Dave Dickenson knows better than anyone just how senseless it is to complain about questionable hits.
Which is why the injured B.C. Lions quarterback got a chuckle out of Ted Hellard's $10,000 rant over the hit that knocked Henry Burris out for at least a month.
Especially since Hellard's squad was responsible for a similar hit that dislocated Buck Pierce's shoulder the last time the Lions came to town.
"I heard the Stamps got on the league about the late hit on Henry," chuckled Dickenson yesterday.
"The hit on Buck was very similar. He was already down and a guy hit him, but I don't think we bitched and moaned about it."
Not that Dickenson is looking to spark a war of words it's just that the 34-year-old Lions leader finds it a touchy subject as he has spent the last few months dealing with post-concussion symptoms that came courtesy of a far more questionable and violent hit than the one delivered on Burris last week.
The league turned its back on that one too.
Dickenson had good news yesterday as he followed up more than a week of scout reps with his first full practice since week 3.
"Today was a good day," said Dickenson, encouraged by the outing.
"You have some bad days and you think you're done, but today I saw a light at the end of the tunnel. I took part in all the film work and the practice and I feel pretty decent right now. I'll be interested in the next two days how I feel."
None of this is to suggest he'll be back anytime soon. But it does soften speculation he's done for the season, if not for good.
"As long as I don't take a step back this week, I'd still be a couple weeks away because I haven't passed the weightlifting test yet," said Dickenson, who extended his $400,000 contract with the Lions before the season started.
"First, I'm out of shape. But light weights still give me some symptoms.
I'm not expecting anything, but also not being pessimistic about it."
Dickenson, who has been consulting regularly with concussion specialist Karen Johnston, has been bothered most of the summer by headaches and nausea when reading or trying to focus on anything from a TV to a computer screen.
"I've been throwing pretty decent and I'm way more involved in game plans and on the sidelines and talking to the guys," said the perennially injured pivot, who has suffered three concussions over the last three seasons.
"I feel I'm contributing now, while a month ago I was just hanging around."
The Lions will start Jarious Jackson against Calgary Saturday, even though Pierce has been given the green light to return.
Should Dickenson be given clearance by season's end, head coach Wally Buono could be faced with a three-man quarterback controversy -- the type of quandary every coach in football dreams of.
"Jarious is doing a good job and I don't think the old adage that 'you don't lose your job due to an injury' is true," said Dickenson, who bumped league MVP Casey Printers upon his return from injury the week before the 2004 Grey Cup.
"It will be interesting."