Grooming Cohon to Replace Goodell?

By Roger Currie

Who could possibly have imagined that less than a month into their season, that multi-billion dollar business known as the National Football League could be embroiled in such a mess, over domestic violence.

It began with Ray Rice, the former Baltimore Raven who slugged his fiancee on an elevator and knocked her out cold. What opened the floodgates was the fact it was caught on video, and pretty soon the whole world was watching. How strange that we live in an era where privacy is supposedly cherished, but at the same time our lives and our private actions have never been more public.

The man who has to sort all this out is NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. He’s not doing very well, and he may be the most despised man in America right now. All too often in recent days, the commissioner seems to be making up policy hour by hour, on serious issues like domestic violence. He was already under the gun over violence on the field. The most successful of the pro sports leagues has been at war with former players for years over treatment of concussions and other serious injuries.

General Motors doesn’t have as many lawyers on retainer as the NFL. One is tempted to say about Roger Goodell, “Whatever they’re paying him, it ain’t enough.” In fact it appears to be way too much. Last year his total compensation was more than $44 million, and he didn’t complete a single pass or make a tackle.

Here in Canada, the man in charge of 3-down football is Mark Cohon. His salary seems a bit harder to find, but I’m betting it’s somewhere south of a million loonies. The CFL Commissioner is stepping down after this season, and he will be missed.

Who knows? Perhaps he’s being courted to take over from Mr. Goodell.

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Roger Currie is a writer, storyteller, voice for hire, observer of life on the Canadian prairies, and can be heard on CJNU 93.7FM in Winnipeg.