October 11, 2012
Home cookin' for Stamps' Obby Khan
By RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency
CALGARY - All of Obby Khan's homes are in the forefront this week.
Ottawa, where he was born and raised, took a huge step towards finally returning to the CFL as early as 2014, with the city's approval of a plan, yesterday, to build a new stadium.
The Calgary Stampeders travel to Winnipeg to face the Blue Bombers Saturday, and Khan will take to the turf where he called home for six seasons.
And, while in Winnipeg, he'll have a chance to see the restaurant he's heading up, Shawarma Khan.
"It's going well," said Khan, of the restaurant hoped to open Dec. 1. "I left at a good time. Calgary called at a perfect time -- everything was done, as far as getting organized. Everything's picked and now it's a matter of getting it done."
Khan, who signed with the Stampeders Aug. 14, will be allowed to remain behind in Winnipeg for a day to tie up some loose ends at the restaurant.
When he came out of retirement this summer to play for the Stamps, Khan figured this would be his last season. But you can't help but wonder whether the news from Ottawa could keep him around the game for a while longer.
After all, not only is Ottawa his hometown, but he spent a pair of seasons playing for the Renegades before they folded.
"I don't know, 2014 is a little ways away," said Khan, 32. "Maybe I'll come out of retirement, part two.
"Maybe one day I'll go back and help in the management some day."
Although there are plenty of hurdles to clear, at least the CFL's return to the capital now appears on track.
Jeff Hunt, who owns the OHL's Ottawa 67's, is head of an ownership group for a pending franchise, ridding the potential team of one big problem it had last time Ottawa had a team.
"In one word, Gliebermans," Khan said to explain the Renegades' failure. "The ownership group, I think it was the Watters group that owned it first, they took off after three years, and when that happened, it spelled the end."
The Glieberman family, which owned the Ottawa Rough Riders in the 1990s, owned the Renegades during its final season.
"It will work if you get the right ownership group with the right management to bring the right players in," Khan said. "That city loves football.
"The fans are very passionate, throughout Ottawa and the greater region. Football would be a great, great, great thing for that city.
"The location of that (new) stadium, on Bank Street, is -- I think -- the greatest location for a stadium in the CFL. It's going to be a gem."
More immediate is a trip to Winnipeg against a Blue Bombers team which is coming off a stunning upset win over the Montreal Alouettes.
But the big story remains Winnipeg's oft-injured quarterback Buck Pierce, who Khan is genuinely concerned about, after his latest concussion.
"It's Buck's call, but at this stage, I think somebody should step in and do something," Khan said. "The problem is in professional sports, we live for the moment. We live for the now, not 20 years from now. At times, that ends up hurting us.
"He's had so many hits and so many injuries, so you do have to question his health, his long-term health -- not football health. What's he going to be like in 20 years.
"At the end of the day, it's quality of life we're talking about. Football's not going to be with us forever. When we're done with the game or the game's done with us, we've got to be able to function and live our life.
"I hope he's going to do that."
On Twitter: @SUNRandySportak