Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bombers, Lions pay tribute to Richard Harris in pre game commemoration

The CFL paid its respects to Richard Harris on Thursday evening as members of both the home team Winnipeg Blue Bombers and visiting BC Lions gathered as one at centre field, to share a moment of silence in commemoration of the late Blue Bomber assistant coach.

It made for an emotional sight, as the two teams co-mingled in their loss, standing in front of the hushed Winnipeg crowd as they paid their tribute to the coach who clearly meant much to players both in Winnipeg, British Columbia and beyond.



The long time CFL coach, who previously served in positions in both British Columbia and Ottawa passed away two days ago, suffering a heart attack while in his office at Canad Inn stadium.

Since the moment that the shock of that announcement was received across Canada, the tributes and memories of time shared with Richard Harris have grown from a trickle to a volume. Fond remembrances of a giant of a man, who made the CFL more than a professional home, but in recent years adopted Winnipeg as his hometown, spending the full year in residence in the city.

In a league that at times exhibits gypsy tendencies, with players and coaches dropping if for a short term stay, Harris was a CFL lifer, his stops across the nation, leaving him with many friends, coworkers and admirers.

It's indicative of the impact that he has had both on the league and the city of the many kind words that have flowed since Tuesday's announcement of his passing.

The Bombers of course have felt the loss the most, for them he was clearly more than just a coach or co worker, for some he most likely was a father figure, if not a grandfatherly figure a solid anchor for those new to the CFL.

For others, he was a life long friend, who shared experiences and memories across the close knit CFL family of players, coaches, executives and friends.

The entries in the book of remembrance that the Bombers have provided a link for, offers up just a snap shot of the impact that Richard Harris had far beyond the football field.

As well, over the last few days, we've learned much more about his time in the CFL and the lasting impressions he has provided for all who love the CFL game, his passing was far too early and as you will read in the items below, it still resonates as a shock that was both unexpected and since has been much lamented.

The game that was played in his honour on Thursday, was one that perhaps he would have enjoyed, both defensive squads had big plays that dictated the flow and pace of the game, in the end it was his Blue Bomber defence that created the opportunities for the the Bomber offence to take the win.

An emotional week for the Bombers, commemorated as best they could with a stand out performance under trying times, as a team they were taught well, by a coach they will miss long after the wins and losses are tallied in November.

Winnipeg Free Press-- Bombers take win against Lions
Winnipeg Free Press-- Tonight's game tribute to coach
Winnipeg Free Press-- Blue defensive line has lost its leader
Winnipeg Free Press-- I'm worried about how I'm going to react': Brown
Winnipeg Free Press-- Blue Bombers sombre during walkthrough after death of popular coach
Winnipeg Free Press-- Bombers reeling from loss of Harris
Winnipeg Free Press-- When coach Harris spoke, everyone listened
Winnipeg Free Press-- Heart attack claims life of Bombers asst. head coach
Winnipeg Free Press-- Big Bomber loss
Winnipeg Free Press-- Blue Bombers defensive line coach Richard Harris dies after collapsing
Winnipeg Sun-- Bombers score inspirational win
Winnipeg Sun-- Big-Hearted Harris left major impression on CFL
Winnipeg Sun-- Bombers recall beloved coach
Winnipeg Sun-- Bombers pay tribute to Harris
Winnipeg Sun-- Bombers' Khan formed connection, friendship with Harris
Winnipeg Sun-- Process begins for Bombers
Winnipeg Sun-- Baggs: ' God doesn't make mistakes'
Winnipeg Sun-- Jyles, Picard shaken by coach's death
Winnipeg Sun-- Brown remembers coach, friend he had in Harris
Winnipeg Sun-- Harris was always in kicker's corner
Winnipeg Sun-- Former Bombers mourn 'huge bear'
Winnipeg Sun-- Bombers assistant coach Harris dead at 63
TSN-- Bombers honour coach Harris with Victory over Lions
Globe and Mail-- Blue Bombers in mourning after death of popular coach
Globe and Mail-- Bombers keep Lions winless
National Post-- Requiem for a coach
National Post-- Late drive lifts Blue Bombers over winless Lions
Sportsnet-- Heavy Hearts
Vancouver Sun-- Who's going to hug the Blue Bombers now
Vancouver Sun-- Bombers coach's unexpected death sends shock waves throughout league
Vancouver Province-- Harris death shocks Lions
Vancouver Province-- Blue Bombers: Swaggerville subdued after coach's death Bombers plan tribute to coach Harris
Edmonton Journal -- He was the brother I never had
Portage online-- More Important than football

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