Thursday, March 02, 2006

In Ottawa it's the law of Lonnie no more

Well it's nice to return to the ole Twelve Man blog with some interesting developments out of Ottawa.

The rather strange long ride of the Lonnie Glieberman era seemingly has come to an end in the Nation's capital. Lonnie, son of Bernie the owner, returned for a second kick at the Renegade cat last year and promptly alienated many in the community all over again.

His rule was one of near farce, highlighted by his Mardi Gras promotion which seemed to signify the direction his stewardship would take, that of a frat boy out for a lark. From that point on the idea of the Renegades being taken seriously would never be the same.

What followed in 2005 was a domino of mistakes that have once again found the franchise listing and taking on the red ink. From firing the popular head coach Joe Paopao in a most unseemly manner to the massive evacuation of star players in the off season, the Renegades appeared to be heading onto the rock with captain Lonnie at the helm.

Even this week the bizarre happenings continued, and this from a Renegades franchise that has more than its fair share of stories to tell over the last few years. Two consultants hired by owner Bernie basically suggested that Lonnie and his GM Forrest Gregg, be terminated and replaced by Bob Nicholson presently employed by baseball's Washington Nationals, and an executive steeped in Canadian football history and a former executive with the Toronto Blue Jays. Why he would want anything to do with a train wreck like the Renegades is anyone's guess.

It was a finding that sent newly hired head coach John Jenkins into a fit of rage in a public press conference, calling the two consultants traitors and treasonous, all of this at the same time as the franchise tries to increase its season ticket base above it's paltry 4000 mark.

The Renegades have not announced a replacement for the younger Mr. Glieberman and no doubt questions will now pop up about the long term interest of his father in keeping his money invested in the troubled franchise. You get the feeling that there is still trouble in Ottawa when the remaining employees refer to the team offices as the Alamo!

But for now, the news that Lonnie has stepped aside is viewed as very much a positive story for a team that has been nothing but a lightning rod for negativity in the last few years!