Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Harris in the off-season: Hockey, weddings, snow forts – and more hockey

Don’t be the guy who injures Andrew Harris on the ice, or you’re going to have to deal with a lot of angry Bomber fans.“One guy slashed me a couple of months ago and he was saying ‘Oh, sorry, sorry, sorry!’” laughed Harris, talking with 680 CJOB earlier this week.“I’m sure there’s other sides to the coin, where someone would try to do it just to say they did it, but for the most part, I just stay out of the stuff like that and just go out there for the fun of the game.”Story continues below

READ MORE: Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Andrew Harris named CFL top performerThe Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ star running back is coming off a remarkable season for the blue and gold, with more than 1,300 rushing yards. And while he’s all-in for CFL Football during the season, he’s all about hockey when the season is over.“It was my first love as a sport and I still play to this day,” he said.“I’m probably on the ice three or four times a week in the off-season and I love going to the games, I’m definitely a big, big hockey fan. I like playing football, but I really love playing hockey.”Harris plays in several hockey leagues, he said, including in a recreational league at the Highlander, the Winnipeg Central League and then as a spare in the Dakota league. His position? Usually centre, he added.He’s quick to point out how hockey helps him in football.“It’s good for me for my cross-training, I mean, when you skate you use different muscles, it’s a different kind of cardio and you know with our climate you can’t really be outside running too much.READ MORE: Post-season recognition for Blue Bombers Andrew Harris and Matthias Goossen“It definitely beats running on a treadmill or a spin class or something like that.”While hockey takes up much of his time, this off-season has been busier than usual.Harris is getting married in April and said that’s been taking up a significant chunk of his time.“I also coach my daughter’s soccer team, so we play three times a week, practice once a week for games.”He’s also a partner in a 90-unit apartment real estate development, as well as going to school, snowmobiling and ice fishing.“I’m pretty busy throughout the off-season … I love being here and my off-seasons are a lot of fun for me.”Despite many of his teammates leaving during the off-season to escape the cold, Harris said being a born-and-bred Winnipegger means he has learned to embrace it – even when it gets to -30C with an even higher windchill.READ MORE: Blue Bombers named as CFLPA all-stars, but not Bighill or Harris“Get outside, enjoy it, embrace it. We just moved out to the country, there’s tons of snow out here, my daughter and I are making snow forts, snowmobiling, and it’s lots of fun.”As for the upcoming season, Harris said the expectations rise yearly.“I’ve seen a big shift in the confidence and the expectation, the level of play, the level of how we practice, the expectation’s been raised every year, and the success, and the outcome has been better every year.“You know, we’re on the right path, we’re doing the right things, we’ve got a great group of guys in the locker room and a great set of coaches as well.”READ MORE: Winnipeg Blue Bombers announce 2018 team awardsOn the field, Harris said he starts every season fresh and plays like he has a chip on his shoulder. “I like to play … with the feeling that all the odds are stacked against me and everyone’s doubting me.“Ultimately my family motivates me, my daughter, my fiance, the people that mean the most to me, those are the ones that motivate me and keep me going … that’s what it comes down too.”From the football side of things … ultimately the biggest one is to win the Grey Cup. Everyone knows and talks about the joke here in Winnipeg, when I came back here, that was my number one goal, to bring a Grey Cup back to Winnipeg.”RAW: Blue Bombers Andrew Harris Interview – Dec. 4