End the games, boot 'Gades

EARL MCRAE -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:22 AM ET

End the freaking insanity and slam the curtain down. For good.

The football fans of this city have been jerked around long enough by lying owners, incompetent administrators, doofus coaches, and mediocre players.

CFL football was once king in this city, now it's what it's been for a long time: A pathetic, slovenly, embarrassing, street bum.

Saviours. We're sick of rich, know-it-all "saviours" who decide the only things they want to save are their asses and high-tail it at the first sign of trouble caused by their own ineptitude.

What's it say about this city when its CFL club can't even get somebody locally to buy it? All the hi-tech wizards with their multi-millions and not one of them gives a damn.

The last successful local owner of this city's team was David Loeb. Almost 30 years ago. From 1968 to 1977. He made sure he had experienced, smart, football people on and off the field and under his tenure the Rough Riders won the Eastern title four times, the Grey Cup four times.

Since his departure, the team has basically stunk to high heaven, its last Grey Cup appearance in 1981 when it lost to Edmonton after ridiculously making the playoffs on a 5-11 record.

After Loeb, the Rough Riders/Renegades have been a sick joke, a basket case, a mish-mash of private and community owners, the club making the headlines through management and player bickering, backstabbing, financial peril, colossal idiocies.

There's been no local ownership since Bruce Firestone's brief, failed dance more than a dozen years ago. A few years after Loeb, the club was owned by Allan Waters. Torontonian. He bailed after a few seasons, a community group took over, bailed, nobody in town wanted to buy the club, along came Bernie Glieberman. American. Bernie Glieberman bailed, nobody in town wanted to buy the club, along came Horn Chen. American. Horn Chen bailed, nobody in town wanted to buy the club, nobody anywhere wanted to buy the club, the league took it over briefly, then folded it.

For six years nobody locally or anywhere wanted to resurrect the club until along came a group headed by one Brad Watters. Torontonian. Brad Watters bailed, nobody locally wanted the club, along again came Bernie Glieberman.

'WHATEVER IT TAKES'

Let's look at some quotes from the above "saviours":

Allan Waters: "We have the commitment and wherewithal to stay the course with the Rough Riders." Bruce Firestone: "I'll do whatever it takes at whatever cost to make this team successful." Bernie Glieberman, Tour One, after Bruce Firestone didn't have whatever it takes: "We will not give up on this team."

Horn Chen, after Bernie Glieberman gave up on this team: "I'm happy to own this team and plan to be here a long time, losses won't be a factor." Horn Chen, after his long time was two years, losses a factor: "I lost more than $4 million the first year. It kept on climbing the second year. I was not listening to my wife. She told me not to buy the team. I never listen."

Brad Watters: "Ottawa has proven to me it should never have lost a CFL team, and we're going to reinstill what should have been done in the past. The pride will live forever." Bernie Glieberman, Tour Two, after Brad Watters' own pride lived three years: "There'll be losses incurred, but we will not be abandoning the team."

Bernie Glieberman, an estimated $4 million in losses incurred, abandons the team after one season. Now? A multimillionaire named Bruce Urban wants to be the new "saviour." Ottawan? Don't be ridiculous. Calgarian. Owns a lacrosse team. He's babbling the pie-in-the-sky stuff we heard ad nauseam from all the other "saviours." Worse, the league is actually talking to the guy.

Oh, you want his quote? Here it is: "Somebody is going to have to go in there and lose a bit of money for a year or two for it to work." Hey Bruce. Do us a favour, saviour. Take your song and shove it. Why should we believe you? The battered, disillusioned fans of Ottawa have heard your tune a million times before from wannabe owners.

The league brass say they'll do due diligence on Bruce Urban's offer.

Please God, stop them for they know not what they are doing. The only "due" they know is doo-doo, and Ottawa football fans have eaten enough of it.


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