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Larry Smith

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Sports Executive

The Resume

Why he might be annoying:

    His playing career doesn’t get mentioned in the same breath his executive one does.
    He is remembered as being the commissioner who oversaw the CFL’s ill-fated entity into the United States.
    His vision was a 20 team league which included a revived Montreal team and one in Halifax, Nova Scotia, along with 10 American-based clubs.
    He didn’t do his homework properly when he chose to accept the American franchises based on population and not on business sustainability.
    He allowed both the WLAF’s Sacramento Surge and San Antonio Riders into the CFL for the 1993 season, but the latter franchise was forced to halt operations before playing a down due to lack of finances to stay afloat.
    The majority of the American franchises he approved were not equipped to fit a Canadian football field and had tepid to lukewarm interest from American fans.
    He allowed the likes of Bernard & Lonie Glieberman to mismanage franchises in both Ottawa and Shreveport.
    His tenure as CFL commissioner saw the majority of franchises face serious financial hardship.
    He contracted the Ottawa Rough Riders, instead of finding an ownership group who was willing to invest in the team and the city altogether, ending the franchise’s existence after 120 years.
    His tenure as CFL commissioner is remembered for both the failed implementation of American teams and doing nothing to help financially strapped franchises until it was too late.

Why he might not be annoying:

    He spent his entire playing career with the Alouettes.
    He earned a degree in finance from Bishop’s University.
    He was drafted first overall by his hometown team.
    While his decision to allow American franchises into the CFL was unpopular with fans, it provided a financial lifeline to the Canadian franchises, along with the league as a whole.
    When the CFL was faced with a serious financial crisis prior to the 1996 Grey Cup game, he brokered a deal with Tim Hortons, who provided the finances in order to help the league pay the teams participating in the game.
    When he contracted the American franchises, he successfully convinced the Baltimore Stallions to relocate to Montréal (although the Alouettes do not consider the Stallions as part of their franchise history).
    His decision to put a CFL franchise in Baltimore helped paved the way for the inception of the NFL’s Ravens two years later.
    As the Alouettes team president, he was credited with helping the reborn franchise establish a foothold in the city during their early years.
    He was a member of four Grey Cup winning teams as both a player and an executive (1974, 1977, 2009, 2010).

Credit: Ricky

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Year In Review:

    For 2023, as of last week, Out of 6 Votes: 50.0% Annoying