Passing time

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 9:06 AM ET

Troy Westwood was famous for his off-season activities, which ranged from boxing to tap dancing to owning race cars to a musical career.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers punter/placekicker has scaled back his extracurricular activities to only music (as far as we know, anyway), but it begs the question:

What do other members of the Bombers do to keep busy when they're not passing, catching or tackling on Maroons Road?

We did a tour of the locker-room to find out about off-season jobs or hobbies, and what we learned is this group of Blue and Gold is a diverse and intriguing bunch.

Some work, some don't, but hitting the gym is a part of everyone's winter regimen.

Here's a closer look:

- "I make dreams come true at McNaught Pontiac, 1717 Waverley Avenue," said defensive tackle Jon Oosterhuis. "That would be 1717 Waverley Avenue."

That's right, the Fergus, Ont., native has spent the last two winters in Winnipeg selling cars.

"Selling cars in minus-40 is kind of interesting," said Oosterhuis, who got into the business at the urging of a friend.

"It keeps me really busy," he said. "You meet some interesting people. It's good. I'm learning a lot."

Oosterhuis said he can't sit still for very long, plus earning a full salary for 12 months of the year is what motivates him to work in the winter.

- Quarterback Kevin Glenn heads home to Detroit, where he relaxes as much as he possibly can.

"I go bowling, go to movies a lot, I get a chance to watch my little brothers and sisters play," Glenn said. "My little sister plays softball, my little brother plays basketball, so I get a chance to go see them play.

"Other than that, just chill out."

Glenn used to substitute teach in the off-season, but this past winter the only work he did was in the gym, getting ready for his second season as a CFL starter.

His stint in the classroom gave him a newfound respect for educators.

"That's a job. That's a real job right there," he said. "Teaching isn't for everyone. That's why I chose to substitute. It was one of those things where you could in when you want to."

Glenn also loves to cook and travel as much as he can.

"I know how to cook," he said. "I do a little cooking, where I experiment with stuff."

Sounds tasty - maybe.

- Defensive back Kelly Malveaux helps society back home in California by working three days a week in group homes.

"It's for youth that don't have parents or just been caught up in the system," Malveaux said. "I just kind of help out, be a positive influence with the kids."

When he isn't doing that commendable service, Malveaux can be found on the links, working diligently to lower his eight handicap.

"My favourite course that I can't afford? Pelican Hills in Newport, California," Malveaux said. "It's a nice track right on the ocean. That's my Pebble Beach."

- Defensive end Tom Canada went back to the University of California to work on his American Studies degree this past off-season.

"Most of my classes were with 18-year-old sorority girls, which my lady up here just loved," Canada said with a laugh.

The 26-year-old took courses about America's obsession with the apocalypse, the 1950s and also started working on his thesis.

"I didn't necessarily finish that, but I got a bit of an extension," he said.

Canada spent the previous winter managing a campus bar in Berkeley, so going from social butterfly to studious scholar was a bit of an adjustment.

"It was tough," he said. "I'd been out of school for three years, so it was tough to get back in the whole groove of things and think that way again.

"You're working for that degree, and it means something, but it doesn't mean something. It means something if you don't have it, but it doesn't necessarily mean a whole lot if you do have it."

An avid photographer, Canada also learned how to use Photoshop and got a glimpse of professional photography from a friend in the business.

- Barrin Simpson doesn't make much money preaching at churches in Mississippi during the off-season, but he does it anyway.

"I get paid sometimes, but it's more like honourariums," the middle linebacker said. "I don't charge anything to preach. The Gospel is free."

Other than that, Simpson spends time with his family and hits the gym.

'I usually train year-round, because you eat a lot at home," Simpson said. "It's the good southern cooking, so I have to stay active."

- It's amazing wide receiver Jamie Stoddard has enough energy to run during football season.

The RIchmond, B.C., native moved to Red Deer, Alta., from Edmonton to work as a substitute teacher.

After earning his education degree in 2003, Stoddard subbed at Edmonton private schools, but he was only getting one or two shifts a week.

"So I bit the bullet and got into the public system by going down to Red Deer this year," he said.

That resulted in an average of four shifts per week, mostly for Grade 6, 7 and 8 classes.

That's the age that keeps teachers on their toes.

"It's a big difference between a Grade 7 kid and a Grade 8 kid," Stoddard said. "I don't know why it is. Maybe that's just when the Grade 8 kids are starting to branch out and be more independent and try to impress girls."

Stoddard teaches primarily for experience, so that when he's done his football career and looking for a full-time teaching job he will have a firm grasp of the latest teaching trends.

- Cornerback Stanford Samuels is very busy back in his hometown of Miami during the off-season.

He's a full-time father, he substitute teaches, and he also dabbles in real estate.

Meanwhile, he watches his NFL pals sleep all day and party all night.

"They can afford to just lay around and party all night, go hard - and wonder why I don't want to party with them," Samuels said. "Are they serious?"

He substitute teaches at high schools to "smooth me over until the real estate thing really takes off," he said.

"You really can't lose too much in the business if you make the right moves."

- Cornerback Omar Evans splits his time between Washington, D.C., and Phoenix.

He and five partners, including Calgary Stampeders receiver Elijah Thurmon, started up a business called Perfect Performance in December.

It's a D.C.-based football academy for youngsters who want to improve their gridiron abilities.

Evans also donates his time to the Springs For Life Foundation, which was created by his best friend, Washington Redskins defensive back Shawn Springs.

"I've been blessed, man," Evans said. "We're helping Shawn with his foundation and then training kids doing that football stuff."

In the new year Evans heads to Phoenix, where he works out full-time for two months to get ready for the CFL season.

- Defensive tackle Doug Brown, when not alternating between Vancouver, Winnipeg and Washington, D.C., always makes a point to go skiing at least once during the winter.

"I grew up doing that," Brown said. "I grew up around Whistler, Cypress, Grouse and Blackcomb. You kiddin' me? It's my forte."

But isn't he too tall, at 6-foot-7, to downhill ski?

"That's what a lot of people say," he said, "but if you see me on the mountain you'd disagree."


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