Dickenson dreamin' in Grey

ERIC FRANCIS, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:39 AM ET

MONTREAL -- Henry Burris and Dave Dickenson have shared the same dream all season long.

However on Thursday night, the two Calgary Stampeders roommates gave a whole new meaning to that concept.

"It was about 1 a.m., and I was doing my homework and Dave was snoring," said Burris yesterday of his injured backup and good pal.

"Next thing I know, he's talking to me with his eyes closed, and he says, 'I can see it right now -- on this play, be aware of your running back. I think he's going to be wide open.' I asked what he was doing up, and then 10 seconds later, he was out cold again, snoring.

"It was freaky."

Armed with a vague recollection of the exchange yesterday morning, Dickenson got a chuckle out of the incident, which speaks volumes about how much time and effort the two have been putting into this week's game plan.

"I must have been dreaming and talking in my sleep -- it's all like half a dream to me," laughed Dickenson, who has embraced a mentorship/coaching role with Burris all season long.

"I'm just so into the game, because to me, Grey Cups are only fun when you win."

Having said that, Dickenson has done very little sightseeing this week even though most would think he'd be soaking up everything as these are his last few days as a pro football player. As expected following his fourth concussion in as many years, Dickenson told Sun Media last week he will not play again next season, wrapping up the type of career Burris is now striving for.

"I'm actually soaking it up less," said the 35-year-old Dickenson, who was knocked out of action on Labour Day.

"It's still about the game. It's not hard or emotional. It was tough when I was told there was no chance he'd suit me up in the playoffs -- you always kind of hold out hope. I've pretty much come to terms with it. I probably had more struggles that first week after I got that concussion and realized it was probably it. I've been on the nine-week list so long, this is the role I've been doing anyway."

And he loves doing it, because Burris is also so passionate about being the best. He's seen that in Burris since the two were first teammates over a decade ago.

"When I came here, I knew Henry was talented and all that, but that's one of the things that impressed me the most," said Dickenson of his roomie's work ethic.

"We're good at bouncing ideas off each other. When you keep your mind on the game for a long time, I think it helps, and I think (tomorrow) the key is who understands that preparation is going to bring nerves down and who is going to communicate best."

Having lost to Anthony Calvillo as Most Outstanding Player in 2003, Dickenson can understand why Burris reacted to losing this year's MOP award to Calvillo with such a competitive streak Thursday night and has no problem with it.

"I think that's a human reaction and probably what people would rather hear than the textbook cliche reaction," said Dickenson of his confrere's suggestion he got "robbed."

"We talked about it, and it wasn't that Anthony didn't deserve it or that the voters got it wrong. It's just that you're disappointed because you want someone to recognize your team as doing something special. It's done, and it won't have any bearing on the game -- I don't buy this motivational stuff. If guys need that motivation to get ready, you're not appreciating the importance of the game."

Dickenson sure does. Apparently, it's all he's been dreaming about lately.


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