Winnipeg Blue Bombers legend recalls nerves in ’84 finals

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are primed for the CFL’s West Final against the Calgary Stampeders Sunday afternoon, and there’s at least one ex-player who hopes to see them advance to the Grey Cup game and break the 28-year championship drought.…and he should know. Joe Poplawski – a hall of fame receiver and perennial all-star in the 1980s – experienced Grey Cup glory in 1984 while wearing blue and gold.Story continues below

That game, the 72nd Grey Cup, was a matchup between the Bombers and Hamilton Tiger-Cats – a situation that could potentially repeat itself, depending on the outcome of the conference finals this weekend.READ MORE: Bombers knock off Riders, advance to West FinalIf Winnipeg and Hamilton win their respective games, the 106th Grey Cup could be a flashback for longtime fans.“If you take a look at how Winnipeg played against Calgary in the last matchup between the two teams, there’s a good chance the Bombers can knock off Calgary at home,” Poplawski told 680 CJOB Wednesday, “so a little deja vu might be in the works.”Although the Bombers last hoisted the Grey Cup way back in 1990, Poplawski said he doesn’t expect the long drought to bother the team’s current lineup, many of whom weren’t born the last time Winnipeg won it all.READ MORE: Fans have spoken: The top 5 Winnipeg Blue Bombers players ever are…“I look at it as being a clean slate for the football club going into this Sunday,” he said.“Leading up to the (1984) Grey Cup game, we knocked off the BC Lions, and that was as big a game as I played in my entire career, because we’d been so close in so many playoff games.“I do recall the dressing room and the nerves situation in ’84. The dressing room, on Grey Cup day, was exceptionally quiet. Without a doubt, the Grey Cup is the biggest game a lot of guys will play in their careers, so you do take it a little more serious.”WATCH: This Winnipeg Blue Bombers employee won’t retire until they win Grey Cup