Larry Smith 1992

Thirty years ago today - April 1 1992 - Larry Smith officially became the Commissioner. He oversaw the remarkable CFL expansion into key American markets and re-established Canadian professional football in Quebec. The renaissance in Montreal and at Percival Molson Stadium was arguably a life-saving factor for the League.
As a player Smith won a pair of Grey Cups with the Alouettes.

I don't know if Larry's in the Hall of Fame but I think if not he belongs there.

Well done Larry and happy anniversary.

Peter Boyle Ottawa


That was wild ride. Matt Dunnigan was promised a million dollars by one of the owners (A. L. Williams I think) and got stiffed... so maybe his experience wasn't the best.

Larry was also responsible for one of the funniest amateur player drafts in any pro sport.

Combine Larry Smith, Frank Cosentino, David Braley and so many others that really know or knew Canadian football, and guess what, knowledge and experience that is amazing.

He may have meant well, but Larry Smith has to be the worst commissioner in league history. The league survived in spite of him. Although Ambrosie seems to be giving him a run for his money.

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Donald Crump on line one and would like a word….

Crump didn't do much at all. He just rubber stamped what the governors wanted. He had no real effect, no direction and therefore was quite neutral to the league's course through history. He was neither good nor bad.

Smith on the other hand was very much pro Barnum and Bailey, which was the attitude that was killing the league at the time. It was only under John Tory post 1996 that the league turned around, because of Tory's initiatives to move to quality product and brand value over fly-by-night flash and dash circus promo marketing.

John Tory saved the league, not Larry Smith.

He was? What happened?

Well Tory did one good thing, he worked for a dollar. Any Commissioner is just the mouth piece of the owners IMO. But Larry Smith had a lot to do as CEO with the Alouettes, as to their attendance success as far as I know.

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So did U2.

You don’t consider almost single handedly killing the Grey Cup not bad?

Also of note, he was obsessed with renaming the then Landsdowne Park for some reason instead of doing anything to fix the franchise.

He was horrible. Thanks heavens he was only around a short time before he did anymore damage.

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He was cracking corny jokes for almost very pick in the first round (such beauties as “it says your position is Right Guard, so does that mean that you use RightGuard deodorant?” or when one particularly large individual was drafted he sarcastically asked “do you work out by any chance?”)

He also kept calling former Rider and then Ticat coach John Gregory “Barney Rubble” over the microphone multiple times despite the fact that Gregory was not laughing, was staring him down, and after the third time, looked like he was about to Will Smith him.

An absolute surreal scene at a professional league’s draft

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Who's done more to save the league in the past 30 years than David Braley? Larry Smith with his hairbrained schemes pretty much single-handedly drove Braley out of the league. After the CFLs worst era was over and Smith stepped aside, Braley came back and pumped his cash into it, saving BC. No commissioner has done more damage to the CFL than Larry Smith.

Again, I will say that I believe Smith was very well-intentioned, he was just wrong.


Braley left the league long before Smith was hired. In fact he may have left while Crump was Commissioner.
Braley left cause of the new owners coming on to the scene up the highway more than anything.

Getting 'Will Smithed' by Barney Rubble would've caused the Flintstones to be dropped from the Rock Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. We can thank our lucky stars that this didn't happen.

But if Larry Smith had made fun of Betty Rubble's yabba dabba doo (a condition that causes cartoon hair to look poorly drawn), then the dinocrap would've hit the fan.

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