By: Santino Filoso
In today’s Throwback Thursday Interview we sit down with offensive lineman Marc Parenteau. Drafted by the Renegades in 2003, Marc went on to play for Winnipeg, Saskatchewan and Toronto during the course of his 9 year career, winning two Grey Cups (in 2007 and 2012) along the way.
RR: After being drafted by the Renegades with the 36th pick in 2003, you didn’t get to start a game until 2005, how frustrating was that experience?
MP: I actually decided not pursue any NFL or CFL options after my collegiate career at Boston College. I’d played a lot of football since I managed to avoid being redshirted and played every game for four years, going to four straight Bowl games and earning All-Star nods my final two years. I felt that my football career was full and I was content to leave it there, so after college I accepted a job with a private company. At the time I was also coaching at Bishop’s University and while there I got the “itch” to play back and decided to try and make a comeback in 2005. I was fortunate enough to make the Renegades after a two year hiatus.
When you think back to your time with Ottawa, what sticks with you the most?
The city and fans were so great, all they wanted was a well managed team that could compete in the league. I never would have left if they hadn’t folded.
On the line of scrimmage pretty much anything goes if the ref doesn’t notice. What were some of your favourite tricks or techniques that you used to give yourself an edge that might not have always been legal?
Holding hahaha! I didn’t cheapshot opponents but if I got my hands on you I was going to hold you until that whistle blew.
Who was the most ferocious defender you where ever matched up against?
Adriano Belli, I always knew it was going to be a tough game when I played him
Describe the feeling you got as an lineman when you pulled on a sweep and got to take a 15 yard run at a DB.
I felt scared! Mostly because as a lineman you know the DBs are quicker than you and that they would do anything to avoid contact. You always knew you might totally miss them and get ridiculed by fellow offensive lineman in meetings the next day.
Did you have any pre-game superstitious?
I did early in my career. Ranging from what I would eat, to the order of how I got ready to the drills I did pre-game on the field. I got away from those at the end of my career and took a bit of a more relaxed approach.
Offensive linemen pride themselves on ignoring the elements and always wearing short sleeves. Did you ever cave and cover up your arms?
Now and then in practice but never in games.
Mike Abou-Mechrek told me that you were the funniest guy he’s ever played with. What kind of things did you do to keep the mood light at practice or during games?
Oh Mike! I would hide people’s stuff in the locker room, make jokes pre-game or even sometimes in the huddle between plays. Sometimes when they’d put up the 50/50 draw on the scoreboard and I’d stop everyone in the huddle to show them.
What was the most memorable prank you ever involved in?
Too many to name and some of those are top secret since they still don’t know it was me. Let’s just say some players were sent “seat belt extenders” on plane trips by flight attendants in front of everyone. Also if a rookie acted out he may have found his stuff frozen in a big ball in the ice machine the next day.
Which fan base has the best hecklers?
I’d say it’s a tie between Saskatchewan and Winnipeg.
On the field did you talk a lot of trash or were you more of the silent type?
Mostly silent but I had the occasional game where I was lippy.
In terms of style, what was your favourite jersey to wear?
Anything that fit properly hahaha.
I was #73 in high school and college but OL can’t wear numbers in 70s in the CFL. I settled on #57 because I liked the look of it.
Which Grey Cup win was more satisfying, 2007 or 2012?
That’s an unfair question, that’s like picking a favourite son! They’re both very special to me for various reasons.
You are the only lineman in CFL history to ever score a touchdown in a Grey Cup (2010), talk us through that play.
It was originally put into the game plan two weeks earlier and even though we didn’t use it we left it in the goal line package. When the call game in during the Grey Cup I couldn’t believe it and was even more in shock that it was actually thrown to me. It’s an awesome memory and still without a doubt the best celebration in CFL history. When the play started I knew I really had to make it look like a run and once I cleared the line I didn’t see anyone within 10 yards of me. Glory followed.
As a Sherbooke native, which CIS team do you cheer for?
I actually moved to Florida when I was 12 years old so I never followed any CIS team.
Why did you choose to settle in Ottawa after you finished your CFL career?
I would have never left if it was up to me. Even when they announced they were bringing a team back I patiently waited hoping to get a chance to play for it, but it kept getting delayed and then I was at the end of my career. Ottawa is such a beautiful city and the perfect place for my real estate business. I wouldn`t want to be anywhere else
Finish the sentence. Every tourist coming to Ottawa should…..
Visit the Byward Market. It’s close to Parliament Hill and there’s tons of activities to do
Have you made it out to any Redblacks games?
I made it to the opener and it was a great game! I have a bunch of friends who play on the team.
North Side or South Side?
Thanks so much for your time Marc and I look forward to seeing you at more Redblacks’ games in 2015!
*All images via Marc’s collection