Time for Stamps to serve and protect
By IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency
|Calgary Stampeders Jon Cornish takes the hand off from quarterback Henry Burris against the Saskatchewan Roughriders during CFL football at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Alberta, Sunday October 2, 2011. (AL CHAREST/QMI Agency)
Henry Burris wants some revenge, but just on the scoreboard.
Even now, three weeks after taking a late low hit from Khalif Mitchell, the Calgary Stampeders quarterback is still miffed about the play.
But nothing would make Burris happier than returning the favour by beating the B.C. Lions Saturday on their home turf at B.C. Place. He will let his guardians take care of the nasty business in the trenches.
“When somebody hits you that late, of course it ticks you off,” Burris said about the play during the 32-19 Lions victory Sept. 17 at McMahon Stadium. “I felt I’ve earned the respect in this league.
“For a guy to hit me that late, it was dirty. I’m surprised he didn’t get fined. There were some hits this season that weren’t as bad and they got fined.”
On the play, Mitchell was tied up with left guard Steve Myddelton before lunging out at Burris and hitting him around the ankles, well after the ball was thrown.
“That could have ended my career,” Burris said. “I thought initially I was done. I couldn’t feel my foot or lower part of my leg. I thought my career was done.
“We will go out there (Saturday) to win a game. My job isn’t to worry about him. I will let my offensive line take care of him.”
Mitchell is adamant he didn’t try to hurt Burris.
The hulking defensive tackle doesn’t want anyone to think he’s a dirty player either. The 6-foot-5, 315-pounder was flagged for that play, and it wasn’t his first undisciplined action he’s had in the CFL.
Against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers last season, Mitchell was tossed for throwing a punch in overtime as the Lions imploded.
“People might look at me like a dirty player, but it was a high emotion time,” said Mitchell. “At the same time, the dirt got up to a certain point and it was time for me to retaliate.
“It wasn’t the smartest. We had the game in the back pocket. Games like that could happen. When I punched the dude, I was out of my character. Sometimes it happens.”
“Dirty play should never be acceptable in any sport. You want to remember I’m going against another guy who is going out and he has a family. This is his career and I have my career.”
Saturday’s matchup is far too important for anyone to lose their cool or look for some retribution.
The Lions (7-6) have won six straight — basically coinciding with the time Mitchell was inserted into the lineup — and can take over first place in the West Division with a victory over the Stamps (8-5).
This game will also decide the season series between the teams should they finish tied at the end of the season.
Then again, last week’s Lions 33-24 win over the Edmonton Eskimos was quite important too, and there was an ejection in that outing.
Eskimos running back Jerome Messam was tossed for punching defensive back Tad Kornegay following a skirmish in the endzone.
Afterwards, Lions defensive tackle Aaron Hunt accused the Eskimos offensive line of underhanded tactics at the bottom of the pile.
It’s all expected when intensity gets raised in rivalries.
“This is a gritty game,” Mitchell said. “It’s that type of business. Everybody has a grind about them. Everybody has things they do and somebody might think the thing they do is wrong.”