Still trying to hack away at Gliebermans

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:53 AM ET

Don't believe everything you read.

Especially stuff that was written by a guy who was nowhere near the Rough Riders 10 years ago. Nowhere near Lonie and Bernie Glieberman.

But this guy now considers himself an expert on all that is football, especially the Gliebermans. So much so that he runs them down any chance he gets.

Let's get this straight. Ownership was not the reason the Ottawa Rough Riders went 4-14 in 1993, just as it did not deserve the credit for the team posting a 9-9 record in 1992.

Ownership did make some questionable calls and some bad moves during those years, but when players or coaches blame their ineptness on the distractions of a hands-on boss, it's simply a copout.

The vendetta goes back many, many years. One publication got beat on Rough Riders stories day after day. Hence, it assumed Rider ownership was feeding stories to the guys in red. Another copout.

So when the front page in the window of the red box screamed of a Gliebermen visit to the capital during Grey Cup week -- and that Bernie and Lonie were interested in buying a piece of the Renegades -- it produced a predictable reaction from the yellow box as it caught up to the story a day later.

"If I had gone by what was written in one paper, I would have thought I needed a bodyguard or something," said Lonie, who arrived in town late Wednesday, went to every party at Lansdowne and visited many of the hotspots in the Market before returning home Monday morning. "Most of the people we talked to were really happy to see us. It was a very positive experience.

"I met a lot of people who were drunk, too, and that usually brings out true feelings, but they were very nice to us. All in all, I thought it was the best Grey Cup of the seven I've been to. The game was exciting, the parties were awesome, it was a lot of fun."

Accompanying Lonie was Lindsey Bobay, a 22-year-old student at Northern Michigan University and member of the school diving team. She was also surprised at the warm reception.

HORROR STORIES

"Lonie told me some horror stories ... I guess he was trying to prepare me for the worst," she said. "But there were only two people all week who gave him a hard time, a guy that was really drunk the first night and another guy who was calling his name as we were leaving the stadium after the game. A lot of people came up to him and introduced themselves, and said they were really happy to have him back in town."

A decade after his two years as president of the Ottawa football team, Lonie is CEO and president of a ski resort in upper Michigan that is a huge success.

The man who would be a fellow Lansdowne tenant with Glieberman would welcome his return with open arms.

"They really get chastised for the whole Dexter Manley thing, but I remember, to the average fan at the time, it was an intriguing move," said 67's owner Jeff Hunt. "There was a lot of interest around Dexter, he had been a bona fide NFL star, and a lot of people went to see the games he played.

"Now the Gliebermans will probably tell you it was a mistake, but maybe they get a little pass for making moves early on out of enthusiasm. I've made as many mistakes as good moves, but if it was pointed out as many times I wouldn't be very popular.

"I can see where they were coming from, and they're older and wiser now. I'd certainly support them if they came back. I don't think anybody in the community should not welcome somebody who is coming in to try and create a positive sports experience."


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