In 30 years of covering the CFL, I have interviewed 11 different commissioners. A few walked away from the job, some handled it on an interim basis and the majority got fired.
Jeffrey Orridge was the latest to find out it’s impossible to be a CFL commissioner. Their terms last, on average, less than three years, which is shorter than the 3.3 years averaged by a professional football player. Mark Cohon, who preceded Orridge for nearly eight years, was the most successful in recent decades because he connected with the fans and the players, which appeased the nine CFL governors.
Those governors are the problem. Right after hiring Orridge two years ago they realized they made a mistake. They had hired someone with little personal connection to their league and whose views differed from theirs.
Ticket sales and TV ratings fell during Orridge’s reign, so the governors dumped him. It’s one of the few things the governors can agree on – they all want to make money and they always want a new commissioner.