The Winnipeg Football Club has always been a big supporter of CFL commissioner Tom Wright, so yesterday's news that he is stepping down at the end of the season was met with disappointment on Maroons Road.
"Tom's decision, although disappointing, is not surprising given the environment in which he was subject to over the last period of time," Bombers president and CEO Lyle Bauer wrote in an e-mail to the Sun. "The success of the CFL under Tom's leadership is irrefutable. Tom has his reasons for this decision, and it is incumbent on us to respect his decision.
"The challenge now shifts to a search for a new commissioner, and that in itself will be a challenge, as there are many, including myself, who were already of the opinion that we had the right man."
HIGH PROFILE ENEMIES
Meanwhile, Wright had some very high profile enemies within the CFL, but the Edmonton Eskimos were never on that list.
"It's a sad day," said Eskimo president Rick LeLacheur, after listening to Wright announce that he's leaving the commissioner's post at the end of the season.
"Tom has done a great job.
"The profile of the league (has increased) and our sponsorship revenues are up quite substantially."
Although the commissioner took the high road by not alluding to any frustration with the board of directors when revealing his future plans yesterday, LeLacheur knows it played a role in the decision.
"I am sure that (frustration) came into his consideration," he said.
"There have been things that have been said out in public that shouldn't have been said in public.
Stuck with Wright's decision, LeLacheur is at least happy with the fact the commissioner isn't bailing right away.
"Tom has been very fair to the CFL," continued LeLacheur.
"It allows us to do a proper (head-hunting) search."