Former all-star quarterback passes out Labour Day wisdom

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:28 AM ET

The Labour Day Classic brings back some special memories for Dave Dickenson.

Some not-so-special ones, too.

Playing his very last Classic a year ago, it would turn out to be his final appearance in the CFL as a player.

"It seems longer than a year," Dickenson, now an offensive assistant with the Stampeders, said yesterday.

Signed to provide starting quarterback Henry Burris with a veteran and capable backup during the off-season, Dickenson jumped in when Burris was forced out with a toe injury in the second quarter.

By the time the fourth period came along, Dickenson was on the sidelines, too, feeling the effects of multiple concussions sustained over a decade of work with the Stamps and B.C. Lions.

"It wasn't the ideal outcome or the way I wanted it to work out," said the 36-year-old. "I always want to still be playing, but I'm very much aware it won't ever happen."

Lost for the season after the Classic, Dickenson officially announced his retirement after the Grey Cup championship campaign concluded.

"I'm cool with that," he said. "It's a game you want to be part of, but as a coach, I'm still part of it.

"I'm trying to make an impact in a different way."

He's got plenty of advice to offer, and it comes from experience.

Trying to keep jitters away on the field will be especially difficult for the Stamps with an additional 5,000-plus seats already installed for this fall's Grey Cup game at McMahon.

Not that the Classic needs any help to bring on a case of butterflies in a player's stomach.

"There is a chance you get get too emotional," Dickenson said. "The jets go over and you have to settle in to do what you normally do and not do too much."

STEVE.MACFARLANE@SUNMEDIA.CA


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