Still haunted

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:38 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- It took more than two agonizing months last fall for Henry Burris to finally shake the disappointment of losing the CFL West Final.

The man who seems to work so hard to please others said he felt deflated after the Saskatchewan Roughriders's gut-wrenching overtime loss to the B.C. Lions, crushing Burris's dream of earning his first start in a Grey Cup and sidelining plans to win rings for his teammates and coaches.

Despite completing 28 of 39 passes for 416 yards and three touchdowns that night -- a spectacular performance that helped him win a free-agent contract this season with Calgary -- Burris said the thought of failing everyone else around him in Green and White hurt most.

Burris led the Calgary Stampeders last night into B.C. Place, the stage of last November's painful loss, still reflecting on what might have been.

"I didn't know where a lot of guys were going to end up after that game," said Burris, 30, who ironically was one of the key defectors. "A guy like Travis Moore, late in his career, I wanted to get him a Grey Cup. I wanted to get Alondra Johnson a Grey Cup. I wanted to get Danny Barrett a Grey Cup because he's been in this game twenty-some years and he was the reason I was in Saskatchewan. Just the fact we didn't get to finish, that hurt ... not knowing what the future held."

Burris is often criticized for taking too much upon himself, trying to do too much to please others. His off-field commitments are well-documented while his on-field determination to do everything to win can sometimes be an issue, although Burris insists he never overextends himself.

"I never go out trying to do too much by myself," Burris said. "I always go out trying to play hard and sometimes as a quarterback you make certain decisions. You have the ball a million times over the course of a season, so the thing is, you're asked to make decisions every play. I don't see myself as a guy who puts too much pressure on himself."

While the Stamps were just 2-2 heading into last night's game, which wasn't over at press time, Burris and the rest of the club have visions of returning in November as Vancouver hosts the 2005 Grey Cup. There's plenty of work to be done to achieve that lofty goal but it would be the quarterback's chance to finally lay to rest the disappointment of last fall's West final.

"Having a chance to go a Grey Cup as a starting quarterback last fall made losing tough," said Burris, who was in two Grey Cup games as a backup during his first stint in Calgary in the late 1998 and '99. "Thankfully, I was able to win one and go to a couple with Jeff (Garcia) and Dave (Dickenson) in the '90s."


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