November 26, 2012
Former Rough Riders GM Dan Rambo opts out of aiming for top football role with city's new club
By TIM BAINES, QMI Agency
OTTAWA - There’s a guy who would make a pretty good first GM for the new Ottawa CFL team right in the city's backyard.
Maybe right place, wrong time. Or wrong place, right time or any combination of those things.
But the guy with plenty of the qualities that Ottawa needs in its GM says it won’t be him and he’s happy to steer Jeff Hunt and his Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group folks on the right path — when asked.
“I’ve had many conversations with Dan,” said Hunt. “He’s given me a lot of advice. I think he’s quite content working on his scouting software. He doesn’t have any interest in this job. He gives his candid advice and reminds me in some ways of Brian Kilrea. He’s old school ... a brilliant guy.”
When asked if he’d be interested in being at the helm of the new team, Rambo said: “No, there are a lot of guys out there who would do a better job. I’m not selling myself. I’m good with the life.”
Sounds pretty definitive, eh?
Rambo is a highly respected football mind who co-owns a football scouting software company — FBXchange. He was a player personnel director for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from 2007-09, an assistant GM in Saskatchewan, a GM in Ottawa for the Rough Riders from 1991-93 and a scout for the Denver Broncos. He’s 60 and he’s smart as a whip, with a helluva resume.
Back in 2006, he was front and centre with Bill Palmer and a group of owners out of Louisville trying to bring the CFL back to Ottawa. The deal fell through in 2007.
“I don’t specifically have a role (with the Ottawa owners),” said Rambo. “I’m just an experienced guy. I’m not a paid guy and I’m not asking to be a paid guy. I’m a collector of data and I give my opinion on how the GM search in Ottawa should go. I’m so far in the backroom, I’m out the backdoor.”
Rambo has a list of criteria, probably 40 items on a checklist, that could be used in the search for a GM. He could easily add another 20.
“It’s very difficult to pick a GM,” he said. “You’re not hiring a scout, you’re looking for a GM. It’s certainly safer to hire somebody who’s been there, done that. When you’re looking for a quarterback, of the good ones, so many had fathers who were coaches. They had instincts. Being a GM in the CFL requires a lot of instincts.”
Geez, it sounds like he’d be a great candidate here. C’mon Dan, really, do you want the job?
“I like football,” he said. “I hope everything gets done here with a great result. But I’m past the point. If everybody on my list died, I couldn’t take it.”
Rambo — a guy with so much football savvy, a guy who gets it, who understands the behind-the-scenes and the on-the-field — has to get back out there sometime, right?
“Never say never,” said Rambo.
It just won’t be in Ottawa.