Brewmaster defends bid for Renegades

An Ontario brewmaster has made another public pitch to revive Ottawa's defunct CFL franchise, amid criticism that his bid is merely a publicity stunt.

Frank D'Angelo unveiled details of his plan for a new CFL team, called the Ottawa Steelback, and even showed off proposed jerseys.

"We're very, very, very serious," the president and chief executive officer of the Steelback Brewery assured Ottawa football fans.

However, critics noted that D'Angelo has yet to make any formal proposal to the Canadian Football league about replacing the Ottawa Renegades. The team folded in early April.

They speculated that the brewer is simply trying to drum up publicity for his company, a suggestion D'Angelo denied Thursday.

"I don't know how many times we have to tell people, I mean we don't need free advertising," he said.

D'Angelo first expressed interest in starting the team two weeks ago, less than 24 hours after many of the Renegades were picked up by other teams in a dispersal draft.

He is known to be a big CFL fan, and his company has been a corporate sponsor of the Toronto Argonauts for the past two years.

However, his strategy of announcing the bid publicly before even talking with the CFL has raised some eyebrows.

"People who are serious about pursuing sport ownership don't do it in the public eye," said Globe and Mail sports writer Dave Naylor.

"They are generally very private. We don't usually hear about them until the deal is near or deal actually comes about."

So far, the CFL has distanced itself from D'Angelo's announcement.

In an official statement, the commissioner's office said it was surprised by the apparent level of interest, and noted that any talks at this point would only be exploratory.

courtesy CBC Ottawa