Ottawa huddles to talk football

Mark Kosmos, former Rough Riders linebacker conjured up memories of the glory days. (Shannon...

Mark Kosmos, former Rough Riders linebacker conjured up memories of the glory days. (Shannon Bain/Ottawa Sun)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:36 AM ET

OTTAWA -- As Mark Kosmos spoke from the heart last week about the return of the CFL to Ottawa, the former Rough Riders linebacker conjured up memories of the glory days, when a flood of fans would cross the Bank St. bridge heading to Lansdowne Park, carrying children on their shoulders.

"We can bring that feeling back," Kosmos said.

When people talk about the history of football in Ottawa, it doesn't take long for the name of heroes like Whit Tucker, Ron Stewart, Russ Jackson, Tony Gabriel and Tom Clements to come up. They made an impact longtime football fans will never forget.

Will football's glory days return?

There aren't any guarantees, but at least there's hope after city council voted to negotiate with local businessmen Roger Greenberg, John Ruddy, Bill Shenkman and Jeff Hunt on their Lansdowne Live redevelopment project.

While a long road lies ahead before a potential kickoff at Frank Clair Stadium in 2011, those with the vision to get the project done believe they've got all the right ingredients to make this dream a reality.

"It will be a new type of glory days," Hunt said. "People talk about the old names, like the Tuckers and the Jacksons, and it's never going to be in the 1970s again, no matter what we do. But we can build new memories and a new history for this team."

It has been three years since Ottawa's last CFL franchise folded.

Former owners Bernie and Lonie Glieberman, along with Bill Smith, no longer wanted to fund the franchise, and the Renegades closed up shop at the end of the 2006 season.

"There's fans across this country who talk to me all the time who want us back in Ottawa," said CFL commissioner Mark Cohon."The only way we're going to do this is with the right ownership group and the right stadium.

"What we have here, right now, is the right ownership group. In my experience, working with , the NBA and now the CFL, you have to have the right local guys in place ... Now, it's all about coming up with a stadium."\


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