Prior to showcasing the Grey Cup, signing autographs, posing for pictures, and enjoying Grey Cup cupcakes during an open house at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Wednesday, Ben Archibald, 33, sat down with the Langley Advance to share insights from his career.
Initially meeting the 6 ft. 4 in., 322-pound Archibald, the intimidation factor sets in.
However, his humble and gentle persona lent an air of calmness to the room.
Despite his size and fame as a sport personality, Archibald will tell you, he's just an average guy. He and his family face similar struggles, upsets, and successes as everyone else; he just happens to play professional football in the Canadian Football League (CFL) and is a Mormon.
In 2003, fresh from college, Archibald's professional career began in the National Football League (NFL) with the San Francisco 49ers, but was short-lived due to injury.
"After I was released from the 49ers, I wondered if this was it. Was my career of professional football over? I knew there was not a lot of second chances," said Archibald.
"But I knew the Lord had a plan for me."
Ending up in New Orleans, La., playing for the Saints, Archibald achieved success and stability.
But that all changed in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit and the NFL team was uprooted to San Antonio, Texas.
On the challenges of life in San Antonio Archibald said: "There was no routine. We played out of the Alamodome but we were essentially left with no facility whenever another event was scheduled. Our weight room was a tent in a parking lot. There was a lot of uncertainty as to what was happening with the team."
Finishing his contract with the Saints, Archibald and his wife Jodi decided to go back to their home roots in Washington State, a decision which would give needed support and balance as Jodi was expecting triplets.
While in Washington, the opportunity arose for Archibald to play football in the CFL.
"The CFL was appealing for many reasons, one being the four-and-a-half-hour work days, as it would allow me to spend time with the kids and keep things in check," Archibald explained.
Moving to Canada, and specifically Walnut Grove, proved to be a great decision.
While playing for the Calgary Stampeders, Archibald won the 2008 Grey Cup. For the 2010 season he earned the CFL's most outstanding offensive lineman award.
And in February of 2011, he took home the Grey Cup once again, this time in B.C. with the Lions.
With his impressive resume on the field, Archibald seeks to be a leader off as well.
He was thrilled to describe his involvement with the various BC Lions' charity efforts, such as, Be More Than a Bystander, which builds awareness and understanding about the violence against women.
"What the Lions are doing is groundbreaking," he said
Changing his tone, Archibald continued: "It's helping kids understand there is something wrong in our society. With a family of five, four of them being women, this hits home to me."
Having had many ups and downs in his career, a couple of things have remained consistent for Archibald. It evident this consistency is a source of strength.
"I love football, I have given a lot to football and it has been good to me in return. But it will never be the most important thing in my life," Archibald said.
"Someday I will hang up my cleats, but my faith and my family will stay central to my life."
With the 2012 season still a couple months away, Archibald told his waiting fans at his church last week that he is ready to play his heart out and defend his championship title.