20-year drought not that unusual

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:14 PM ET

If misery loves company, the Blue Bombers can take solace in the fact they’re not alone.

Nine other times a CFL team has gone 20 years without a Grey Cup, and Toronto once went 30 years between titles, the longest drought in league history.

Winnipeg actually has two entries on the Terrible Top-10, as do Saskatchewan and Calgary.

None of that makes veteran Bomber lineman Doug Brown feel any better.

Brown has endured the second half of Winnipeg’s famine, and as the 36-year-old’s career winds down, he can’t help but wonder what might have been, considering the Bombers reached the Grey Cup game twice during his 10 years here.

“One of them (2001) we had no right in losing, and the other one (’97) we definitely could have won,” Brown said. “It’s all about capitalizing.”

Somehow, the Bombers also managed to lose the championship game in 1992 and ’93.

Brown was in Grade 10 the last time Winnipeg won it all.

“It’s ridiculous, how long it’s been,” Brown said. “That’s what you play here for. It’s such a big deal. You can’t even imagine what it would be like around here if you were a part of that squad that brings it back here, championship No. 11.

“That’s the biggest motivation of playing in Winnipeg, Portage and Main. It’s been so elusive.”

The chances of Brown getting to parade down the streets with the franchise’s 11th Grey Cup don’t look good, even for next year.

Of the eight CFL teams that ended their droughts with a championship, only one, the 1969 Montreal Alouettes, had a losing record the year before they won it all.

The Bombers are 4-11, out of the playoffs for the second straight season.

“You want it to be a perennial contender,” Brown said. “Why can’t Winnipeg be like Montreal, in terms of being consistent and being an elite contender?

Hopefully with the new regime that’s within our grasp down the road.”

paul.friesen@sunmedia.ca


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