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This article was published 14/4/2014 (925 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
BRADENTON, Fla. -- Mario Urrutia has something almost no one else in pro football can claim -- job security.
Urrutia, a 6-5, 232-pound receiver out of Louisville who is working out for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at their annual mini-camp this week, is also the owner of a football team of his own.
After owning a piece of the Kentucky Xtreme of the Continental Indoor Football League (CIFL), Urrutia has become the owner of a new Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL) franchise, the Louisville Firebirds, that is set to begin play next year.
"It went well. It was a little shaky from the beginning, but from that I've even branched off and created my own team to where I'm the sole owner," Urrutia said yesterday.
"Why not? I gotta have something after football, so I decided to branch off, get a little taste of the business world... It's interesting. I'm learning a lot, but it's fun."
The PIFL season runs from January to June, but Urrutia says he won't play for his own team if he can land a job in the CFL instead.
Urrutia was asked if owing a team has changed his perspective as a player. "You get the best of both worlds. You see how the organization works from the inside, so you're part of making the decisions as well as being affected by the decision-making. It's a lot going on."
Honeymoon on hold for Blue QB
The second day of Brian Brohm's honeymoon involved running for his life Monday morning as large, violent men chased him around a parched field under a hot Florida sun.
The Bombers quarterback -- and newlywed -- finally arrived at Bombers mini-camp Monday morning, a day after the rest of his teammates and just two days after he got married in Kentucky.
"My honeymoon is coming here to mini-camp," Brohm laughed with reporters Monday. "My wife -- I'm going to have to make it up to her later, so we put a few extra days on to our actual honeymoon coming up in a few weeks."
So how'd that go over? "She's a football wife," Brohm grinned. "She knows my family is a football family -- my brother's a coach. The wives in our family kind of know they have to put up with that."
Brohm's wedding date was set long before the Bombers acquired him last winter in a trade with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Compounding the conflict, the Bombers then decided to hold their first mini-camp in Florida on the same weekend Brohm was supposed to be getting married.
Talk about a shotgun wedding. "I got married in Louisville. It was a big Catholic wedding -- both families are Catholic. People came in from all over the country -- it was just a big fun time. And then I left right after that -- I was seeing some of the guests leave as I was leaving to come here to mini-camp."
Brohm, a second-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2008, spent time with the Packers and Buffalo Bills, as well as the Las Vegas Locomotives of the UFL before he spent all of last season on Hamilton's injured list.
Pace slows down on Day 2
Bombers head coach Mike O'Shea said Monday's morning practice was a bit slow after two workouts on opening-day Sunday.
"They're tired and it's a shock to their system. These guys are getting a ton of reps, they're doing so many one-on-ones, so many reps in skelly (skeleton practice)... What you're looking for is guys who can fight through it, and fight through it with a high level of skill. It's not bad to put them under this kind of stress and pressure, but as a coaching staff you just have to recognize sometimes the body just doesn't work that well."
The Bombers have a final practice session this morning before camp breaks and everyone heads home. O'Shea said he expects at least 15 of the 55 players on the mini-camp roster will be invited to the club's main training camp in Winnipeg in June.
One position still to be sorted out for the Bombers is placekicker. The club will work out two prospects -- Trey Kramer and Nebraska-product Brett Maher -- this morning.
Respect for three-down football
Former NFLer Gerald McRath says he has nothing but respect for the CFL game after seeing it up close and personal the past couple days.
"There's a lot of talent, a lot of raw talent," said McRath, a veteran of 40 NFL games with the Tennessee Titans, who is auditioning as the replacement for former Bombers middle linebacker Henoc Muamba, who signed over the winter with the Indianapolis Colts.
"It's going to take a lot of work," said McRath. "There are a lot of talented guys. There's no reason to say there's not just as good talent in the CFL as the NFL. I mean out here in this camp, I can definitely say these guys are legit."