The Wright "Post-Mortem"

Well, it’s official - Tom Wright is not going to be back next year as commish of the CFL. So while there’s a bit of time left in his tenure, I don’t think we can expect anything of great importance to happen given his lame-duck status. With that said, here’s my “post-mortem” on the Wright dynasty:

1: Increased television viewership, and the television deal with TSN in particular.
2: Excellent job securing and promoting secure ownership in Toronto and Hamilton.
3: Excellent job growing the game on the west coast.
4: Encouraging signs of partnership with university-level football and other amateur football organizations (especially in Quebec).
5: Positive rule changes to prevent injuries to players.
6: Got a surprising amount done despite not having full support of the BoG.
7: Relative labour peace with the CFLPA.

1: Truly botched the Ottawa ownership scenario - seriously, the GLIEBERMANS?
2: Above paritally due to moving too quickly on eastern expansion.
3: Referees still absolutely brutal.
4: Couldn’t unite the BoG on anything, and actually seemed to alienate people as time went on.
5: Still no drug testing policy - now the only major sport without one.

Jury Still Out
1: Instant replay - it’s only just started, but it’s not exactly “instant” at the moment.
2: CFL-NFL relations, as I hear that many of the top NFL brass are very annoyed at the “suspended player” loophole that allowed Ricky Williams and Ontarrio Smith (LOL!) to come up this way.
3: Clarifying role of the Commish - Wright wanted to do this, but it never actually happened; however, the NEXT Commish will definitely ask about it.
4: Controversies were largely avoided but it always seemed like something was bubbling under the surface.
5: Ottawa being folded - if the team comes back strong in the near future, it was a good move. If not, it was a disaster.

All in all, we’ve seen far worse people sit in the top seat of the CFL over the years, but the instability that plagued Wright’s reign has to be a reflection of the instability in the CFL in general. As much as things seem very rosey, I’m left wondering if we’re all standing around waiting for the crash.

All the same, best of luck to Wright on his future endevours.

Why cant this be posted in CFL talk? you ticat fans are so self centered.

this is a big step backwards for the CFL. The reason the CFL is unstable is due to the unstability of the head office. Reason in point. The NFL has only had two commissioner, Mighty Pete, and Paul T. Bith with great track records. The NFL commish know how to keep team owers in check. The NFL has more problems than the CFL, But due to damage control and control at the head, all seams great in the NFL. Look at the team transfers, Arizona still sucks. If there were more large size stadiums in Canada the weak sisters of the CFL would have been moved. THAT INCLUDES THE TICATS. But their isn't so you make due or fold. Wright had a vision. Too bad the Goves Including Young see things differently. Tom Wright was the only commish that came and sat with the fans to find out what was needed to inprove the league as a whole.

Too bad the Gov's have a bigger agenda

Tom Wright Your were great in the short time you were here. And as for the GLibs. It was the Gov's that voted and allowed them to take over Ottawa.

thanks bob young for your support of cfl commissioner tom wright. maybe if you had supported him more the league wouldnt be looking for another commissioner. i know there was other bog who didnt support him but mr young could've did better just one of the reasons that i might not renew my tickets after 35 years for 2007

Some more positives:
8. Introduced Salary Management system that the BOG agreed to, and might actually work.
9. Honest and integrity. When Larry Smith was Commish, he spun every negative story into a positive one. In the press conference for the suspension of the Ottawa franchise, Wright sat through the entire press conference, answered every question frankly and took personal responsibility. We all know it wasn't entirely his fault, but he took the blame squarely on his shoulders.
10. Getting the schedule out sooner. This past year, we had a schedule out sooner than we've had in years. And it was adjusted for the Ottawa suspension quickly, with minimal disruption to the remaining teams.

Some more Jury's still out:
6. His "folksy" personality. He talked in familiar terms, and tried to make personal connections. He sang the national anthem with his daughter. But does this diminish the perception of the Commisioner's office and/or the league? Or enhance it?

I think you show your greatest strengths through adversity. And Wright had some adversity.

The Ottawa suspension: The CFL held leaks to a minimum. They gave timetables to the Ottawa press and public. And while they took longer than they promised, you had the impression that they were doing due diligence trying to save the franchise for the 2006 season. The dispersal draft details came quickly. He made it clear that the suspension was a football decision, not a financial one ... something I have respect for.

On questions of his leadership: His response to questions about his contract: consistently "no comment". It appears "leaks" were from the "other side". And he has read the tea leaves, and is choosing to step aside. We'll see if the salary management system is his legacy.

Wright told BOG Gliebs were only chance in 05 -- not his fault.

Being on vacation in March and saying that he was unaware that situation with Gades was as bad it was --- that's on him.

But to his credit, he sought to make it right and is still doing so.

His biggest problem (as with any CFL commish) is the restraints that come with the position. Unless BOG want to cede some of their influence and power to commissioner's office, the circus will continue.

Lysko was hailed as the guy who could do wonders for marekting etc. Braley, Schwarz et al didn't like him because he was too outspoken and called them out for bonehead moves.

Tom Wright was the total opposite of Lysko and has been a marked man for over a year.

Hell, something tells me they wouldn't accept Pinball as next commish.


You have been a good supporter of our league and T.W. .... Steve

We have lost this battle .... to save Wright .... just like many fans .... lost their 'Gades long as we can rid the CFL of Braley (and his ilk) we can still feel good

We are gonna need help .... but all good things do

Shame on David Braley

Thanks for trying, Tom Wright

Kudos to Tom Wright. He did an admiral job in a difficult position.

Let's face someone stated, it doesn't matter who becomes the commish. It's a position where you're hired to be the yes man to all of the Board of Govenors, a position of no real power and worst of be the fall guy for all the ills of the league (mainly brought on by the Board of Govenors).

At least, that's how I see it.

Very much agreed. The league and BOG will sorely miss Wright next year. The positives he did for this league hugely out-weigh any blemishes. However, bottom line....does not matter who you get.....commsioner will be in for a few years and start doing well and be shipped out in fear or not do well at all and shipped out for "killing the league".

Until the BOG concernns themselves with their own teams and lets the commish run the league things will always remain the same....

and this my friends makes the CFL a unique and interesting league

Whoever the next commish is, he should be extremely grateful to Wright for leaving
him a strong league with great potential. His many accomplishments have already been noted in other posts here, so, no need to reiterate. I'm confident that Ottawa will be on track before seasons end so I'll say it for myself and the next commish- Thank You Tom Wright.