Emotions reined in

Edmonton Eskimos' Andre Sommersell (right) pressures Calgary Stampeders quarterback Henry Burris...

Edmonton Eskimos' Andre Sommersell (right) pressures Calgary Stampeders quarterback Henry Burris during CFL action at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Saturday, June 24, 2006. (Edmonton Sun/Darryl Dyck)

ERIC FRANCIS -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:24 AM ET

Two days after everyone, including his parents, watched him and Henry Burris yell at one another on the sidelines, Ken-Yon Rambo had more to say yesterday.

Wanting to put an exclamation mark on an incident that demonstrated the sort of frustration Calgary's offence is experiencing, Rambo ripped off his shirt and charged out of the locker-room yesterday to interrupt the quarterback's media scrum.

"Let me tell you the real problem," shouted Rambo, doing well to maintain a straight face at first.

"(Burris) told me right before the play he wanted (300-lb. offensive lineman) Jay McNeil to run the route."

Seconds earlier, a smiling Burris made a similar claim, suggesting indeed the two were finally on the same page.

That wasn't the case late in Saturday's loss in Edmonton where a short, potential game-winning touchdown pass to Rambo was thrown behind the receiver and into the waiting arms of Esks defensive back Shannon Garrett.

What followed was a series of finger pointing on the sidelines between the two, punctuated by an animated discussion shown live on TSN until Danny McManus broke it up.

Not only did the argument require a locker-room heart-to-heart between the two, it also prompted a quick post-game phone call to Rambo's parents in California, who he knew would be watching.

"I called my mom and dad before they could call me," laughed Rambo, worried his mom would be irate.

"She wasn't too upset at me. She knows I'm a competitive player and she knows when I'm playing, I'm really into the game.

"She said, 'Calm down, it's going to be all right, baby. Calm down.' "

Head coach Tom Higgins said fire shown by both players may be a good thing for a club struggling to find the endzone.

"It's never a bad thing to be a little bit testy as long as it's channelled in the right way," said Higgins, who also put on a rare display of emotion Saturday, pumping a fist after successfully challenging a late call.

"I truly believe the character in the locker-room is such that it will never get out of control. I'm not really quite sure how embarrassing (the shouting match on TV) is.

"It's one of those things that got caught on tape, which is not necessarily a bad thing. They saw two very competitive athletes who care passionately about what they do and were being professional about it. It just escalated a little bit."

Suggesting both players "got caught up in the moment and tried to do a little bit too much" on the play, Rambo insisted the obvious tension was quickly resolved.

"If we were smiling after that play, there'd be something wrong," said Rambo, who earlier negated the club's only touchdown with a holding call.

"The camaraderie here is really unique. There's great unity here, so we can talk about it. It's football and we're human -- we're going to have mistakes. It's just too bad it was the last play of the game."

Asked where the play broke down, Burris was coy.

"Which play?" smiled the quarterback, insisting every team in the league is having early offensive troubles.

"I wanted Jay McNeil to run the route and that's the truth. He would have done the right things. Seriously, I'm angry about the loss -- we left a lot of points on the field and the way everything went, the game shouldn't have been close. Arguments happen all the time -- it's just that this time they caught it on TV. Once we all got to the locker-room, everybody kissed and made up and had a sip of vino."

In two days, we'll see whether the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will have the Stamps toasting or roasting one another once again.


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