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Author Topic: Harris finds peace, new perspective on his 33rd birthday  (Read 799 times)
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« on: April 24, 2020, 05:52:41 PM »

Harris finds peace, new perspective on his 33rd birthday - Ed Tait

We hadn't spoken for a long while, not since right after the Grey Cup parade when Winnipeg Blue Bombers players gathered in the locker room for a teammates, friends and family unwinder.

Andrew Harris was still gearing down then from the most tumultuous of his 10 years in the Canadian Football League. The final few months of the 2019 season had him wound tight - tighter than the bolts on a new bridge as they say down south - and the veteran running back was in the midst of an emotional letting go that began on Grey Cup Sunday and was then still unfolding.

And so when Harris and I spoke again earlier this week for the first real time since parade day, that was a subject I wanted to broach, along with his celebrating 33 years on the planet on Friday and where the back-to-back-to-back CFL rushing champ might go from here.

What then became crystal clear over the course of a 30-minute chat was the picture of a man who had admittedly become hardened by being to hell and back last year, but who was also very much at peace with himself now - as syrupy and melodramatic as that might sound.

Yet, to truly understand the foundation of this happy place Harris finds himself in now, it?s important to rewind a tad - back to a Grey Cup week which was bringing to a close a few months that had pulled him back and forth through an emotional and physical grinder that included a two-game suspension and the hard days that followed.

"Grey Cup week can be enjoyable for a lot of players, with the media attention and all the stuff that's going on," Harris began. "But for me, I really didn't enjoy the days leading up to Grey Cup all that much. All I wanted to do was to go play the game and get it done. That's it: I just wanted to get to game day."

What happened next is already Bombers folklore, as Harris effectively harnessed all the rage and adrenaline that was churning inside his gut and all those emotions  banging around in his brain en route to being named both the game's MVP and top Canadian in a sensational performance.

Afterward,"there was that 'blank-you' acidic tone to his voice while accepting those two trophies, and it wasn't until a little later when he said he felt his shoulders really loosen and exhaled.

?I had so much energy that week from the season with some of the B.S. that was included in it," he said. "And when the game was all said and done I had a bunch of buddies in my hotel room after and I was just sitting and I had that  'Wow' feeling. It was, 'Wow... we just did that. I just did that.' We had overcome so much. We were underdogs in every game in the playoffs. That was an amazing feeling."
?And the parade? Well, I remember being on that stage at The Forks and being so emotional. I was supposed to speak and I was in tears. And I can remember Bob Irving whispered to me, ?Pull yourself together, man.??

Harris paused for a moment here. And as yours truly paused, too, the proud Winnipegger then next barrelled through the opening like some sort of end zone was in sight.

Yes, it would seem reliving and talking about those moments can be good therapy sometimes, too.

"It was definitely an emotional year for me, everybody knows that," Harris continued. "It's funny... a lot of the guys poked fun at the amount of tears I shed last year - definitely more than any other season I've played in my life.

"It showed me the amount of love and the brotherhood we had with our team. We overcame so much, I overcame so much on a personal note. And so that moment at The Forks was like, 'I'm here. Enjoy this moment.' We did what we said we were going to do and that was to bring the Cup back to Winnipeg.

"That's a feeling I'll cherish forever. I still see the clips once in a while from the parade and me standing on the stage talking to the fans and enjoying my teammates. An amazing day. An amazing week. I think of the emotions I had from when our plane landed in Calgary for Grey Cup week to that day at the Forks... it's night and day."

There's a clear and obvious sound of contentment in his voice now. The offseason can have that effect on any player, but especially so for someone like Harris, whose ups and downs last year were both so dramatic and so public.........

Here is the rest of Ed Tait's article on Andrew Harris.
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"You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one." - John Wooden
buckzumhoff
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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2020, 09:22:57 PM »

It was a great season and a great finish. The best year I can remember. Hope we play again this year.
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TecnoGenius
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« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2020, 03:56:29 AM »

Long article, but worth the read.  I totally agree with AH that this virus situation will make people appreciate certain things more.  For instance, when we finally get back to IGF and game day, I'll be cherishing those moments there, kicking back and watching the game with my son, a lot more than I did previously.  I took the simple thing of going to a Bombers game completely for granted.

And I usually take this one buddy of mine I don't see much (work/family timetable conflicts) to one game each year and I didn't in 2019 because I was too busy with the baby to schedule it.  I'm kicking myself now, as who knows, maybe 2019 was the last chance for a long while to take a buddy to a game!  If/when we ever get going again, I'm going to take him to 2 games, and maybe haul his butt to a playoff.

Same with all my football=meh buddies... I'm hauling each and every one of them to games when we are playing again, and having more of the good times we always have.

Cherish the moments, folks.
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blue_or_die
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« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2020, 11:04:46 PM »

Long article, but worth the read.  I totally agree with AH that this virus situation will make people appreciate certain things more.  For instance, when we finally get back to IGF and game day, I'll be cherishing those moments there, kicking back and watching the game with my son, a lot more than I did previously.  I took the simple thing of going to a Bombers game completely for granted.

And I usually take this one buddy of mine I don't see much (work/family timetable conflicts) to one game each year and I didn't in 2019 because I was too busy with the baby to schedule it.  I'm kicking myself now, as who knows, maybe 2019 was the last chance for a long while to take a buddy to a game!  If/when we ever get going again, I'm going to take him to 2 games, and maybe haul his butt to a playoff.

Same with all my football=meh buddies... I'm hauling each and every one of them to games when we are playing again, and having more of the good times we always have.

Cherish the moments, folks.


This is a very good post, Tecno. I agree with the sentiment.
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107th Grey Cup champs and WE ARE LIT
GOLDMEMBER
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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2020, 05:58:54 PM »

Long article, but worth the read.  I totally agree with AH that this virus situation will make people appreciate certain things more.  For instance, when we finally get back to IGF and game day, I'll be cherishing those moments there, kicking back and watching the game with my son, a lot more than I did previously.  I took the simple thing of going to a Bombers game completely for granted.

And I usually take this one buddy of mine I don't see much (work/family timetable conflicts) to one game each year and I didn't in 2019 because I was too busy with the baby to schedule it.  I'm kicking myself now, as who knows, maybe 2019 was the last chance for a long while to take a buddy to a game!  If/when we ever get going again, I'm going to take him to 2 games, and maybe haul his butt to a playoff.

Same with all my football=meh buddies... I'm hauling each and every one of them to games when we are playing again, and having more of the good times we always have.

Cherish the moments, folks.

I see my friends more than you describe but pretty much same here. I hoping I?ll have a easier time getting guys to come out to the game with Goldie. Smiley
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Jesse
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2020, 08:03:37 PM »

This article makes me wonder if he?ll return to football if we lose a season.
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Ridermania
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« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2020, 12:35:54 PM »

Honestly think there will be numerous veteran players not returning next year as they move onto new career paths.
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Pigskin
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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2020, 04:17:50 PM »

A one year rest for AH33's body mite be a good thing. But on the other hand he has, he has checked all the box's on his football bucket list. On one hand it would be sad to see his career end like this. One the other, a football player could end his career on a bigger high.
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GOLDMEMBER
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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2020, 05:57:12 PM »

It would suck to see him leave like that but what can we do?
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