Burris recalls grass problems

Calgary QB Henry Burris is crossing his fingers the Stamps can escape the rough surface of...

Calgary QB Henry Burris is crossing his fingers the Stamps can escape the rough surface of Commonwealth Stadium without any problems tonight against the Edmonton Eskimos. (Calgary Sun File/Jim Wells)

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:21 AM ET

EDMONTON -- The Commonwealth Stadium groundskeeping crew spent yesterday morning painting numbers and lines but Henry Burris was hoping they could mark a different spot.

If the Calgary Stampeders quarterback had his way, he would put up a 'Caution, slippery floor' sign on the spot that caused him to miss three games last season.

In the 2005 Labour Day rematch in Edmonton, Burris lost his footing on the grass at Commonwealth. He put his non-throwing hand out to break his fall and tore ligaments in his thumb.

A year later, Burris is crossing his fingers the Stamps can escape the rough surface without any problems after Calgary kicks off tonight against the Edmonton Eskimos (7 p.m., TSN).

"That was a big part of my injury," said Burris. "You like playing on grass but their surface isn't good.

"They wet it down before the game. Even for their own players it's not very fun. They think it's their home-field advantage.

"You never like playing on it. Because of the FieldTurf around the league, it's taken away their advantage a bit."

The only consolation for Burris is if the Stamps beat the Eskimos tonight, there is little to no chance he will have to play on the grass again this season.

And there has been talk about the CFL club replacing the surface with the FieldTurf Calgary has put into McMahon Stadium.

Saskatchewan has the only other stadium without FieldTurf but the Roughriders are putting it into Taylor Field next season.

The Stamps practised several times on the grass next to McMahon in the past two weeks to get used to the feel under their feet but Burris said even that surface is better than Edmonton's.

"There's never a way to deal with it perfectly," Burris said. "The guys have made some changes and got close to finding the right shoes. We get to practice on a similar surface but it's not the same.

"You never like to play in Edmonton. it's a tough place to play. There's no place like it with the size of the crowd and the stadium. Any time we get together in the battle of Alberta, it's a tough win."

When Burris was out last season, the Stamps went 2-1, with the victories coming over Hamilton and Ottawa.


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