Former BC Lion Bobby Singh was in studio to talk with the Spice Radio crew earlier this week. Singh took us back to his playing days at the University of Hawaii and illustrated his journey throughout his professional football career in the NFL and CFL.
Born in Fiji, Singh came to Vancouver at the young age of two and went to school in Richmond. Growing up it was clear he was a unique individual, not simply for his size, but his talent and dedication to becoming an athlete was unlike any other.
To say he had an illustrious career would be an understatement, as he is the only player to have won an XFL Championship, a Super Bowl and a Grey Cup. Singh played for the St. Louis Rams during his NFL stint and the Los Angeles Xtreme during his time in the XFL.
In addition to his work on the field, Singh has played an integral role off the field when it comes to his community work. His Down-Set-Hut camps held hands-on workshops for over 200 kids, teaching them the fundamentals and values of being an athlete. He has participated in anti-gang violence campaigns and is known for his motivating speeches to up and coming stars in the local sports market.
“I’m giving back to a community that has done so much for me. I don’t see myself as a role-model; I just enjoy being a positive influence. Since I moved here from a young age I knew that I’ll be organizing programs and campaigns that assist future athletes.”
Singh was one of the few athletes that was able to bring his skills from the NFL into the CFL. When asked how the leagues differ, it was clear from his perspective that the NFL is well beyond any other league.
“When I came to the NFL and started practicing I was blown away at the speed in which they all played. It was faster than our college games. The athletes in the NFL are world-class; simply put, it’s a much faster game.”
Following his NFL career Singh went on to play in the CFL. In 2003 he was named as a finalist for the CFL’s Outstanding Canadian Award and CFL’s Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman Award. In 2005 when he sported the orange and black, he was nominated for Outstanding Lineman and then went on to win the Grey Cup with the Leos in 2006.
“The Grey cup was the most rewarding championship for me. To do it for an organization that I looked up to for so many years as I was growing up is special. Throughout my childhood I always wanted to play for the Lions and as I reflect, the Grey Cup was definitely one that stands out for sure.”
While his priorities were on the football field in the past, his existing schedule places football near the bottom of the list. Singh is a family man, with a wife and kids, his main priorities are taking care of his family. Although it’s a different lifestyle, the importance of family was exemplified during his playing days.
“Football taught me a lot about family. Not just blood family, but my teammates. Through thick and thin I went through everything with them, whether they were things I was dealing with on or off the field. My coaches and teammates are my brothers and it’s a privilege to look back and reflect on the journey.”
Expect Singh to continue contributing to the local community and lending a helping hand to future athletes. After our conversation with the champ, it’s clear that he’s a great football player, but even a better individual.