Cuddles' behaviour terrifies commish

EARL McRAE -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:27 AM ET

Cuddles Glieberman got the word from Daddy Glieberman yesterday that the commissioner of the CFL, the Righteous Reverend Thomas Uptight Wright, wants one Arash Madani to make all road trips of the Ottawa Renegades.

The slogan this year of the Renegades is: It's In The Blood.

The slogan this year of Uptight Wright is: Censor Cuddles.

Arash Madani is the Renegades' director of media relations. Says Renegades president Cuddles: "We've never had the media guy make road trips before. There are places you don't cut money -- players' salaries, marketing, promotion -- but this is going to cost us about $15,000 a season to have him travel, and I think it's an unnecessary expense."

Not if you're Uptight Wright. Uptight, you'll recall, had set up a "media training" session for Cuddles in Toronto to take place Monday, June 6, but for some reason, says Cuddles, "it's been put on hold," and no new date set, although it's still going to happen.

Rev. Uptight is terrified of Cuddles' social behaviour, and the words that might come out of his mouth, having heard the stories of Cuddles' reign as president of the Ottawa Rough Riders when he dated a cheerleader, got into a scrap in a bar, agonized over the odour of his football team, and had no qualms about talking to questioning reporters about all of it, raised as he was by Daddy to be forthright and honest, and especially don't B.S. the media.

In an era of extreme media bull-chipping where honesty and courage have been replaced by bafflegabbing and lying, Cuddles' candour was startlingly refreshing and made for good public entertainment which the "game," now under the engineering of Uptight Wright, is supposed to be essentially all about.

Uptight is hoping that Cuddles' director of media relations will run interference against all the questions the reporters will have for Cuddles with the answers being from Rev. Wright's Church of Pablum, but the good reporters will do end runs around Madani to get at Cuddles who'll continue to say what he wants to say.

"I don't need any media training," says Cuddles. "I'll go, though, because, generically, I'm curious to know how to deal with the media if a skier is paralyzed on the slopes of my Mt. Bohemia ski resort."

Er, that's not what Uptight had in mind, Cuddles.

"I don't know why you can't have fun," he chirps. "Mark Cuban's the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and he's outspoken and says things that are controversial, but he also knows that sports is about fun. The CFL hasn't much of a sense of humour. The whole danger for the CFL of the NHL coming back is that we're so boring that nobody comes to our games."

Which brings Cuddles to what could be the latest nightmare for Uptight

Wright to whom "fun" is a four-letter word: The Princess of Finland.

Cuddles is hoping Uptight won't have a meltdown.

"I'm bringing the Princess of Finland to town for Friday's game against the Alouettes. She's upset with me because she says I promised to move the Renegades to Finland if we got the team. At halftime, she's giving a gift to Canada from her country. It's Canada Day."

Cuddles isn't finished.

"Our latest newsletter has a warning from the FBI that our mascot and all other CFL mascots should be on high alert due to rumours of a possible mascot kidnapping."

Finally, Cuddles discloses that he has a new lady in his life.

"Yeah, I'm hanging out with a chick. Her name's Michelle."

A cheerleader, maybe?

"No. She works for the government."

He chortles. "But she was Miss Ottawa Rough Rider in 1993."


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