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Cheerleaders don’t move the ball down the field

By Francis Moran

When the British Columbia Lions and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers meet in the 99th staging of the Grey Cup, Canada’s professional football championship, in Vancouver this Sunday, both teams will have squads of cheerleaders jumping and shouting from the sidelines in a loud and colourful effort to get the B.C. Place crowd roaring for their side. But while the young women in short skirts waving pompoms might be interesting for some to look at, nothing that they do is actually going to move the ball even a single yard down the field. They will score not a single point. Their contribution to the spectacle will not be captured in a single game statistic.

This morning, I was at the second event in as many weeks where the whole game plan seemed to be on pumping up the volume of the cheerleading rather than on the fundamentals of moving the ball down the field.

Speaker after speaker at these two events — last week’s kick off to Ottawa Entrepreneur Week and this morning’s regular monthly execTALKS event, both organised by the Ottawa Centre for Regional Innovation — spoke of the imperative that more “buzz” be created around Ottawa’s moribund technology scene as though sheer enthusiasm alone could overcome the very real challenges that face this critical sector of the local economy.

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