Mike Benson is a Canadian Football League Players’ Association (CFLPA) Player Representative for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Benson, a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, played his university Football with the Acadia Axemen of the CIS, before joining the then named Edmonton Eskimos in 2012 to begin his professional Football career. Benson is now in the 12th season of his CFL career, after becoming a Grey Cup champion with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2021
Now, in his third year as a Player Representative for the CFLPA, we sat down with Mike and asked him the following questions:
Why did you want to become a CFLPA Player rep?
I became a player rep to help Better represent my teammates, and to help foster growth and opportunities for future players.
This is your 3rd season playing in Winnipeg. How do you enjoy living and playing in the city in which you were born?
Being able to play for the team I grew up watching is truly a dream come true. To be able to play in front of family and friends is a blessing. I’m very fortunate to be able to go home to my family ever night and help be a part of my sons pivotal first few years of life.
What is your favorite memory from playing football at Acadia?
Homecoming is always an amazing game and event. I was lucky enough to have some family watching while I played one of my best games of my university career where I received defensive player of the week in the Sue.
What are some of your favorite things to do away from football and in the offseason?
I’m a big fan of the outdoors. Being able to spend time with my family and two huskies, go on adventures and head to the cabin in northwestern Ontario to spend some much needed rest time off grid.
What is your favorite part of the CFLPA AGM meetings?
The best part of the AGM meetings is really getting to know the other reps and who they are off field.
What is your ideal bye week during the season.
Heading out to the cabin with my two huskies, my son and partner to spend some time fishing, swimming, boating and relaxing in nature.
What did it mean to you to win the Grey Cup?
I was fortunate enough to win a grey cup in my 10th year in the CFL. I understand more than most how tough it is to win a championship, it’s no guarantee. Being able to win a championship for my hometown, infront of my family and friends was an amazing experience.
What advice would you have for any players who want to pursue a career in pro football?
Being a pro athlete is the ultimate dream for any athlete, however, it’s extremely hard to reach that goal. If you can use your athletic gifts to propel your academic career then I strongly advise you to do so. Being a pro athlete doesn’t last forever, but the tools you’ll learn from your time in school will help you for the rest of your life.
Who has inspired/helped you the most in your Football career?
Easy question, my mother. Her hard work and sacrifice allowed me to be where I am today. Working hard and saving money allowed me to attend a great high school, to go to college and beyond. She constantly encouraged me to try new things and to work hard. Without her showing me firsthand what to do and how to make the right decisions, I wouldn’t be where I am. My mom's the best.