Stamps hungry to return to the field

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:29 PM ET

If Travel Alberta is searching for a pitchman, Calgary Stampeders quarterback Henry Burris might be an ideal candidate.

Only Smilin’ Hank could make a late-November trip to Edmonton sound so appealing.

“There’s no place like home in Alberta,” Burris said. “And what a great thing for Edmonton to host a Grey Cup for us.”

Members of the B.C. Lions, Edmonton Eskimos and Saskatchewan Roughriders might have something to say about that.

Burris was toasted — and roasted — at the Stampeders’ annual President’s Ring luncheon Thursday, where he became the first player to win the award three years in a row.

About a dozen of his current Stamps teammates, including receiver Ryan Thelwell, fullback Rob Cote and defensive lineman Mike Labinjo showed up to salute the star signal-caller.

The others? Well, quarterbacks coach Dave Dickenson figures there might’ve been a boycott of sorts.

“I think they’re all pissed off because until Henry retires, nobody else can win this award,” Dickenson said with a grin.

The Stamps returnees might be bitter, but it has nothing to do with Burris’ monopoly on the annual award for on- and off-field contributions and motivational skills.

Many are still steamed about having to hand over the keys to their locker-room to the Roughriders during Grey Cup week at McMahon Stadium.

After being eliminated by Gang Green in the West Division Final, Burris and the rest of the boys in red are anxious to return to the turf — and get back to the big game.

“I’ve been getting text from (Ken-Yon) Rambo, from Charleston Hughes, speaking to Tearrius George and seeing Mike Labinjo when I work out with him ... and the guys are hungry,” Burris said.

“I’m starting to sense that hunger, what it took for us to get to the top. We have to maintain that type of hunger when camp comes around and throughout the regular season. Everybody is going to have to get on board and continue to maintain that same intensity together.”

“I’m ready to get out there and get after it.”

Before they get down to business, though, the Stamps gunslinger will host his fifth annual Henry Burris All-Star Weekend from May 14-16 in support of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Calgary and Area.


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