"Take A Bow"

Dear Glen Suitor,

How are you tonight? I heard it’s cold in Calgary. But you’re never cold when you’re in Calgary, are you? You and I both know what I’m talking about, Glen, don’t we?

I’m watching the Stamps/Alouettes game on TSN on this lovely fall Saskatchewan evening. You are commentating. Well, I wouldn’t exactly call it commentating. It’s more like – swooning. But we’ll get to that in a bit. I have some tips for you.

Now, I know that you used to be a Roughrider back in the 1980s and early 1990s. I know you were the guy who was the holder for the famous Ridgeway kick that won the Riders the 1989 Grey Cup. And I’m grateful. Somebody needed to hold the ball for Robokicker. You took a big risk on that play, Glen. You could have been the most hated man in Saskatchewan history had you messed up that hold, but you didn’t. You got the ball down, the laces up, and the rest is history.

I feel that because of your heroics in the final seconds of that 1989 Grey Cup that I owe you something (BTW, I’m curious. Just what DID you do for the other 59 minutes and 57 seconds of that game?). Today, Glen, I am going to help you. I know you’ve been afraid of admitting your problem. But the first step is admitting you HAVE a problem, and we both you know you have a problem, don’t you Glen? So let’s write it out. Let me tell the world what ails you and how I am going to help you come out of the dark.

I am going to help you get over your man-love for Henry Burris, stop swooning and get back to commentating.

I know what you’re thinking, Glen. You think that my offer of help is worth far more than your contribution to the the 1989 Grey Cup-winning Riders. And you’re right. But we’ll call it even if you promise to fully implement the advice I am giving you. If not, you owe me your broadcasting spot beside Chris Cuthbert. Please sign the waiver form attached to indicate your consent to our agreement. All of the spots where you sign are marked with neon Post-It arrows. I know your eyesight isn’t all that great these days. I thought the neon Post-It arrows would help.

So let’s begin.

Glen, I’ve diagnosed your problem. You are addicted to and obsessed with Henry Burris. The technical term for this is burrisitis (it’s Latin, in case you’re wondering). It’s a rare social disorder, only found in Southern Alberta around the Calgary area. I’m very surprised it’s afflicted you since you live in Vancouver, but since your case is rather severe, we’ll worry about prevention later. Right now we need to get your burrisitis under control. It’s going to take a lot of work.

Burrisitis develops slowly. You watch one game and think, “I can handle this.” Most people can (it’s only those with lower IQs that cannot). But then you watch another game. And that’s when it starts. You see Henry Burris play well, and you believe he is a decent QB. When he strings a few good games together, you become more enamoured with him (recent research points to his smile as the possible addictive ingredient which causes the disorder to develop). Before you know it, you’ve created your own Henry Burris shrine, complete with autographed pictures, jerseys, other memorabilia and copies of all his games. You’ve compiled greatest moments lists, you stay up all night watching his games, you e-mail him your analysis which he uses rather than studying his own film. Glen, he uses you. And like all unequal relationships, you get nothing, don’t you? He hasn’t won a playoff game. He can’t win a championship. But you make excuses for him year after year.

Glen, you don’t deserve this. He’s abusing your trust and friendship, if we can even call it that. It’s a textbook case of burrisitis. He comes into your life promising you Grey Cup rings, Warren Moon-like passing numbers and what do you get in return? Empty promises. Early playoff exits. At what cost? Glen, don’t be like the Calgary Stampeders. I have tried on more than one occasion to try to cure them of their burrisitis. They have now lost over a million dollars in three years. They have nothing to show for it, and neither do you. You are lucky; you haven’t lost any money at this point. But you will if you continue your dangerous path.

Now, breaking this addiction won’t be easy. It’s like every other addiction: some days you’ll want to go back. You’ll miss hearing his voice on the phone while you dissect film together. You’ll miss the free autographed pictures, the inside jokes, the e-mails. I know you’ll miss getting his favourite Starbucks drink and hand-delivering it to him when you’re in town. And the foot massages. But we won’t talk about those; the memories are painful, I know.

So how do we get rid of your addiction? First, throw away anything in your house that is related to Henry Burris. Better yet, put it all in a pile in your backyard and burn it. Have a bonfire. Spend some time with your family. They will also benefit from your burrisitis healing. You’ll actually spend time with them. Did you know your son has moved out of the house and is majoring in communications in college? He’s also engaged and having a baby. See? There are already some positives coming out of your admittance of your problem!

Next, change your home phone number, cell phone number, pager number, and all of your e-mail addresses. Remove yourself from the henryburris.com mailing list. And shut down ilovehenryburris.com. Besides, you said you’d only update it again when Henry won a Grey Cup. You were sure that’d happen three years ago. It’s 2008 now, Glen.

Then, you must move. Henry must not know where you live. Sell your car, as he knows your license plate and car make. He will try and find you. He doesn’t have any true friends of his own, and he will apologize for not winning you the Grey Cup and getting you that ring. He will track you down. You know it. He has before.

Once that is done, you’ll have to make changes in your commentating. This will be the most difficult part, but, lucky for you, I have some suggestions to help. Remember that this is not an exhaustive list.

  • Instead of saying, “Henry Burris is in the zone,” say, “My 90 year old grandmother could have made that throw – and she’s blind!”
  • When Burris completes a pass, mention the following: “Henry Burris would be nothing if he wasn’t surrounded by great receivers. Imagine if he was the Riders’ QB! All rookie receivers! Henry would sink faster than the Titanic in those conditions.”
  • After a TD throw, say, “Henry Burris’ TD to interception ratio is abysmal.”
  • After an interception, say, “That’s the REAL Henry Burris!”
  • When Henry Burris gets tackled, yell, “Sit yo’ ass down, boi!!”
  • After a complete pass, say, “He’s just lucky. Definitely not talented.” Or, “He finally remembered to throw it to his own team.” Or, “There’s a real shortage of talented QBs in the league. That’s the only reason Henry Burris has a job.”
  • Next time Burris complains to the referees, say, “Oh quit your freaking whining, crybaby.” Then tell them about the night Henry cried himself to sleep in your arms and then left in the morning before you woke up. Remember how much that hurt, Glen? He didn’t even say goodbye. OR thank you.
  • When he goes down hurt, say, “I hope it’s his knee. I hope his ACL AND MCL are torn.”
  • Or make up your own sayings! Trust me, it’s not hard.

Glen, you HAVE to make this change. You have no choice. You only have two options left. You can either: 1) face your addiction, or 2) move to a deserted island with Henry Burris and marry him. But he will leave you and desert you for some other commentator. It’s happened before.

You are the laughingstock of the entire CFL, Glen. Your reputation has hit rock bottom. You have no choice but to follow my advice. If you do not, you will lose your job. There are rumblings that Chris Cuthbert is urging TSN to put Jock Climie in your spot. He’s smarter than you. He could do it. You need to cure your burrisitis before they fire you and replace you. The fans also want you gone. You make them stupider. You’ve already lost your family, Glen. Isn’t that enough??

I urge you to carefully consider my prescription. It is the only thing that will save you from D-List sports celebrity-dom. You’ll never get a job in Canada again. And you don’t want to be hosting some cooking show on the Life network for extra income, do you? Oops. Sorry. I got you and Matt Dunigan mixed up. BTW, I have worked with Matt and his burrisitis is almost cured. It relapses from time to time, but you should talk to him. He can give you points about living with burrisitis and daily maintenance to keep relapses from occurring. And he can tell you about how Henry loved him and left him.

Glen, do the right thing for yourself, your family, the game you love, the CFL, TSN and all those who watch you. End your burrisitis.


Dr. Nicole Hamm
Center for Burrisitis Research

P.S. WHAT THE HELL IS A CONTESTED CATCH?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?


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