Saturday, November 21, 2020
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Henry Burris recalls Calgary Stampeders glory in hall-of-fame career

Calgary Stampeders quarterback and game MVP Henry Burris holds the Grey Cup after defeating the Montreal Alouettes on Nov. 23, 2008, in Montreal.
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Burris, now 45, has plenty of moments to celebrate from his hall of fame career.

As a young backup, the Oklahoma native-turned-Temple Owls star was part of the Stamps title take in 1998.

After a third year in Calgary and one with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2000, he sandwiched three years in the NFL and NFL Europe before returning to the Roughriders for 2003-04.

Then came his heydays with the Stamps from 2005-11.

“Definitely winning that Grey Cup in 2008 and experiencing it with the people of the city, taking it around to businesses and different establishments and getting it around to as many fans as we could and touching kids hearts, was the biggest moment for me in Calgary,” Burris said. “For us to put smiles on faces at that time by getting it around to as many Calgarians as we could was a moment I’m truly thankful for.

“Calgary’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but the people make it that way.”

Burris went on wrap up his career with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Ottawa RedBlacks, appearing in 277 regular-season CFL games and 17 more in the playoffs.

He started 229 games for a record of 118-108-3 and retired with 63,639 passing yards — which ranked third in CFL history — 373 touchdown passes with a passer efficiency rating of 93.6.

And he capped it off with his third Grey Cup victory, leading the RedBlacks in 2016 that cemented his status as a league legend.

“Probably the biggest impact I had on any organization had to be Ottawa,” admitted Burris, a two-time Grey Cup MVP, a two-time CFL MOP and a two-time league all-star. “But just know deep down that I’m still a Stampeder at heart. It was awesome in Calgary, because Calgary helped make us who we were moving forward, not only from a family standpoint but also from a player standpoint — it helped set me up for the remainder of my career to take winning ways to Hamilton and Ottawa.

“I learned those ways just from being in Calgary and around that culture that we helped create there being around John Hufnagel and Dave Dickenson and the rest of the crew.

“We were always a Grey Cup contender.”

tsaelhof@postmedia.com

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