March 3, 2020

Alumni Profile | Doug Brown

Steam billows behind Doug Brown (97) of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers as he runs onto the field before game action in the CFL East Division Final in Winnipeg, Manitoba on Sunday, November 20, 2011. The Canadian Press Images/CFL/Marianne Helm

Years with the Bombers: 2001-11
Position: Defensive tackle
Currently resides: Oak Bluff
Occupation: CJOB Blue Bombers analyst, WPG Free Press columnist, Zimmer Biomet rep.
Family: Partner: Monica; daughter: Sophia

5 Quick Facts about Doug Brown

  • Brown is one of the most decorated Bombers of all time, having been named to the CFL All-Star Team seven times (2001, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) and eight times selected as a divisional all-star (2001, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011).
    He was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Canadian Player in 2001 and was a finalist for the same award in 2008. He was honoured as the Bombers’ Most Outstanding Player in 2008, the team’s Most Outstanding Canadian in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 and the Most Outstanding Defensive Player in 2004, 2008 and 2009. He was inducted into the Winnipeg Football Club and Simon Fraser University Hall of Fame in 2012 and the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2015.
  • Brown was selected by the Calgary Stampeders in the first round, 5th overall, of the 1997 CFL Draft. He never took a single snap for the Stamps, opting to sign a free agent deal with the Buffalo Bills, where he spent the ’97 season on the practice roster. He joined the Washington Redskins in 1998 and suited up for 20 games over the next two seasons, with eight starts. He broke his foot in 2000 and missed the entire season.
  • Former Bombers GM Brendan Taman then pulled off one of the biggest trades in franchise history, sending a first and third-round draft pick to Calgary for the rights to Brown. The Stamps used the first-round pick to select Jon Oosterhuis – ironically, he was cut by Calgary, joined the Bombers and became one of Brown’s best friends – and the third on Mike Labinjo, who bounced around the NFL before joining the Stamps in 2007.
  • Brown made an immediate impact upon his arrival in 2001. He was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Canadian in his first season and scored his only career TD in his very first game – against the Stamps, no less – when he scooped up a fumble and rumbled 22 yards for the score.
  • Prior to becoming a professional football player, Brown was a competitive swimmer and was once ranked as one of Canada’s top rugby players before turning to football as a senior in high school.

Fondest memory playing with the Bombers:

The 12-game win streak in 2001 because nothing in pro football was ever as much fun as going on that run. If only it had ended better, that might have been one of the best teams of all time. And 2007 was pretty fun, too. Except for the arm thing.

Proudest football accomplishment:

I think I got one total vote for Most Outstanding Defensive Player in 2008 when I went up against Cameron Wake at the CFL awards. I’m still trying to track down who the one person who voted for me was, so I can thank them for the vote of confidence.

It probably was unanimous and they just lied to me to make feel better. But, either way, it was an honour to get it handed to me by one of the best defensive linemen to play in either league.

Proudest non-football accomplishment:

Girl Dad. Didn’t see this one coming, but wow, she owns me.

Favourite hobby/past-time:

Going to the lake and pontooning with my family, friends, and dog (rest in peace, Sam).

Prized football possession:

My Canadian Football Hall of Fame ring and my one and only NFL game ball.

Four former teammates you’d love to have dinner with again:

There could never just be four. Off the top of my head, I’d say Tom Canada, Jerome Haywood, Jon Oosterhuis, Brian Clark, Milt Stegall, Geoff Drover and Mike Renaud.

Most talented Bomber player you played with was…

Charlie Roberts

Bombers coach who had the most influence on you:

Dave Ritchie. Dave had the rare capacity to be both loved and feared, and he got the most out of his players. One of those coaches that you wanted to make proud by how you performed and played on the field. I’ll never forget the day he was let go. I was devastated.

What you miss about playing football:

Driving up to West Hawk Lake after a win with a full crew of players. We’d rent a boat, raise the Bomber flag and use the water as our own personal ice tub while reflecting on the successes of the game and rehydrate.

What you don’t miss about playing football:

Losing teammates and friends as casualties to the business side of the game and trying not to hold a grudge or take it too personally.