D'Angelo unveils plan

This is a proposed new uniform for the Ottawa

This is a proposed new uniform for the Ottawa "Steelback" if bidder Frank D'Angelo is successful in purchasing and reviving the folded CFL franchise. (CNW Photo)

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:32 AM ET

Frank D'Angelo's dream of reviving CFL football in Ottawa includes killing the Renegades.

But the league doesn't seem too keen on D'Angelo.

The president and CEO of Steelback Brewery and the CFL played a game of Duelling Media Releases yesterday.

It began with yet another curiously timed missive from D'Angelo -- smack in the middle of a Stanley Cup run by the Senators -- outlining his capital gridiron game plan, including an overhaul of the franchise name to Ottawa Steelback.

The unabashed D'Angelo even had new uniforms -- red, black and silver -- designed for the team.

"We want to start with a clean slate," said D'Angelo in the release. "Any homage to the past would slow our push towards the future. A future that sees the Ottawa Steelback as a successful and thriving CFL powerhouse."

D'Angelo did not return calls from the Sun yesterday.

Late in the afternoon, the CFL issued its own statement on the D'Angelo move, expressing surprise with the Steelback president's revelations.

So far, CFL commissioner Tom Wright has had one "informal" phone conversation with D'Angelo about the situation in Ottawa.

"There have been informal discussions as well with other interested parties," read the statement, in part.

Wright, according to the league's release, has been working on a time line to deal with "the Ottawa opportunity."

"Until the full parameters and formalized process are approved by the board of governors, any and all discussions on a new Ottawa team should be considered exploratory only."

In other words, the CFL would prefer prospective owners of an expansion club -- and particularly D'Angelo -- to keep their intentions out of the public domain.

While the Steelback owner is throwing a long bomb trying to get a team back in Ottawa for the 2007 season, the league, as is the custom in Wright's regime, is taking a more conservative approach.

CHARGED ONTO SCENE

D'Angelo charged onto Ottawa's CFL landscape two weeks ago when he announced his intention to bring pro football back to the city just days after the league announced the Renegades had been shelved for 2006.

It also came one day following a dispersal draft that saw several former Renegades players sent to the eight other CFL teams.

At the time, the league issued a brief release saying it would meet with D'Angelo in the "ongoing effort to secure new and fully qualified ownership for the CFL franchise in Ottawa."

D'Angelo said in yesterday's release that he and representatives from his company have spoken to "high-profile" people involved with the league and that a meeting with CFL and city officials would happen soon.


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