Big Owe 10 days ago, Dattilio scorched them for 339 yards in an 18-for-22 aerial attack.
He got the call when Joe Barnes, the large Texan who led the team to two Grey Cup finals, was granted his wish for a trade. Datilio barely had time to relish top billing
before rumbles of team discontent were capped with the firings of veterans Don Sweet, Gord Judges, Larry Uteck and Dan Yochum.
He responded with touchdown drives of 89, 88, 75 and 62 yards on shrewd pklay selection and pinpoint passes. More important, he dispelled the myth that a homebrew is a bust at the controls of a Canadian Football League team.
“Sure it was a pressure situation” Datilio agrees. “People will be talking for years about the day the axe fell. Sure, it hurts when old friends have to go but you save your feelings for after the game.
“It would have been easy for other teams, to lie down, Not the Alouettes. Too much pride, too much tradition. We figured, as players we had to show people we were for real” Datilio’s emergence came at a propitious moment for Sam Berger, the owner much maligned for approving the shake-up.
Little wonder that Berger was among the first to stop by Dattilio’s locker after the Argos had been vanquished. The significance however, is in what he said. “As one Canadian to another, “ the old gent told Dattilio, “I congratulate you.”
“We Canadians suffer from something of an inferiority complex,” Berger added this week. “The same thing, I believe that applies to the arts, the sciences, to many other facets of our lives. It’s nice to see someone prove we deserve the recognition that we sometimes give to other people who may not be any more worthy.”
“OK, I’m Canadian,” Dattilio concedes, shifting his weight on the training table. “At first, it was a big thing to me. Now, I’d just like to be considered a quarterback. The Number 1 quarterback. Keeping the job is enough for me to worry about.”
"This is what I’ve wanted since I was a kid 10 or 11. I’ve been a long time getting here and I’d like to stay awhile. There have been a lot of ups and downs but all that’s in the past. I’m just glad I had the patience.”