For most professional athletes, sport is their sole profession. With the limited salaries available in the CFL, though, many players work second jobs, and some even have another occupation during the season. Stampeders' punter Rob Maver is one of those players, as he also works a second job at a company that arranges property management and maintenance services for industrial and commercial buildings. Maver said getting used to another job during the season was a challenge at first, but it's now become second nature.
"You're used to being off [from football] at 1:30 or 2, and then I'm going into work for four to five hours," he said. "It's about the right fit, though."
Maver said his employers are big Stampeders' fans, so they're more than willing to find hours that work with his football career.
"It's been great; they're really flexible," he said. "Both my bosses are season-ticket holders."
His job typically involves arranging day porters, cleaning staff, and the like for office buildings.
"It's basically anything a large industrial or commercial building would need."
Maver said it's not always easy to summon up the energy for several hours of work at a second job after a long day of football practice.
"There are times you don't feel like going in," he said. "The day off after a game, you just feel like relaxing."
He said he feels it's crucial to push through that, though, as this second job allows him to gain some vital business experience and supplement his income along the way.
"It's important to make the most of your opportunities to make money and get experience," he said.
Maver said what really motivated him to pick up a second job was the quad injury he suffered in 2011, which knocked him out of the lineup and made the season opener the only game he played all season. He said that showed him how quickly a CFL career can end.
"That was a big dose of reality," he said. "It made me realize football can change in one play."
There have been plenty of stories lately about NFL players who burned through their salaries and found financial hardship after retirement, and many pro athletes have said they don't really think about what comes after they hang up their cleats. Maver said at least half of the Stampeders are already seriously considering their post-football careers, though, and he thinks the CFL's lower salaries inspire players to think a little further ahead than some in other sports.
"It's not hard to burn through your CFL salary," he said. "Especially the guys with families, they're the ones working the extra jobs."
The team also offers some resume workshops and other help for players looking to find outside work, and Maver said Calgary's love for the Stampeders can make it easier for players to find work.
"It's a great city to be in," he said.
These guys are qualified, though. Maver picked up a political science and sociology degree during his days at the University of Guelph, and he said although that doesn't directly impact what he's doing right now, it's proof that he can be a productive employee.
"A degree right now's more just an endorsement of your ability to work on a deadline," he said.
Long-term, Maver would like to teach or go into real estate, but this second job's the right one for him at the moment. Although it can get tiring, he said having the structure of another job keeps him productive, and it gives him business experience that may come in handy after his CFL career ends.
"The reality of professional sports is that it can be over in a day," he said. "I wouldn't change anything."