CALGARY - Over the coming days, the talk around McMahon Stadium will be about the old guy.
Quarterback Henry Burris, who spent nine seasons with the Calgary Stampeders and led them to the 2008 Grey Cup, is coming back with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Rest assured, Smiling Hank will receive plenty of cheers and jeers when he takes the field Saturday to face the Stamps.
But it’s incredible to think Kevin Glenn’s story as the replacement for Burris remains one of the quietest tales of success in the CFL since he and offensive lineman Mark Dewit came to Calgary in the off-season trade which sent Burris to Steeltown.
But Glenn, who’s been in control of the offence since Drew Tate suffered a shoulder injury in Week 2, doesn’t mind not having the big spotlight all to himself.
“Henry did a lot for this city and this team, this organization. It’s only right for them to talk about him when he comes to town,” Glenn said after Wednesday’s practice.
“My thing is, Henry plays for the opposing team now, so it’s about getting wins and beating him.”
If all the pieces fall together this weekend, the Stamps (9-6) could clinch a home playoff date with a win, while the Ticats (5-10) could be officially eliminated from playoff contention.
Considering how the now-floundering Ticats were quick to make the big trade — Calgary also received a conditional first-round draft choice — Glenn must be feeling vindicated.
And maybe even happy to have a hand at sounding the death knell for his former team’s playoff hopes?
“I’m not a vengeful person, so that doesn’t matter. I don’t get into all that,” said Glenn, who’s thrown for 3,627 yards with 21 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
“I just want to play football and compete against the opposing team.
“My pride comes from enjoying playing with my teammates, getting the opportunity to do something I love, and, at the same time, the competition.
“I don’t get into the personal stuff and that other crap. I just focus on football.”
But it can’t be easy to let go all of the emotions of facing a former team which spent a bunch of money on receivers in the off-season and decided to add a different gunslinger for the key job.
“You have to be that way,” said fellow quarterback Drew Tate, whose return from shoulder surgery to game action can’t be that far off.
“You can’t let emotions, personal things, get in the way of you doing your job. In this league, with eight teams, a lot of emotion is thrown out there. But he’s a veteran, so I’m sure he’s good at blocking that out and just doing his job.”
Besides, as impressive as Glenn’s been at the helm of the Stampeders attack, he may not be there much longer. Tate, the starter before his shoulder dislocated, is raring to go.
“I’m as close as I’ll ever be. It’s not my decision, so I’m the wrong guy to ask,” he said of when he expects to be behind centre in game action.
“I had told (GM/head coach John Hufnagel) initially this week, but I’m not getting any more reps, still on scout team, right. So I don’t know.”
And you bet he’s itching to play, even while knowing Glenn’s success allows the team to bide some time.
“I’ll just sit back until they say go,” Tate said.