June 9, 1998
In the middle of the 1995 season ... the Argos traded Wayne Lammle to the Ottawa Rough Riders for Terry Baker. This horrible deal was thought to be masterminded by the Argos GM of the day ... Bob O'Billovich. And the deal essentially ended any hope for a Grey Cup Victory in 1995.
No explanation was ever given ... and most Argo fans were too depressed to press the management for answers.
But ... I now deduce the potential real reason that Argos fans were not allowed to bask in the glory that was Wayne ...
The trade was actually ... and allegedly... engineered by the CFL brass at the highest levels. Obie actually disagreed with this course of action and lost his job over this interference from high up. Obie became the innocent victim in this circumstance.
The whole point of the deal was to save the Ottawa Rough Riders from folding. The CFL believed that Ottawa should have the best player in the CFL and the trade with the Argos was thought up. The Argos were forced to part with Wayne and take Doug Flutie in return from Calgary. The Argos refused at first...but the CFL Brass threw in Don Mathews and a threat of a $500,000 fine if the Argos didn't play ball. To aid in the coverup ... Flutie and Mathews were withheld from Toronto until 1996. (*Which came in handy for the 1995 Grey Cup)
The Argos agreed and the deal was done.
Argo fans were extremely upset at the deal and attendance at the Dome fell the rest of the season after the trade. Prompting Argo ownership to give away thousands of seats the final game against Calgary. (Doug Flutie remarkably made his return from injury in that Argo game and lost to the Vaunted Ones that day.)
But Ottawa survived to play the 1996 season with Wayne as their main player..
Was there a conspiracy?
You be the judge ...
Addendum: Wayne Lammle was cut by the Saskatchewan Roughriders after Game 6 in 1998. Working for
the Roughriders is none other that Bob O'Billovich!
Is there a conspiracy? You be the Judge.