And the Oscar goes to...

ERIC FRANCIS -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:00 AM ET

Walking around McMahon Stadium with playbook in hand, the man in charge of bringing life to Calgary's new offence often stops to jot down a few thoughts.

Of particular interest these days, the screen play.

Make that, the screenplay.

Not only is Henry Burris working diligently to guide the Stampeders through camp, the 30-year-old quarterback is also quietly working on a movie script he's writing about life in the CFL.

"It's about the trials and tribulations of guys' careers here -- I just want to have a movie from a different approach," said Burris, an avid film buff who took producing and directing classes in college. "During times like this, I carry a book around everywhere I go and I take notes every day on how guys react to coming up to Canada and things like that."

Using players on the Stamps to loosely form characters in the flick, word of Burris's cinematic plans has led several players in the know to start lobbying for prominent parts.

"I don't bring it up a lot because a lot of guys will steal your ideas in this industry," said Burris, speaking like a seasoned Hollywood screenwriter. "The most important thing is to form characters. Thoughts have to be created as often as they come to you. In between sessions and in the locker-room -- that's my time."

And it's then he's being accosted by several teammates, including two veterans he'll have to feature prominently.

"Jamie Crysdale and Jay McNeil will be in there because they've been through so much and they're such characters," said Burris of his o-line pals.

McNeil, like some, has already picked out who he'd like to play him in the film.

"I'd probably pick Arnold Schwarzenegger to play me," deadpanned McNeil.

"But Jim Belushi or John Goodman are probably more realistic."

Receiver Mike Juhasz said he'd like to be portrayed by Will Ferrell, Scott Coe insisted Bill Murray was his perfect understudy and Sheldon Napastuk picked former teammate Joe Fleming, of all people.

"Joe would make me look a little faster than I am," chuckled Napastuk, pointing out his drama experience -- a big role he played in a Grade 10 church musical.

"My agent gets requests and scripts all the time but I'm waiting for the right one," he joked.

Having shelved 50 pages of notes on a screenplay he'll eventually complete on cults, Burris said he thinks the experiences of American college stars who 'disappear' to play pro in Canada will make for a solid storyline.

"We come up here to play football and then go home and nobody sees that," said Burris, who plans to take more producing classes this winter.

"I know the CFL thing will be big in Canada. This is what football is all about. It's not commercial. Maybe it can be a teaching tool but also it can show the real life of a football player. To me it's the most powerful piece of communication today -- people take things from movies for life."

Burris's lifelong passion for film has him hoping the script, which hasn't been earmarked for any producers in particular, will end up on the silver screen as opposed to TV. If so, the man directing Calgary's offence hopes to steer production in similar fashion.

"I'm a behind the scenes guy who only cares about the end results," said Burris, blushing when asked if he'd write himself into the flick. "My story will be in there but you've got to juice it up."

As for who he'd hire to play him, Burris balked at Denzel Washington ("too old"), Jamie Foxx ("he just played Willie Beamon") and Chris Rock ("I smile a lot but I'm low key").

"I'll have an answer for you soon," promised Burris.

With that, it's back to pen and paper for more notes.


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