Anthony Gosselin de rouge et noir n’est pas une oie ordinaire

Anyone who has the misfortune of getting a little too close to a Canada goose knows just how vicious those little birds can be.

In much the same vein, Ottawa REDBLACKS’ fullback Anthony Gosselin – who is best known to his teammates by his nickname, “Goose” – isn’t so different. In his five seasons of CFL experience, which have all come in the nation’s capital, Gosselin has seen good times, and bad times, triumph and struggle, and health and injury.

One thing that has always remained true, however, is the thankless nature of his job from virtually all outsiders. You don’t often see his name on the stat sheet, and you’ll almost never see a number 45 jersey in the stands, but his role on the REDBLACKS’ offence is important.

“I really like what I’m doing,” Gosselin said. “I’m a blocking tight end, I love protecting the quarterback and setting up blocks for the running back. Catching the ball is really nice, it’s like candy, but I’m happy to drive someone five yards back because I put my hands inside his chest. It’s the same emotions.”

“I love blocking for Dustin Crum, and I love Khari Jones’ playbook,” Gosselin said. “I’m just going to do my stuff, and be in the moment.”

To fans, Gosselin might not be the biggest star, but in his household, and to his kids, it’s like he’s a future Hall of Fame quarterback who has won 100 Grey Cups and never thrown an interception. His son and daughter have been his biggest supporters, despite being four-and-a-half and three years of age respectively.

Regardless of the outcome of a game, his day is made better when he sees his kids running across the field to greet him. Previously, Gosselin has told stories about his son, Ezekiel, asking questions about the game in the stands, before they recreate the REDBLACKS’ pre-game introduction, where the Otterburn, Quebec native plays the role of public address announcer, while his pride and joy runs onto the field with his arms raised to the sky.

When the going gets tough on the field, Gosselin can always turn his head to see his kids. He says they aren’t yet old enough to really understand what’s going on, or what a win or a loss means, but no matter the result, they are always happy to see him. They are the driving force behind his love for football.

“I want to play long enough that they can remember me as a player,” Gosselin said. “That’s what drives me to come here every day, and play all of these games.”

Going hand-in-hand with that sentiment, Gosselin has two more goals he wants to accomplish while his playing days are still in front of him.

“One of them is to play 100 games, and the other is to score a touchdown,” Gosselin said. “I want it there, I want to celebrate with all of the guys.”

Although yet to find the endzone in his career, the second-round draft choice in 2017 has long been thinking about how he’ll celebrate that moment when it does eventually come.

“I want to give the ball to Cyrille [Hogan-Saindon] so he can spike it as hard as he can,” Gosselin said. “But I think I’ll be jumping all around and be so happy about it.”

With one game remaining in the season, Gosselin and the REDBLACKS want to send fans with something to cheer about, and importantly, there’s a lot on the line for many players.

For Gosselin, this game isn’t just an extension of the preseason, it’s another chance to do something he loves in front of his children, an opportunity he’ll never look past, because he never knows when it’s going to be the last.

“This is a game,” Gosselin said. “At the end of the day, this is our job, but it’s not a real job. It’s also temporary, so you have to take every opportunity that you have and enjoy it.”