Orridge Steps Down as CFL Commissioner

The Place for BC Lion Discussion. A forum for Lions fans to talk and chat about our team.
Discussion, News, Information and Speculation regarding the BC Lions and the CFL.
Prowl, Growl and Roar!

Moderator: Team Captains

User avatar
Rammer
2017 MVP
2017 MVP
Posts: 22017
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2002 6:04 pm
Location: Coquitlam, B.C.

Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:24 am

He is leaving early from his contract according to CKNW News.

Interesting timing as the season is about to start.
Entertainment value = an all time low

DanoT
Legend
Posts: 2960
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 6:38 pm
Location: Victoria, B.C. in summer, Sun Peaks Resort in winter

Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:15 am

Rammer wrote:He is leaving early from his contract according to CKNW News.

Interesting timing as the season is about to start.
Which means he was fired. I wonder if there is a new commish waiting in the wings or if they will have a temp fill in while a search commences?

There is a growing list of ex CFL GMs who are out of work. OK Hervey is definitely not going to be considered but Barker or Taman???

User avatar
David
2017 MVP
2017 MVP
Posts: 7568
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2002 10:23 am
Location: Vancouver (Kitsilano)

Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:50 am

Michael "Pinball" Clemons would be an excellent choice to succeed him.

I am less about the slick marketing/board room speak and more about finding someone with a genuine passion for the league and its future direction, a thorough understanding of all markets and their challenges and opportunities, and an undeniable charisma and ability to communicate to a younger generation. For me, Pinball checks all those boxes.


DH :cool:
Please sell the team, Mr. Braley.

User avatar
Hambone
Hall of Famer
Posts: 5006
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 10:25 pm
Location: Living in PG. Looking for new work.

Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:12 am

DanoT wrote:
Rammer wrote:He is leaving early from his contract according to CKNW News.

Interesting timing as the season is about to start.
Which means he was fired. I wonder if there is a new commish waiting in the wings or if they will have a temp fill in while a search commences?

There is a growing list of ex CFL GMs who are out of work. OK Hervey is definitely not going to be considered but Barker or Taman???

They agreed to part ways but not effective until June 30th.

http://www.cfl.ca/2017/04/12/statement- ... l-orridge/

TORONTO — The Board of Governors of the Canadian Football League and Commissioner Jeffrey L. Orridge have agreed to part ways with an effective date of June 30, 2017.

“In his time with the CFL, Jeffrey worked tirelessly to promote player health and safety, the integrity of the League on and off the field, and the values of diversity and inclusion,” said Jim Lawson, Chair, CFL. “Jeffrey played an important role in developing the league’s strategic plan which has, in a short time, helped to elevate some key metrics that underpin the health of the league.”
“It has been an honour to serve as CFL Commissioner and help to prepare this historic league for the future by deepening our relationship with fans and sponsors, increasing its relevance with the next generation, and expanding our reach beyond Canada,” said Jeffrey L. Orridge. “While the Board and I have differing views on the future of the league, we both believe passionately in this game, its players, its partners and its fans. I wish the CFL great success in the future.”

“On behalf of the Board of Governors we wish Jeffrey continued success and thank him for his hard work and integrity during his tenure with the CFL,” said Lawson.
You're as old as you've ever been and as young as you're ever going to be.

User avatar
BC 1988
Champion
Posts: 546
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:58 pm

Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:23 am

The big question is what does he mean by "have differing views on the future of the league" ?

That was the last thing I expected to hear from Orridge, who came across (to me) as trying to please everyone and indecisive. I wonder if we will ever know what he wanted to do that was blocked by The Board of Governors?

B.C.FAN
2017 MVP
2017 MVP
Posts: 8715
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 10:28 pm

Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:03 am

BC 1988 wrote:The big question is what does he mean by "have differing views on the future of the league" ?

That was the last thing I expected to hear from Orridge, who came across (to me) as trying to please everyone and indecisive. I wonder if we will ever know what he wanted to do that was blocked by The Board of Governors?
I'd love to know too. I thought Orridge was a good commissioner who pushed boundaries but was passionate about the league and committed to improving player health and safety.

As for Pinball Clemons, he could be a public figurehead, which is his role with the Argos. I don't see him as a boardroom leader or tough negotiator, which are vital skills of a commissioner.
"I think [Fred Fateri] was like a lot of people who watch football, hockey or any professional sport on television. They sit there and think they could coach better than the professional. Some people really think that." - Bob Ackles, The Water Boy

Blitz
2017 MVP
2017 MVP
Posts: 8281
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 8:44 am

Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:18 am

B.C.FAN wrote:
BC 1988 wrote:The big question is what does he mean by "have differing views on the future of the league" ?

That was the last thing I expected to hear from Orridge, who came across (to me) as trying to please everyone and indecisive. I wonder if we will ever know what he wanted to do that was blocked by The Board of Governors?
I'd love to know too. I thought Orridge was a good commissioner who pushed boundaries but was passionate about the league and committed to improving player health and safety.

As for Pinball Clemons, he could be a public figurehead, which is his role with the Argos. I don't see him as a boardroom leader or tough negotiator, which are vital skills of a commissioner.
Agreed B.C. Fan

We don't seem to hang on to Commissioners for very long.
"When I went to Catholic high school in Philadelphia, we just had one coach for football and basketball. He took all of us who turned out and had us run through a forest. The ones who ran into the trees were on the football team". (George Raveling)

User avatar
CardiacKid
Legend
Posts: 1210
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:46 am
Location: Under Christmas Hill, Saanich

Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:18 am

BC 1988 wrote:The big question is what does he mean by "have differing views on the future of the league" ?

That was the last thing I expected to hear from Orridge, who came across (to me) as trying to please everyone and indecisive. I wonder if we will ever know what he wanted to do that was blocked by The Board of Governors?
Another commissioner to run afoul of the Braley, Young and Wetenhall triumvirate?

User avatar
WestCoastJoe
2017 MVP
2017 MVP
Posts: 15051
Joined: Mon May 22, 2006 8:55 pm

Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:46 pm

Could be in the minority on this one, but this CFL fan liked Mark Cohon.

It seems to this fan that being Commissioner of the CFL is a very tricky task. Promoter. Governor. Figurehead. Negotiator. Et cetera.

I am not sure that Orridge was much good at any of those.

I thought Cohon was very good as a figurehead and promoter. One expects he was the choice of David Braley. Nice to have that support. :wink:

Bring on the new guy.

Just IMO. Others will no doubt have different views on the situation.
.........

Issues: player safety, concussions, grow the revenue, grow the attendance, officials, pay attention to the quality of the games (We are in good shape in that area, IMO). Keep the league as a friendly outfit, between teams, players and fans.
John Madden's Team Policies: Be on time. Pay attention. Play like hell on game day.

Jimmy Johnson's Game Keys: Protect the ball. Make plays.

Walter Payton's Advice to Kids: Play hard. Play fair. Have fun.

TheLionKing
Hall of Famer
Posts: 20459
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2005 10:13 pm
Location: Vancouver

Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:05 pm

David wrote:Michael "Pinball" Clemons would be an excellent choice to succeed him.

I am less about the slick marketing/board room speak and more about finding someone with a genuine passion for the league and its future direction, a thorough understanding of all markets and their challenges and opportunities, and an undeniable charisma and ability to communicate to a younger generation. For me, Pinball checks all those boxes.


DH :cool:
Agree 100%

User avatar
SammyGreene
2017 MVP
2017 MVP
Posts: 6445
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2002 11:52 am
Location: Ladner

Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:22 pm

“He impressed the CFL and the board of governors just with his background that he has in broadcast, his international experience working with major brands and his digital experience,” Winnipeg Blue Bombers president and CEO Wade Miller said Tuesday. “He’s carrying on from what Mark has done. The CFL’s in a good place, and he’s the right guy to take it to the next level.”

“He is going to be the purrfect person to work with our players, work with our fans and work with the league,” CFL board chairman Jim Lawson said. “He has the skill set to take this league to the next level.”
More specifically, Orridge’s background features – among other things – sports business, marketing, brand building, licencing, merchandising and contract negotiations.
Two quotes from the day his hiring was announced and both referenced Orridge taking the league to the next level even though the BOG was well aware he had no affliation to the league what so ever. So after 2 years it's apparent the BOG believes he hasn't taken the league anywhere and they have a difference of opinion on its future as well. This looks worse on the league than it does on Orridge.

Sure sounds like they will go the safer route the next time with candidates such as Pinball, Dwayne Ford or Glenn Suitor. But they better have fresh ideas to reach out beyond its aging fan base in most cities.

User avatar
Hambone
Hall of Famer
Posts: 5006
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 10:25 pm
Location: Living in PG. Looking for new work.

Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:53 pm

WestCoastJoe wrote:Could be in the minority on this one, but this CFL liked Mark Cohon.

It seems to this fan that being Commissioner of the CFL is a very tricky task. Promoter. Governor. Figurehead. Negotiator. Et cetera.

I am not sure that Orridge was much good at any of those.

I thought Cohon was very good as a figurehead and promoter. One expects he was the choice of David Braley. Nice to have that support. :wink:

Bring on the new guy.

Just IMO. Others will no doubt have different views on the situation.
Being Commissioner of a pro sports league has to be one of the more difficult jobs on the planet. In the case of the CFL you report to 9 different bosses who often are more interested in what's good for their particular franchise than the league as a whole. Just listened to Farhan talking about one of the aspects of the CFL is that it is a small league of 9 meaning each ownership group has 11% pull in the boardroom compared to the NFL, NHL, MLB or NBA where it's about 3% pull per owner. Farhan also said Cohon and Tom Wright before him also expressed a lot of frustration dealing with the small group of owners. Apparently the BOG considered 200 candidates in the last search before settling on Orridge.

Myself and 2 Eskimo fan friends had the pleasure of a few minutes of conversation with Orridge on the patio of Jimmy's Pub prior to the Lions/Esks game in the summer of 2015. He seemed well aware of the responsibilities of his position and the challenges of trying to balance the wants and desires of his 9 bosses plus those of the fans, players, CFLPA, business partners and broadcast rightsholders. I think he's done an admirable job all things considered. He had more controversial issues to deal with in the past 18 months than Cohon had to deal with in his entire term. Either that or these were issues that Cohon chose to ignore. He replaced a woefully inadequate drug policy and put some protocols in place to mitigate outright coach raiding. He had to deal with a rogue GM/HC in Saskatchewan who felt ratio rules and SMS rules around non-contracted players did not apply to the Riders. He had to deal with Hervey, Maas and mic-gate. All of these things detracted from his top priority which was to grow the business and with it the revenues.

It could be a long search as this group tries to find someone who is well versed in sports business operations, marketing, social media, technology, willing to be a yes-man to 9 stubborn owners and most importantly willing to work for a salary that is about the same as the average CFL GM.
You're as old as you've ever been and as young as you're ever going to be.

User avatar
Hambone
Hall of Famer
Posts: 5006
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 10:25 pm
Location: Living in PG. Looking for new work.

Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:11 pm

SammyGreene wrote:Sure sounds like they will go the safer route the next time with candidates such as Pinball, Dwayne Ford or Glenn Suitor. But they better have fresh ideas to reach out beyond its aging fan base in most cities.
I like all of those guys but will be gravely concerned if any became the next guy. I'm from the camp that believes the Commissioner position needs to be filled by someone whose strengths are in the business aspects of the CFL. Pinball is the only one of those names who has some of that on his resume. However one has to wonder how he would do leading the league considering the problems that have plagued the Argos where he has bounced up and down the org chart from player to coach to club president, back to coach, up to CEO, down to Vice-Chair and remains with the club as Special Advisor to the current President & CEO Michael Copeland.
You're as old as you've ever been and as young as you're ever going to be.

User avatar
WestCoastJoe
2017 MVP
2017 MVP
Posts: 15051
Joined: Mon May 22, 2006 8:55 pm

Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:13 pm

Hambone wrote:
WestCoastJoe wrote:Could be in the minority on this one, but this CFL liked Mark Cohon.

It seems to this fan that being Commissioner of the CFL is a very tricky task. Promoter. Governor. Figurehead. Negotiator. Et cetera.

I am not sure that Orridge was much good at any of those.

I thought Cohon was very good as a figurehead and promoter. One expects he was the choice of David Braley. Nice to have that support. :wink:

Bring on the new guy.

Just IMO. Others will no doubt have different views on the situation.
Being Commissioner of a pro sports league has to be one of the more difficult jobs on the planet. In the case of the CFL you report to 9 different bosses who often are more interested in what's good for their particular franchise than the league as a whole. Just listened to Farhan talking about one of the aspects of the CFL is that it is a small league of 9 meaning each ownership group has 11% pull in the boardroom compared to the NFL, NHL, MLB or NBA where it's about 3% pull per owner. Farhan also said Cohon and Tom Wright before him also expressed a lot of frustration dealing with the small group of owners. Apparently the BOG considered 200 candidates in the last search before settling on Orridge.

Myself and 2 Eskimo fan friends had the pleasure of a few minutes of conversation with Orridge on the patio of Jimmy's Pub prior to the Lions/Esks game in the summer of 2015. He seemed well aware of the responsibilities of his position and the challenges of trying to balance the wants and desires of his 9 bosses plus those of the fans, players, CFLPA, business partners and broadcast rightsholders. I think he's done an admirable job all things considered. He had more controversial issues to deal with in the past 18 months than Cohon had to deal with in his entire term. Either that or these were issues that Cohon chose to ignore. He replaced a woefully inadequate drug policy and put some protocols in place to mitigate outright coach raiding. He had to deal with a rogue GM/HC in Saskatchewan who felt ratio rules and SMS rules around non-contracted players did not apply to the Riders. He had to deal with Hervey, Maas and mic-gate. All of these things detracted from his top priority which was to grow the business and with it the revenues.

It could be a long search as this group tries to find someone who is well versed in sports business operations, marketing, social media, technology, willing to be a yes-man to 9 stubborn owners and most importantly willing to work for a salary that is about the same as the average CFL GM.

Orridge seemed to have all the qualifications in the world. I don't think he raised the profile of the league.

As noted, I thought Cohon was a good figurehead.
WestCoastJoe wrote:Issues: player safety, concussions, grow the revenue, grow the attendance, officials, pay attention to the quality of the games (We are in good shape in that area, IMO). Keep the league as a friendly outfit, between teams, players and fans.
Many issues. Many tasks.

Pinball? As a CFL fan, gotta luv the guy. Commissioner? Not so sure about that.
John Madden's Team Policies: Be on time. Pay attention. Play like hell on game day.

Jimmy Johnson's Game Keys: Protect the ball. Make plays.

Walter Payton's Advice to Kids: Play hard. Play fair. Have fun.

User avatar
David
2017 MVP
2017 MVP
Posts: 7568
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2002 10:23 am
Location: Vancouver (Kitsilano)

Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:16 pm

West Coast Joe wrote:Pinball? As a CFL fan, gotta luv the guy. Commissioner? Not so sure about that.
I hear ya, WCJ. Far from a slam dunk to many, I get it. But I look at it this way. Other leagues have the big, high powered lawyer guy making money for the owners. The CFL is structured differently. It's the all-powerful Board Of Governors and their dueling self-interests. The Commish is mostly a figurehead. I'm not convinced he has much sway in the boardroom or the ability to get 9 owners or team presidents onside for much, if anything.

So as long as we have a puppet running the league, might as well have the most fan-friendly, passionate, high energy, well-liked puppet running things (but I also think he has skills in other areas and could be persuasive too if given the chance). Just my opinion. Others will see it differently of course.


DH :cool:
Please sell the team, Mr. Braley.

Post Reply
  • Information
  • Who is online

    Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest