who's to blame in Ottawa?

[url=http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Columnists/Brennan/2006/03/03/1471224-sun.html]http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Columnists/Br ... 4-sun.html[/url]

The Renegades did as expected and offered up another 2-for-1 deal yesterday. This one was not Lonie's idea.

At least temporarily, Phil Kershaw and John Lisowski will run the business on a daily basis, replacing the younger Glieberman.

Where's he going? Well, back to the ski resort for now, but even Lonie's not sure if he's still the president or, as his father Bernie suggested last week, the co-owner.

In a move Bernie was brainwashed into believing would be best for the club, Lonie was urged to relinquish the reins -- an announcement that, despite speculation, he still hadn't decided to make for sure 15 minutes prior to the press conference.

That he passed them to Kershaw and Lisowski until, or if, a chief operating officer is formally hired was predictable and somewhat bothering.

Kershaw's return to a role of prominence, either full-time or part-time, should be especially unsettling. He was president of the Rough Riders at their worst, when Bruce Firestone was owner.

Ticket prices were jacked sky high. Small businesses were screwed over as bills went unpaid until the team finally declared bankruptcy. Maybe none of it was Kershaw's fault, but he was the franchise frontman.


He smiled, shook hands and relayed the message that everything was fine as the walls were crashing in.

More than a decade later, he is teamed with Lisowski, who didn't seem to have a problem with Lonie before Kershaw returned last summer. Now, they comprise a duo that has somehow persuaded a father to fire his own son, no matter how anyone wants to paint the picture. Forrest Gregg remains next on their hit list.

"I've already advised Bernie that," Lisowski said when asked if the team needed a new GM.

"There's a problem with none of the coaches being here ... the GM's not here. Perception is reality, and the perception is the football team is running behind."

Exactly why does Gregg need to be here at this time of year? To do radio interviews and then be ridiculed for momentarily forgetting his QB's name by a broadcaster who -- during Grey Cup week, 2004 -- repeatedly called the best player in the league Dave Dickerson, despite the rest of the world knowing him as Dickenson?

Since he was named head coach, John Jenkins has been spending most every waking hour putting his team together. Would it be better for him to be in his office than scouring the land for talent?

And would a new GM want to inherit a renegade like Jenkins as his coach? If not, there goes four months of work down the toilet. That's reality. That's running behind.

In his undressing of Kershaw and Lisowski during Wednesday's presser, Jenkins must have won over the legions of fans who have on occasion wanted to tell their boss to shove it. Asked yesterday if he was going to advise Bernie to turf Jenkins, Lisowski smiled and replied: "He hasn't lost a game for us."

Lisowski's heart is in the right place. He's a football fan and a smart businessman.

"If Bernie and (minority owner) Bill Smith (remember him?) could keep losses to a million bucks (per year) they would run this team forever," said Lisowski. "We were getting close, but the lack of season-ticket sales is a problem."

Renewal rates are at 74%, which Lonie believes to be as high as anywhere right now. Most of that is the 2-for-1 sale that is at 124% renewal as fans have bought up extra seats.


"The customer is sending a very clear signal," said Lonie. "It's not that they hate me ... although maybe some do ... but it's that maybe they don't hate me as much when it's a good deal.

"I guess fans are upset with me, people inside the organization are upset with me and the league office is likely upset with me," added Lonie. "My father is quite frustrated. My relationship with him is more important than fighting over a football team."

In the meantime, Lonie is gone, sort of, and so are his unconventional ideas. His next one sounded fun, too. He wanted to give $100,000 to the person who sold the most season tickets. The contest was going to be open to everyone.

"It's not truly life and death," he said about the Renegades. "It's about going to a football game and having fun."

It's nice to have that option while we still do.

My god .....what a mess. Can anyone clean this up and get the franchise back on track? :shock:

ya, as soon as they get rid of Lisowski the cancer, things will clear up.

Get rid of Jenkins. Send him back to where he belongs, wrestling, because he's a kiss stealing, wheeling, dealing, jet flying, limousine riding, son of a gun. Woooooooo

what has jenkins done wrong so far?

Looks like now that Lonie is not there as an excuse not to buy tickets, a lot of people have chosen Lisowski as the new excuse. If he gets fired, it'll be Forrest Gregg. Get rid of him, and people won't buy tickets until Jenkins is canned (by then he will have lost some games.)

Anyone who says "the reason I don't buy tickets is because so-and-so is the general manager" is a liar. If Lisowski or Glieberman or Gregg did the same things they have done, but the team was a Grey Cup contender, no one would be complaining abou them. People who choose not to buy tickets don't buy them because they don't want them. It's up to team management to find out why they don't want them, and make whatever changes are necessary to make them want them.

A better team on the field would convince some people, but after the way the last couple of seasons have gone, they'll have to win a whole heap of games before people are convinced that the team won't collapse part-way through the season. And those people who do show up will drop off the face of the earth once the team loses a couple of games. You can't rely on bandwagoners to fill your stadium.

You've got to make the game experience and the stadium experience better. How? Having only been to a couple of games at Frank Clair, I don't know. Ask people. Ask your season ticket holders, and more importantly, those who used to be season ticket holders. Make whatever changes are necessary, and then market the hell out of the team. Everyone in your city must know when the next home game is, whether they want to know or not. Convince people that attending the game in person is better than watching it on TV, then lift the blackouts to increase the team's exposure among people who would never be exposed to it otherwise.

Before Bob Young bought the Ticats -- who the previous year lost 17 games and had the worst attendance in the CFL -- he did market research. He said if he hadn't come across so many ANGRY people, he would never have bought the team. They say the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. The fact that people were angry meant that they cared, and by addressing their concerns, he could win back those angry fans.

And he did.

G'day folks. Long time no log in. Surprised I remembered my password!

Just want to throw in my two cents. I've got my season tickets for the coming season and will continue to do so until there is no team in Ottawa. The main reason for that is that the CFL rocks, even if my Renegades suck! To me, it makes no difference who is in charge or who the coach is. That's not to say that I wouldn't be happy with a little stability and some common sense leadership around this team. I'm encouraged by Glieberman Jr's departure from the scene as I believe that he was a distraction and wasn't really helping things. To me, the jury is out on the current management team and coaches but how can any organisation go forward when there is so much disension in the ranks/leadership? Lisowski and Kershaw caused the departure of Eric Tillman and I would like to see their departure cause his return! Finally, the one thing that will draw the fans to Frank Clair Stadium is a competitive team or signs that one is being put together! Hopefully, things will "settle out" in the next couple of weeks.

Go Gades Go!
Go Sens Go!
Leafs Suck!
North Side Sucks!

Agree Swahgade with your outlook.
You are a true fan(atic), through the good times and bad. How a team fan should be measured and not just as a band wagon jumper.

Ditto. Glad there are still good fans in Ottawa. Hopefully some of the changes will convince others that the team is on the right track, and that it's time to return to Frank Clair.

His track record leaves a lot to be desired. Look at what he did with Coach Matt Dunnigan. As well, he's strange beyond strange. And, he's a limousine ridin', jet flyin', wheelin', dealin' son of a gun. Wooooooo.

I agree with Big Dave for the most part, but it has got to be hard for the fans in Ottawa. If your sick and need medicine, do you give your money to the travelling snake oil guy...most of us wouldnt....and jenkins is the poster boy for the snake oil salesman......

I wouldn't want Jenkins back here, and I think his first experience at head coach should probably be with a team that is more stable, ownership-wise and attendance-wise.

While I said I don't believe in cleaning house every year or so, I also would not have chosen Jenkins as my coach if I were making the decisions. There were other options. But now that he's in, he should be given a chance. Firing him now would make the team's management team look more silly than they already do.

I agree, you can't fire him until he screws up. Clean house completely once they have a proven football boss like Tillman, Obie, Nicholson, Marv Levy, even Doug Flutie as a part owner. Bring in a proven successful CFL football mind. Get rid of Lisowski, Kershaw and Forrest. No more circus acts. Keep Lonie away for good. Once the team starts winning on the field, and the bullshit stops, the fans will return. If Jenkins gets on the wrong path, and the team offense with the Crap n' Shoot does not work, fire him as soon as possible.

Lisowski ran Tillman out of town the first time. Tillman was the only really capable football person the Gades organization has had. I think the blame lies squarely with him.

Lonie has had the sense to step down
Gregg has indicated he will step down when appropriate.


good reference...WOOO


We have a winner folks!! Right on the money. I just wish you would stop picking the old guys like Levy. :stuck_out_tongue:

To awnser the question asked by the topic, I think the whole organisation and the city of Ottawa is to blame for the sistuation there. Why? organisation for failing to hold on to the talent they have or aqurie new talent, plus these stupid promosions which have put fans off rather than bring them in, and the City for no allowing tailgating and for not helping the team out disbite the profits that the city must have recevied from the 2004 Grey Cup.

that's KK's kiss of death on Ottawa and the Gades.

Tailgating isn't allowed anywhere in Ontario, and that doesn't seem to be hurting Toronto or Hamilton that much.

REALLY!!!, Geez, what's going on up there???

Tailgating is so overrated IMO. I've been there and done it. I'll take just going to a game with the wife and having a few beers before and during the game. Don't need the "get all tanked up in a parking lot" stuff, not that that is bad but really doesn't do much for me now that I'm older. A lame excuse for being a fan that you have to tailgate IMO, very lame.