Please consider this application for the position of commissioner of the Canadian Football League.
While I may not be qualified for the job -- in fact, I know I'm not -- it is my understanding that ability won't be taken into account throughout the hiring process.
(I am told Mr. Donald Crump was once commissioner.)
But in order to provide you with the requisite information on my career, I have put on retainer, Mr. Larry Smith, who promises to provide the same due diligence on my background that he delivered to the league on its apparent Orlando franchise and other American ventures.
One of the reasons the job as commissioner so interests me is that it has come to my attention that no real leadership skills or decision making is necessary for employment. And I assure you, I am quite capable of that.
For the right salary and the proper term, I would be willing to acquiesce at any given moment, turning control over to David Braley, Bob Wettenhall or Hugh Campbell or whomever requires it when needed on any matter of importance.
I would even agree to allowing Mr. Braley's name to be inscribed on all CFL footballs, the way I understand he would like it to be.
I even promise to look the other way if running backs are traded in mid-season for quarterbacks to be named later. And I promise to do the same with American criminals, lawbreakers, drug sellers, and anyone else we're able to sneak over the border who may want to play football for cheap.
I do, however, have some non-negotiable conditions that would have to be met in order to accept the position of commissioner. They are, as follows:
- The single-point rule, also known as the rouge, would have to be changed. Single points could no longer be attained from any place-kicking position, except points after touchdowns. In other words, no more points for missed field goals. And no more rewarding failure, except in the form of Danny Barrett contract extensions.
- The use of the term non-import would be banned from all CFL language. Because it's stupid. Non-imports are, in fact, Canadians. So let's call them that. It's the CFL not the NIFL.
- The no-yards rule would be changed to better the game and stop making players look silly. The five-yard restraining zone would still be applicable for punts being fielded out of the air. But once the ball hits the ground, the no-yards rule is waived. This is, after all, football. We teach players to pursue the ball, not tamely back away from it.
- Every team would be required to have a Canadian quarterback on their roster. The only way to find another Russ Jackson or even another Gerry Dattilio is to invest long-term in the position.
- Return the "naturalized" Canadian to the CFL. In other words, once an American player completes five full seasons in the league, his roster status changes from import to Canadians. That would encourage stable rosters and build name recognition in every CFL city.
- Bring the CFL's website into the modern ages. The website, for lack of a better term, stinks. The Ontario Varsity Football League has a more progressive website. If you want to be a pro, look like a pro. This is the online generation. Time to enter it.
- Shrink the end zones to 15 yards. The NFL end zone is too small. The CFL is too big. Fifteen yards is just right. You shouldn't be able to throw long on second and goal from the six-yard line.
- Until another franchise is added in Ottawa (as if that hasn't been tried) or Quebec City, dispense with the East and West format and have one eight-team league. Top four make the playoffs. Bottom four don't. It makes the season more competitive, more exciting. Also, shrink the 18-game season to 16-games, add one exhibition game, and remove the bye-weeks. All games, except on Labour Day and Thanksgiving, should be played on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
I hope you see merit in these proposals. Enclosed is my rather thin resume. I look forward to hearing from you.
In his past three NHL seasons, Mike Peca has watched his numbers decline from 13 goals to 11 goals to nine. If the Leafs have interest in him to be a third- or fourth-liner, so be it. But if they believe he will improve their offensive game, they're dreaming.
It's a good thing Rob Babcock is gone. Otherwise, he might be getting slaughtered for drafting an Italian with the NBA's first overall pick, or for signing a free agent from an Israeli team, or for getting nothing but cap space for Mike James.
It's no secret that Scott Morrison and I have had our differences. But this much I know -- he is one of the premier hockey minds in Canada. The credibility he brought to Sportsnet was beyond reproach. For that he should have been applauded, not fired.