When the Ottawa Renegades were struggling, head coach Joe Paopao secretly persuaded the club’s owners to fire the man who had hired him, general manager Eric Tillman. In the him-or-me world of professional sports, Tillman’s departure enabled Paopao to remain in charge of the franchise until it ultimately went belly up after last season.
Well, Paopao is getting a taste his own medicine now.
Sources told Metro on the weekend that members of the Tiger-Cats lobbied hard to have Paopao fired as Hamilton’s offensive co-ordinator and associate head coach. They got their wish yesterday.
Paopao lasted 11 games, during which time the Ticats’ offence was abysmal and the team’s record was 2-9.
Management hired Paopao before the season without input from head coach Greg Marshall, who never thought much of Paopao’s coaching in Ottawa. Ron Lancaster, a former CFL star who was fired as the Ticats’ head coach years ago, used his front-office role to talk the Ticats into hiring Paopao as Marshall’s right-hand man.
(Lancaster and Paopao have the same agent, Toronto lawyer Dan Lawson.)
It was clear early in the schedule that the Ticats’ offence was wretched, despite the acquisition of veteran quarterback Jason Maas. But Marshall, not Paopao, was fired after a few games, and Lancaster returned as interim head coach.
The lack of offensive production under Lancaster and Paopao has been staggering. The offence has scored one touchdown in its past 16 quarters.
The running attack, even with stars Josh Ranek and Corey Holmes, has been impotent. The offensive linemen have been creampuffs. Receivers have resembled chickens running around aimlessly with their heads cut off. Maas has looked lost.
Lancaster takes over the offence now, and that could be even more trouble.
The CFL consensus, after all, is that the game passed by Lancaster years ago.
Hamilton fans deserve better.
• Don’t be surprised if backup Kevin Eakin starts at QB instead of Maas against the Argonauts on Labour Day ...
There are rumblings that Roy Shivers, fired last week as Saskatchewan’s GM, could be hired to run the Ticats sooner or later.
• The first-half ineptitude of pitcher Josh Towers (1-9) is largely why the Blue Jays aren’t in post-season contention, but he’ll nonetheless be brought back up to Toronto this week, I’m told ... Felipe Alou’s distinguished managing career will end soon. San Francisco bosses may offer the Giants’ job to ex-Toronto manager Jim Fregosi or ex-Jays catcher Bob Brenly ... Mike Hargrove’s days as Seattle’s manager also are ending, not a moment too soon for Mariners star Ichiro Suzuki, who has never cared for Hargrove’s style.
Marty York’s column appears Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Listen for Marty on The ROCK 94.9 FM, Monday and Friday at 8:40 a.m.