Hog heaven

CHAD SCARSBROOK -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 9:04 AM ET

Miles Gorrell only played four of his 19 CFL seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, but the city made a big impact on the equally big former offensive lineman.

"There isn't a day gone by when I'm not thinking of Winnipeg," Gorrell said recently over the phone from his hotel room in Rochester, N.Y. "I lived there for 10 great years and it's a wonderful place with great people - a very embracing city. But you know what they say. If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with."

That would be Calgary, the city he now calls home while working as a player scout for the Toronto Argonauts. Gorrell was preparing to make the trip from Rochester to Cleveland to take in his next NFL training camp when he began the stroll down memory lane.

"The (Bomber) locker-room is probably what I miss most," he said. "The camaraderie and togetherness in a place where 40 men are trying to work together to get everybody in the same direction. The different personalities and nationalities - very rarely do you get that in other (workplaces) except sports ... Chris Walby and I would sit in the corner. It was just a good time. I played with Chris for four years and he was the best guy I ever played with,"

The veteran of five CFL teams between 1978-1996, Gorrell is third all-time with 321 games played behind only Bob Cameron (358) and Lui Passaglia (408). He was a five-time divisional all-star and was a two-time winner of the Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman Schenley.

Gorrell said simply having the chance to play in the CFL was a memorable moment but also made mention of the Grey Cups he played in for Winnipeg (in 1992 and '93) and the year he won the big one with Hamilton in 1986.

After he retired, Gorrell took a job as one of the Bombers' corporate sales managers. He said making the transition from on-field hog to an off-field job wasn't difficult.

"It was easy," he said with a laugh. "It didn't faze me in the least. I still love being around football and I was lucky enough Lyle (Bauer, Bombers president) gave me the opportunity to work for the Bombers and it blossomed from there. I thank him all the time."

Gorrell's next stop was Calgary where he accepted a position as director of Canadian personnel from good friend Matt Dunigan.

"I got the opportunity when Matt took over in Calgary (as GM and head coach)," said Gorrell. "It was something I wanted to get into for a few years."

Maybe someday, Gorrell will find himself in the GM's chair.

"That's a little ways away," said Gorrell. "You never know what's going to happen in the future. I'm very happy doing what I'm doing now. You always have a goal but whether I'm suited to be a GM is another story."

When the University of Ottawa alumnus isn't working, he's all about family. He spends his time away from football hanging out with "beautiful wife Suzanne and my two girls."

Veronica (who was born in Winnipeg) is 12 while Victoria is 9.

And although he works for the Argos, he admits he still has a soft spot in his heart for the Bombers.

"I'm so happy to see Winnipeg doing well this year," said Gorrell. "Lyle deserves it. The people in Winnipeg deserve it."


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