Rebirth for 'Gades GM?

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:36 PM ET

Finally realized why the head-butting between Renegades bean-counting CEO John Lisowski and football-obsessed GM Eric Tillman last year looked so familiar.

That's because it was the sequel to a movie we saw 13 years ago, when the Rough Riders' bean-counting CEO John (Ritchie) clashed over similar issues with football-obsessed GM Dan Rambo.

The Gliebermans, who owned the team at the time, backed Ritchie and later admitted firing Rambo was the biggest mistake they made.

Wouldn't it be something if -- when they buy the Renegades in the next week or two -- they rehired Tillman, who lost his showdown with Lisowski?

NEWS AND VIEWS: Remarkably, the 67's continue to be a sure bet in every odd year of Jeff Hunt's ownership. A Memorial Cup title in 1999. An OHL championship in 2001. A conference championship in 2003. And another, at least, this year. "Now that I know the pattern," says Hunt, "I think I'll spend next year backpacking across Europe." ... As it turns out, the Renegades are lucky they didn't get their man Thursday, as first overall selection Miguel Robede now says he'll go back to school to complete his degree next year. They're happy with Cam Yeow, anyhow. Yeow, a "passionate player", says he grew up idolizing NFL stud linebacker Junior Seau. Of the first player he has drafted as a GM, Joe Paopao says: "His name is Yeow, but when he hits you, you say ow." ... Given the secrecy of it all, it's impossible to know for sure how many season tickets the Renegades have sold for 2005. Last year, it's believed they exaggerated by thousands. But it's pretty safe to say this -- with a month to go until training camp, they have yet to get the 5,300 (9,800 seats, 34 games) season commitments the 67's had at the Civic Centre in 2004-05. And the Renegades only play 10 games at their 27,000 seat home.

HERE'S THE BEEF: The first-place overall Nepean Raiders lost something like four home games all season, but for Game 7 of the CJHL championship final against the Hawkesbury Hawks, they did not have home ice advantage. No, they had to play it at a neutral site (the Kanata Recreation Complex) because of a ridiculous rush to lift the ice at the Nepean Sportsplex. It wasn't the only reason they lost, but a pretty big one. As primary tenant, Raiders owner Gordie Black deserves some type of rebate and an apology -- and somehow that doesn't seem nearly enough.

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMM...: The Renegades coaching staff is holding an open free agent camp today (9 a.m.-noon) at Ottawa U for anyone who's willing to trade $25 for one last crack at trying to earn themselves an invite to a CFL camp this spring. Don't know about the coaches, but I think Gee-Gees WR Kenny Branco should put behind him any disappointment over not being drafted and get the Sandy Hill down there ... After surveying Ottawa's final draft board Thursday, The Score's Lisa Hillary cracked to Coach Paopao: "Joe, there were no owners available?" ... The inclination is to say a 67's-London Knights best-of-seven final means nothing, as both teams would obviously prefer to win the Memorial Cup they'll compete for a couple of weeks later. Except you'd change that opinion if you saw what an OHL championship ring looks like ... Contrary to the allegations of certain radio men, I was not "half drunk" when I came within inches of winning $20 grand for charity by sliding the puck through a very small hole from centre ice during the intermission at the 67's game the other night. I only had two beers. I was half, half drunk ... There's suspicion the Renegades would have been able to sign 23-year-old kicker Shaun Swisham had they given it the old college try back in, oh, January or February. Instead, their 2004 third-round draft pick was allowed to wait until the NFL draft had passed, after which he signed a free agent deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers. A Bowling Green grad, Swisham is more highly thought of than Sandro Sciortino, given the fact no NFL team gave the latter a chance. He's also likely to be available to the Renegades in September.

don.brennan@ott.sunpub.com


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