Published on October 13, 2012 1:59 PM by dbo.
With a tweet and a press release, the CFL welcomed Ottawa back into the fold with the team to begin play in 2014. With the signing of the formal agreement between the city and the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, the stadium lease deal is in place and the conditional term is officially lifted from the franchise.
The story was reported quickly by hometown papers the Sun and Citizen and reported across the country by The Globe and Mail, CBC, National Post, Vancouver Sun and the Toronto Star. Calgary papers looked beyond the announcement and covered local angles to the story.
After the vote, CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon and OSEG spokesman Jeff Hunt talked about the city set to field a team in 2014. Hunt also spoke about the search for a new GM and Cohon on the expansion draft date and details. Hunt also appeared on Prime Time Sports (mp3, 9:16, 4.5 MB) to talk about the dates and the general manager search.
Chris Cuthbert got it started, asking what the new name for the team should be and presented the best of the best and the debate over exclusivity began with surprising (to some) support from Saskatchewan Kate McKenna joined in as did Rod Smith with support from all over and schooling some with a history lesson
The Ottawa Sun kicked off a survey on support for the football and soccer teams and what the CFL team should be called. The team put fans on notice they will refuse to fight for the name despite the support, instead to abide by the agreement and search for another.
The announcement also had thoughts turn to the expansion draft and coaching candidates. The team wishes to have a general manager in place by February, 2013. The soccer team also has some building to do.
Any time a return to Ottawa is mentioned, it brings out the worst in people across the country. Maritimers who feel slighted that Ottawa is getting another chance, yet there is zero organized support in Atlantic Canada. Others, including CFL fans, that predict failure in the nation’s capital again. It is the Scorpion and the Frog, perhaps we shouldn’t trust these guys again. Perhaps, but is the infighting behaviour (learned from the CFL clubs long ago) really constructive? For it is like a Father and Sons:
A certain man had several sons who were always quarrelling with one another, and, try as he might, he could not get them to live together in harmony, so he determined to convince them of their folly by the following means. Bidding them fetch a bundle of sticks, he invited each in turn to break it across his knee. All tried and all failed. And when he undid the bundle and handed them the sticks one by one, when they had no difficulty at all in breaking them. “There, my boys,” said he, "united you will be more than a match for your enemies. But if you quarrel and separate, your weakness will put you at the mercy of those who attack you."
— Aesop’s Fables, Barnes and Noble Classics, 2003
Keep the competition between clubs on the field. Otherwise we are one league and our union is our strength. No matter what you say, the CFL is not going to change its mind.
Back to Ottawa, growth at the minor football level indicates a strong football presence in the region. The return was celebrated and the reason why Lansdowne and the new owners make for a different situation was presented. Some called the reaction cautious enthusiasm and that there is a feeling “maybe it can work this time” when it appears there are only two sides, those stating it will work, we will support the team, they are not in this to fail and the haters picking the over/under on when it will fail again.
Damien Cox calls the league stale and seems opportunistic in his criticisms (the name, league is still too small, this will bring more fires for his car-wreck watching entertainment?) but I’m not really sure what the point of the article/commentary was but it was effectively rebutted. And another Lefko article was seemingly lacking of any fact-checking what-so-ever. No editor would waste the newsprint on this without heavy editing, why should it be posted to the Internet without the same review? Can’t take any media organization seriously that allows this.
Of course what return to Ottawa day would not be complete without someone trotting out old, one-sided stories wrapped in a theme that despite past embarrassments Ottawa deserves a return (article limit/timed paywall).
The politics are complete. We hope to only have to publish links on the progress on the stadium and team from now on. It appears Ottawa has a replacement project to argue and take headlines going forward.