Sunday, April 7, 2019
BURRIS, FOLEY VISIT SEDLEY
The soldout event raised funds for the Sedley Gym Hall and Spray Pad. The inaugural event in 2018 featured Sedley product Jerome Bechard, NHL referee Mick McGeough and me.
Burris spoke for 45 minutes and his entertaining address touched on his growing up in Spiro, Oklahoma (population 2,164), attending college at Temple University in Philadelphia, and then embarking on a pro football career which included stops in Green Bay, Chicago, Calgary, Saskatchewan, Hamilton and Ottawa.
Burris finally revealed what led to his departure from Saskatchewan after the 2004 season, and signing as a free agent with the Calgary Stampeders. Burris said it was a combination of two things: 1) Rider GM Roy Shivers wouldn't pay Burris what he felt he was worth (the Stamps were offering more than double) and 2) Shivers made a disrespectful comment towards Henry's wife Nicole, and that was the end of negotiations.
Burris also touched on all those subsequent games in Saskatchewan afterwards, and how he was the top villain in Riderville. He said he relished those games. However the 2013 Grey Cup, when his Ticats lost 45-23 to Saskatchewan in Regina, was not a career highlight. Yet he was happy for Rider fans.
The 43-year old also went into great detail on how his time in Hamilton ended, and then the exciting story of how the Ottawa RedBlacks were built, culminating in a Grey Cup championship in 2016.
Henry recently left CTV Ottawa but will remain a fixture on the CFL on TSN panel. He is working on some new ventures which include the world of New Media, and hosting kids' football camps in Ontario.
Ricky Foley's speech was entertaining too. The much-tattooed, 3-time Grey Cup champion regaled the crowd with stories of growing up on a dairy farm in Courtice, ON. He also explained how he didn't begin playing football until age 19, however wound up in camp with the Baltimore Ravens after having just 20 career football games under his belt.
Foley told many stories of his two seasons in Riderville, and his recollections of the 2013 Grey Cup. He also explained his side of the recent Twitter spat with Duron Carter, saying Duron really wasn't aware of what he was talking about regarding the Canadian ratio in the CFL.
By the way, both Foley and Burris are against the CFL lowering the number of starting Canadians from 7 to 5. They're also skeptical of how many European or Mexican players will make an impact in the CFL 2.0 movement.
All in all Saturday night was a fantastic experience and thank you to Brad Brown and his crew for having us!
See you next year,