August 20, 2014

An open letter to CFL fans from Commissioner Mark Cohon

Dear CFL Fans

Today I informed our Board of Governors that I will not seek a third term as Commissioner of the Canadian Football League.

This is a very personal decision.  I knew in my gut when I came here that the CFL was the right place for me and I have never regretted that decision. Today, those same instincts are telling me it is time to move on to tackle new challenges and opportunities.  

I won’t be going anywhere for a while. I have indicated my willingness to complete my current term as Commissioner. It doesn’t expire until April 2015 but I wanted to give our Governors ample time to find the right person for this important position. Their search will begin immediately. And I will continue to work as Commissioner for the rest of this season and for months to come.

Still, I can’t help but reflect. It’s incredible how quickly time flies. This is my eighth season as Commissioner, and I have loved every minute of working on behalf of our iconic franchises, with our elite and unselfish athletes, and for you, our wonderful fans.

Thank you so much.

Our league has come a long way over these years. You have made every advance possible.

• When we debuted the REDBLACKS this season, you packed the place.

• When we celebrated the 100th Grey Cup, you came to every event, and when we took our historic trophy from coast to coast to coast by plane, train and automobile, you were on board, often literally.

• When we visited Atlantic Canada, you came with us, or were already there for us.

• When we declared This is Our League, you cheered.

• When we sat down to negotiate a transformative deal with TSN and RDS, you armed us with great ratings.

• When we said we needed new stadiums, you showed your support to help make them happen.

• When we launched the Fan State of the League, you filled the room with energy, emotion and tough questions.

• When we launched the SunLife Grey Cup Fan March, you filled the streets with fun and emotion and, as I knew would happen, not one of you dropped the Grey Cup, and all of you cherished the moment.

• When I asked for your rule changes, you had the most innovative ones.

• When I asked for your input, you took the time to write or call or email or tweet, and each and every time, your passion for our league shone through.

• And when I wandered into the stands, into a Sea of Green or Box J or any one of the special places that has made this league what it is, you welcomed me and my family with open arms, good humour, and the occasional priceless one-liner.

Commissioners come and go. So do coaches and quarterbacks. Our league and game are much bigger than any one person.  The CFL will continue to grow and succeed in the future because of you, our fans.

Still, I hope the CFL is better for the time I have spent here.  I know I am and always will be.

Thank you for everything.