Time for CFL to beer up?

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:08 AM ET

Frank D'Angelo will be in Ottawa next week to do his song and dance. Literally.

The man who would like to be the owner of Ottawa's next CFL franchise will be performing with his Steelback 2-4 band at the Brian Kilrea Kids Golf Classic.

If he's successful in landing a CFL franchise here, D'Angelo, the CEO of Steelback Brewery, said yesterday he'd find a place to park his guitar here and buy a house in Ottawa.

"I'd like to stay close to the team if I could," he said. "Not to meddle. I'll leave the running of the team to the management team. It wouldn't be just for the football. We do a lot of business in Ottawa. It's a big market for us in all aspects."

D'Angelo is not shy when it comes to the spotlight, as you have no doubt gathered if you have seen any of his TV commercials, in which he stars and exchanges bon mots with former NHL stars and Ben Johnson

But D'Angelo was adamant yesterday his bid to resurrect CFL football here is not a gesture intended to simply get him and his Steelback beer products more face time.

He bristled when it was put to him his interest in football here could be seen as a publicity stunt.

"I'm a sincere guy. We don't need to do this stuff. We spend enough on advertising," he said. "I came in here with honourable intentions. I sponsor the Argos and I understand the perils. I think I can handle that. I think the other parties can handle that, too."

"I think if you do something and you're not sincere about it, it can come back to haunt you, especially when you're playing with people's passions, like they have in Ottawa for football."

The league has asked the three bidders -- D'Angelo, who's partnered with financier Dr. Barry Sherman; Golden Gate Capital and a group of American investors fronted by former CFLer Bill Palmer -- to sign confidentiality clauses.

"I'm trying to follow the criteria (set by the league). It's not my intent to be a loose cannon, but I'm a guy who says what I mean. I'm a passionate guy. I'm going to abide by the rules the CFL set. They're more than fair.

"I'm bursting inside. I'm lousy at keeping a secret. My guys are telling me to shut up. But I can make it. I'll just eat more pasta and drink more wine."


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