Henry Burris is thrilled to have delivered Hamilton Tiger-Cats fans their first Grey Cup berth since 1999.
But now the 38-year-old quarterback can give his youngest son, four-year-old Barron, the opportunity to learn about the Cup's rich history.
"I asked Barron on Thursday night when we were talking, 'Do you know what the Grey Cup is,' and he was like, 'Daddy, no, I don't know what it is," Burris said. "When he said that, I almost went to tears."
Barron Burris will be able to experience it all first-hand, thanks in large part to his father.
Henry Burris threw for 371 yards and three TDs to rally Hamilton to a wild 36-24 win over the Toronto Argonauts in the East Division final Sunday. The Ticats will face the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Grey Cup on Sunday in Regina.
Burris's oldest son Armand had the chance to experience a Grey Cup in '08 when Burris led the Calgary Stampeders to the CFL championship. But Barron wasn't yet born so this will be his first Grey Cup experience.
Forget about the huge diamond ring or $16,000 winner's share, seeing his youngest son soak it all in and being there to experience it with him is priceless for Burris.
"It's all about giving your children and family an experience they'll never forget," Burris said after Sunday's win, his voice cracking with emotion. "They go through all the sacrifices, being in the stands when people are getting after you saying all types of things about their Daddy, this is what it's all about at the end of the day.
Demons from past four years let go, Burris says
"I told him I wanted to help make his dream come true for him one day and here we are now. This is truly amazing."
Rallying Hamilton from a 24-10 deficit against Toronto also exorcised some demons for Burris.
Named the CFL's outstanding player in 2010 with Calgary, Burris was replaced as starter the next year and dealt to Hamilton. Although Burris enjoyed the best season of his career in 2012 the Ticats struggled, posting a 6-12 record.
The challenges continued in 2013 with a new head coach (Kent Austin), several new faces on the roster and the Ticats having to play all of their home games in Guelph, Ont., while a new stadium is being built. But Burris again led the CFL in passing as Hamilton posted a 10-8 record to finish second in the East and is off to the Grey Cup after stirring playoff wins over Montreal and Toronto.
After Hamilton's wild comeback win over the Argos, Burris bent down and pounded the Rogers Centre turf furiously.
"It just seemed like all the demons of the past four years, what an organization threw at me and all the people have thrown at me, I was just letting them go," Burris said. "I was pounding them into the ground.
"To be able to come to another organization and help them rise from what we did a year ago to turn into a Grey Cup calibre team, this is what you dream about."