Sunday, April 09, 2006

CFL finds foot, shoots once again!

The long suffering football fans of Ottawa have been give a reprieve of sorts one guesses, they at least won't have to deal with a circus like act for a football team this year. Then again they won't have a football team this year either.

The CFL decided on Sunday that it was best to just shut down the Ottawa branch plant of CFL enterprises for this year, supposedly only a temporary setback on the way to what passes for professional football in Canada.

The Ottawa Renegades who were bought by the Glieberman roadshow last year, succumbed to their own inflicted wounds as the second time around owner had pulled the plug two weeks ago, the CFL in its own style stumbled around for the next ten days or so looking, begging and pleading with someone to pick up the ball and run with it, alas to no avail. The fact that no one seemed inclined to saddle up with the CFL this time around, is not a particularly strong vote of confidence for the way they do business.

The situation left the leauge with no choice but to shut down a football operation in Ottawa, for a second time. How they failed to see this coming at the end of last year is anyone's guess, and how they neglected to have a plan in place earlier this year when the warning signs began to show up (hmm, lack of ticket sellers, no management structure, players leaving as fast as the phone could ring) is one of those peculiar mysteries only found it seems in the CFL.

Left out in the cold, as usual is the Ottawa football fan, who true did not wholly embrace this group of players representing the city, but frankly were left to be hung out to dry by successive managements in the capital city over the last ten years. Cynicism probably is a common currency when it comes to football and paying customers in Ottawa.

The CFL vows to do it right for next year and perhaps it may finally manage to solve the riddle that has been football in Ottawa. But there's load of fence mending to be done now, the reputation of the CFL in Ottawa has been a tainted pool of water for a long, long time, the evacuation of the Glieberman clan, not once but twice will do nothing to enhance the CFL brand any time soon.

The league and its commissioner Tom Wright are fully complicit in this mess. Wright for falling asleep at the helm of the ship and letting such a situation fester for so long. The league as a whole for allowing the Glieberman gang to take charge once again after making a mess of things the first go around. Greed and laziness took over the rest of the CFL teams and rather than planning for a successful franchise in a strong league, they decided to take a quick payday and thus weaken their brand significantly.

For Wright it most likely signals the end of his career with the CFL, already on a muddy field with his owners, the complete lack of leadership on the issue should guarantee a help wanted sign in the CFL window shortly. Applicants should forward a resume at their peril!

It's sad what the league has done to what was once a very good football city, if the third time is going to be the charm it had better be a well planned operation from day one, but be forewarned, the fans there will be rather suspicious of any promises from the league offices in the next while.

The league can go around and pat themselves on the back for "addressing the issue", but simply put it's not good optics to shut down a franchise two months before the season begins. Professionally run leagues don't behave like pyramind schemes and right now in Ottawa, the fans are thinking that they've been taken for suckers once again.

Monday, April 03, 2006

The final snaps of April

The quotable CFLers, we track the comments through the month of April.

April 4 "I need to be able to do both (careers) correctly"
April 3 "We'll hop on a Greyhound and go to Vancouver and play!"

Opening Kickoffs of April

We will update the breaking stories of April here in our Kickoffs feature.

April 4 Tall in the Alouette Saddle
April 4 Eskies pull out the signing pen
April 4 Kicking the tires, but holding onto the wallet
April 3 Locking up Lewis
April 3 Crunch time for the Gades
April 3 A White Knight

Answering the SOS for the Renegades

Trying to figure out the final desination of the Ottawa Renegades is a lot like trying to figure out the winning combination for the 6/49. There's any number of possible combinations but only one grouping is going to win it. Mind you if you should figure out the lucky six numbers for Wednesday or Saturdays nights, Tom Wright would like to chat with you.

We'll endeavour to try to keep up to speed with the lastest headlines from the latest crisis of the CFL.

April 3 CFL's most wanted?
April 3 Expecting a mid April call
April 3 Crunch time for Renegades
April 3 Players will do anything to play
April 3 Looking for a white knight!
April 1 Aspers say No thanks, but looking to help
April 1 Son of CFL legendary name looks into Renegades situation