Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Round-Up: Comissioner Orridge

Spring apparently arrives today and the only good news is that you can use the tattered remains of your busted March Madness bracket to make a small fire to keep you warm. The official team of the Rider Prophet, the Wichita St Shockers, have yet to join the ranks of teams that ruined my bracket but that's likely because they haven't played yet.

Let's get to the big CFL news this week...

In this day and age its almost impossible to keep things secret in the sporting so I find it amazing that the CFL managed to keep the name of the new Commissioner under wraps almost right up until the announcement. Part of the reason the secret was easier to keep is that the person they hired was off most radars.

Jeffrey Orridge was unveiled as the 13th Commissioner of the CFL. What he lacks in name recognition, he more than makes up for in terms of qualifications. Harvard law, Mattel, Reebok, USA Basketball, CBC Sports. In reading through his resume, its easy to see why the CFL was interested in him. All he is really lacking is the perfect hair of his predecessor Cohon... or any hair for that matter.

A big deal is being made about the fact that Orridge is the first non-white commissioner of any pro sports league in North America. On one hand I think this is a positive reflection on an attitude the CFL has had for a long time: the only thing that matters is if you can do the job. To be fair that attitude is likely rooted in a history where we couldn't afford to be picky about who the league employed because this wasn't exactly the most desirable place to work. But nonetheless, its a very Canadian thing not to concerned about things like skin colour.

On the other hand though, in this day and age, its kinda sad that the colour of Orridge's skin is even newsworthy. Like its some kind of surprise that a black man could run the a football league. Just how far do we take this? Will there be a news release about the the first asian sports exec who doesn't pronounce it Rions and Loughliders? I don't care if they're black, white, asian, female, paraplegic or tusken raider as long as he can do the job. Ok, check that, I would care if he was a tusken raider... that would be newsworthy.

Orridge looks like a solid hire for the CFL. It will be interesting to see if he can maintain the CFL as one of the few leagues where the Commissioner isn't universally reviled.

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