Hall of Fame NFL receiver Michael Irvin was never able to win three championships in a row as a member of the Dallas Cowboys dynasty, so he’s throwing his support behind a Canadian counterpart who could achieve the feat instead.
In a video released Saturday ahead of the West Final, TSN lured Winnipeg Blue Bombers receiver Nic Demski to the IG Field media room under the guise of an interview with James Duthie, only to surprise him with a video call from Irvin.
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Demski, who used Youtube videos of Irvin and fellow Hall of Famer’s Jerry Rice and Chris Carter to learn how to play the position, was clearly taken aback by the interaction.
“You’re supposed to be here?” he asked, dumbfounded. “You’re sure you’re in the right interview?”
The two receivers discussed Demski’s transition from running back to receiver and the importance of playing for your teammates, but the focus was on the elusive quest for a third championship.
Irvin caught 750 passes for 11,904 yards and 65 touchdowns over the course of his 12-year pro career, playing on some of the best teams in NFL history. He would finish with three Super Bowl victories under his belt, but deeply regrets that his back-to-back titles in 1992 and 1993 weren’t followed by a third in 1994.
“Imma tell you something, Nic. Don’t let no man stop you. Don’t let nobody stop you now,” Irvin said. “I promise you, man. I promise you on everything I own and my kids, there’s not a day that goes by where I don’t think about that third one in a row that we let get away.”
Irvin’s hopes of winning three in a row came to an end in the 1994 NFC Championship game, when he failed to haul in a deep catch on a play in which he believes San Francisco 49ers cornerback Deion Sanders should have been called for pass interference.
With a West Final clash scheduled for Sunday against the B.C. Lions, Demski is now in the same position Irvin was when he fell short of his mark.
“You’re writing your history right now, brother. Not many people can write I won three in a row,” Irvin stressed. “Don’t let no man stop you from writing well. Good luck.”
Coming off winning Most Valuable Canadian in last year’s Grey Cup game, Demski had a career year in his seventh CFL season. The 28-year-old hauled in 64 catches for 772 yards and ten touchdowns — all career highs — in just 13 games played this season.
Choking back tears when he signed off, the conversation with Irvin will clearly provide some added inspiration heading into Sunday.
“Talking to Michael Irvin, him saying my name to me, that just means a lot,” Demski said. “I’ll definitely remember that for life.”