Stamps' Burris sees red

Henry Burris is steamed over his effort in the Labour Day Classic. (Darren Makowichuk/QMI Agency)

Henry Burris is steamed over his effort in the Labour Day Classic. (Darren Makowichuk/QMI Agency)

Ian Busby, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:45 AM ET

CALGARY - Henry Burris stood in an emotional locker-room and tried to make one thing clear: He was only mad at himself.


It just so happened that when the Calgary Stampeders threw a one-hop pass to an open Romby Bryant, he fist-pumped in disgust at the same time the boo-birds of McMahon Stadium voiced their displeasure.


The timing was such that TSN analyst Glen Suitor remarked that Burris was reacting to the crowd during Monday’s dreadful 35-7 defeat against the Edmonton Eskimos.


Burris angrily denied he was responding to the boos that way, steaming away from media members in the locker-room.


“Everybody is trying to find a way to dig me under,” Burris said. “You know who I am, and you know I wouldn’t do stuff like that.


“If I don’t make the throws, I get mad at myself. If I do it to the sky, that means I’m doing it to the man upstairs?


“I threw a bad ball. I’m mad. I fist-pumped. I do it all the time — good and bad.


“If it’s good, is it towards the fans? If it’s bad, is it towards the fans? I do it all the time, so it doesn’t matter.”


There was plenty of Twitter chatter directed towards Burris, who had four turnovers to his name, immediately after the ugly defeat.


As is almost always the case when the Stampeders lose in dramatic fashion, there is a portion of the population that likes to refer to the Stamps quarterback as a choker.


The new label he’s getting, at least to a few outspoken online critics, is he’s a liar, which seems quite unfair, especially in the case of him denying he’s reacting to fans Monday.


Going back to last season when an infamous photo of Burris wearing a bra circulated around the Internet, plus an incident two weeks ago when an offensive message showed up on his Twitter account, his detractors want to make him out to be a bad guy.


The TSN broadcast didn’t help.


There’s a good chance hardly anybody in McMahon felt they were being chastised for voicing their opinions.


Suitor wasn’t trying to make him look like a bad guy, but he did draw attention to the fist-pump in the first place.


“He turned around and got mad the crowd for booing him,” Suitor said on the play, which was posted online quickly after the game. “They’re frustrated here. It’s a packed house. And this offence has disappeared.”


It didn’t help that the play right after it, Burris tossed an interception trying to feed the ball into traffic.


A CFL quarterback is sometimes only as good as the 11 men in front of him, and there was plenty of blame to get spread around.


Three of the turnovers led directly to 21 points for the Eskimos, but even head coach John Hufnagel wasn’t pinning much of the blame on his pivot.


On one turnover, Burris was blindsided on a hit by Esks defender Marcus Howard, and the ball came loose. Another time, he was scrambling away from pressure when it popped out.


“I took Henry out because of his last play,” Hufnagel said about the interception to Chris Thompson on a deep ball in the fourth quarter.


“The plays before, that was not Henry’s fault. We need to protect the quarterback. He doesn’t have eyes in the back of his head, and we need to be able to run the football and not always rely on our quarterback to be the magic man.”


ian.busby@sunmedia.ca


On Twitter:


@ianbusby57




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