Hi CFL fans, it's Commissioner Mark Cohon. I am happy to join you today to answer your questions as the 102nd Grey Cup inches closer and closer. So feel free to ask me almost anything. I will be here for an hour starting at 6 PM ET.

Twitter Proof: https://twitter.com/canadiancommish/status/537380645400371200

FYI: I've only got 8 minutes left to answer questions!

That's it for me everyone! I hope to see you all at my Fan State of the League on Friday at 11am PT at the Fairmont Waterfront ballroom. Enjoy Grey Cup week!

Comments: 202 • Responses: 43  • Date: 

adventureseeker46 karma

Any plans for a CFL video game? Or partnering with the Madden franchise?

MarkCohon_CFL47 karma

Over the years, we've had discussions with EA, and the business case thus far has never supported a CFL console game. But we are committed to adding new mobile games and apps over the years to come for our fans.

mrgeebus35 karma

To most outside of Canada, the NFL is the be-all and end-all of professional football.

Given the plethora of sports channels across the world, could us UK viewers maybe see some CFL at some point?

What strategies do you have for growing international awareness of the brand?

MarkCohon_CFL39 karma

Our focus is on the US with our partnership with ESPN. One way or another, we'll get the game to our UK fans next season.

Stach3727 karma

Mr. Cohon, first a big hello from everyone over at /r/CFL!! Thank you for your years of unwavering service and unfathomable belief in our little league.

My question for you today is in regard to one of the most pressing issues that the CFL faces today and that is Toronto. I personally believe that Toronto could once again a thriving hub for CFL football. What are the current steps the CFL is taking to ensure that the Toronto market will weather its current storm and survive? Much of what we have seen in the media is finger pointing at particular parties and conjecture of how "CFL football CAN'T work in Toronto".

As a REDBLACKS fan I've seen how amazing ownership can help a team thrive in a market where it seems to be a failure.

Thank you for coming to talk to us over here at Reddit :D!

Bonus Question: When can we expect the Atlantic Schooners to set sail!?

MarkCohon_CFL24 karma

There are ongoing conversations about moving the Argos to BMO Field. If we can change the in-stadium experience for the Argos, I think it can be wildly successful. We did it in Hamilton and Ottawa...we can do it in Toronto. Thanks for your support!

Guitargeorgia26 karma

Hi Mr. Cohon,

What are some reasons that an American football fan (NFL and NCAA) should watch the CFL more regularly and how does someone in the Southeast US get access to do this?

MarkCohon_CFL39 karma

Every game is on ESPN3, and the Grey Cup is on ESPN2 this Sunday! Watching the game should turn you into a fan.

grits20721 karma

Do you think there will ever be a CFL team in Moncton or is Halifax Atlantic Canada's best shot at getting a franchise?

MarkCohon_CFL37 karma

Halifax probably has the best shot. But a stadium has to be built, and an ownership group has to step forward and express real interest. I know we have great fans in Atlantic Canada, and we hope to return to the region for future Touchdown Atlantics.

IKingJeremy20 karma

I understand that due to the physical nature of the sport and the threat of injury, international competition would be difficult, but has there been any talks between your office and the NFL on the possibility of a game between the CFL and the NFL?

How likely is something like this to happen within the next 5 years?

MarkCohon_CFL24 karma

We haven't had any conversations about matchups between CFL and NFL teams.

CanadianGladiator19 karma

Mr. Commissioner, please give me an advantage in my bet with a friend:

What are the odds you'll wear a red tie during the Grey Cup trophy presentation ceremony on Sunday?

MarkCohon_CFL21 karma

What did you bet? And what did you predict?!

CanadianGladiator17 karma

I've got two cartons of chocolate milk riding on you wearing a red tie.

Not trying to bribe you, but I would gladly give you one if I win.

MarkCohon_CFL29 karma

Sorry, it's gray.

CanadianGladiator17 karma

After you step down as Commissioner, will you continue to watch/attend CFL games?

MarkCohon_CFL32 karma

ABSOLUTELY. I might even have a pint or two!

MarkCohon_CFL15 karma

That's it for me everyone! I hope to see you all at my Fan State of the League on Friday at 11am PT at the Fairmont Waterfront ballroom. Enjoy Grey Cup week!

calgary320014 karma

There have been other great commissioners in professional sports but I don't believe there has ever been a stronger advocate for equal rights than you. Under your leadership, the CFL became one of the first leagues to support the the YCP Project and the Huddle Up Prevention Program. The CFL also continues their efforts on the field through fines and objectionable conduct penalties to ensure everyone is treated with safety and respect. A couple questions: 1. Why was it important for you to make these social issues a priority? Does it make you proud that your legacy as commissioner will extend beyond football? 2. Do you ever think about how many lives (most you won't ever hear about) that you saved and/or helped because of your words and actions? Or how many amateur athletes that continue to play football because of your ability to get other great guys like Jon Cornish to become positive role models? 3. If you had the chance, what would you say to the first openly gay CFL player?

Many will remember you for bringing the Redblacks a franchise or Hamilton a stadium but I believe your biggest accomplishment was to let fans know that it is okay to be who they are. I can't express in words how much of a positive impact you made for fans like me. Thank you for being my favourite commissioner of all time.

MarkCohon_CFL24 karma

Thanks for your great support. I want to answer Question #3. It would be one word: Welcome to our league.

eeskimos14 karma

What are your thoughts of having a fixed CFL schedule for example Fridays 7ET 10ET and Saturdays at 4ET and 7ET?

MarkCohon_CFL19 karma

If we could create appointment viewing, that would be great. We love our Friday Night games.

De_Chelonian_Mobile14 karma

Did you know your surname is pronounced almost like the spanish word for "testicle" (cojón)? No offense intended, seriously. ♥

MarkCohon_CFL24 karma


R9914 karma

What was the highest level of football you have played? High school? College? NFL or CFL?

MarkCohon_CFL27 karma

I captained my high school team, was recruited to play in university but I blew out my knee.

CanadianGladiator13 karma

Hello Mr. Commissioner! Thank you so much for doing this!

1) Where do you see the CFL in 5 years?

2) Reflecting on your time as CFL boss, what is one thing you would've done differently?

3) Got any hidden talents?

MarkCohon_CFL13 karma

1) Stronger than ever with new stadiums and millions of people watching on TV, iPads and whatever the new device is!

2) I don't have a lot of regrets.

3) I'm not a bad dancer!

Stach377 karma

But can you breakdance Mr Commissioner?

MarkCohon_CFL47 karma

I can break something dancing...

dotCeh13 karma

In a world where you have to make a choice, which would you choose:

...fight 100 duck sized Jon Cornish's, or one Nik Lewis sized Jon Cornish?

MarkCohon_CFL29 karma

I think I'd rather fight 1000 cornish hens!

RabbleRabble66811 karma

Hi Mr. Cohon,

I have a couple questions for you today:

1) What is your favourite grey cup match-up that took place in your tenure as Commissioner


2) Who is your all time favourite player in the CFL? Past or present.

MarkCohon_CFL23 karma

1) The most memorable Grey Cup was clearly the '09 matchup in Calgary between the Riders and the Als.

2) He knows it, I've always said Tony Gabriel.

MarkCohon_CFL21 karma

When I'm no longer Commissioner, ask me who my present favourite is!

CanadianGladiator11 karma

What movie should I watch tonight?

MarkCohon_CFL25 karma


fredbnh10 karma

Hello Commissioner, this AMAA has been so prolific that I hope my question hasn't been answered already. Barring active players, who do you think was the best QB to play in the CFL?

MarkCohon_CFL24 karma

In the modern era, it has to be AC.

Loweded9 karma


What piece of advice would you give a budding sports journalism student?

MarkCohon_CFL17 karma

Follow your passion, and if you love the CFL...start blogging.

Oilfan99119 karma

Hi Mark,

Thank you for the excellent work you've done for the CFL during your tenure, and I truly believe the CFL will be poorer with your absence.

My questions are: Do you view the pass interference replay challenge as a success? I liked the idea when it was first proposed, but after of watching challenges being upheld or overturned I'm more befuddled than ever as to what constitutes pass interference.

Secondly, as an Esks season ticket holder I would be remiss if I didn't ask you about the persistent rumours that there was CFL pressure placed on the Esks to trade Ricky Ray to Toronto. Since you're on the way out the door there's no harm spilling the beans now :)

Cheers, Matt

MarkCohon_CFL14 karma

As I said the first time, we only approve the trades, we don't initiate the trades.

drpgq8 karma

Who's going to win the Vanier Cup this weekend?

MarkCohon_CFL32 karma

The team that scores the most points!

CanadianGladiator8 karma

If you could pick ANYONE (alive/dead, real/fictitious) to replace you as Commissioner, who would you pick?

MarkCohon_CFL10 karma

Tough question...let me get back to you!

MarkCohon_CFL22 karma


calgary32008 karma

Who is your favourite Canadian pop music star? Or what is your favourite band?

MarkCohon_CFL26 karma

New band: Sheepdogs.

Old band: RUSH!!!!!

jensenworks8 karma

Do you remember when Douglas Mitchell did "Ask the Commissioner" in the mid-80's? (I still have my CFL '86 Stats book from when I sent in my question as a youngster.) If so, how cool do you think it is that history repeats itself like this?

MarkCohon_CFL15 karma

Didn't know about that...very cool!

CanadianGladiator7 karma

How often do you get told that you resemble a (slightly) older Mark Wahlberg?

MarkCohon_CFL19 karma

Not Mark Wahlberg, but people tell me I look like Michael C. Hall (Dexter)...that's a little creepy.

CanadianGladiator7 karma

What's one thing that CFL fans might not know about the job of Commissioner?

MarkCohon_CFL12 karma

How diverse the job is. I can be a media spokesperson, to disciplinarian, to negotiating business deals. There are so many different aspects to this job.

coelurosauravus7 karma

Proudest moment as commissioner?

Favorite thing either of your parents ever cooked?

Favorite vacation spot?

Favorite TV show?

Thing your looking forward to most with stepping down as commissioner?

MarkCohon_CFL12 karma

1: 100th Grey Cup celebrations. 2: Mom's meatloaf. 3: South Africa. 4: Seinfeld. 5: Time with my family.

Radiophage7 karma

Commissioner Cohon, there must be some aspects of the job that are fun, but don't always get the most publicity compared to your more public announcements and interactions with fans.

What's a part of your job that you really, really love, but the media or fans wouldn't know about?

MarkCohon_CFL9 karma

I really enjoy thinking about how we market and position our brand.

thisismyredditacct6 karma


MarkCohon_CFL11 karma

I don't see that happening any time soon. But it's something for the governors to contemplate.

CanadianGladiator6 karma

What would you like your legacy as Commissioner to be?

MarkCohon_CFL11 karma

That I left the league in a much better place and that I really connected with the fans.

rhineauto6 karma

Hey Mark, what's the status on the Argos' search for a new home? Is it actively ongoing or are they taking a wait and see approach?

MarkCohon_CFL8 karma

Ongoing discussions with MLSE to determine whether we can move the Argos into BMO Field.

KnockoutBacon6 karma

What do you think about the state of the CFL today?

MarkCohon_CFL12 karma

We are in a strong stable place now and the new Commissioner will have a long runway to be innovative and engage with millions of fans.

fr34k56 karma

I heard the average salary a player can make is somewhere near $35k is that true?

CanadianGladiator11 karma

According to the excellent cfldb.ca, the average player salary is closer to $80,000.

MarkCohon_CFL35 karma

Actually, with the new CBA it's closer to $100,000.

Stach376 karma

Mr Commish,

Does the CFL have any plans to work closer with the CIS to help develop amateur Canadian football talent?

MarkCohon_CFL11 karma

There are ongoing conversations with the CIS to figure out how we can collaborate. Whether it's officiating or testing new rules...it makes sense to work closely.

chemicalxv6 karma

Are there any major regrets you have?

MarkCohon_CFL15 karma

I won't have the cool "Commish" title when I'm done!

NotOdellbeckhamJr5 karma

Do you have a favorite NFL team?

MarkCohon_CFL10 karma

Growing up as a kid in Toronto, because my mom was from Buffalo, I was more of a Bills fan.

drpgq5 karma

Is the CFL going to keep pass interference calls as reviewable next year?

MarkCohon_CFL10 karma

In the off-season, we're going to evaluate it with the GMs, Presidents and Board of Governors. The important question to answer is: did it help us get it right more often.

CanadianGladiator4 karma

Given everything you know about concussions, injuries, and long term health effects that can result from the sport...

Would you let your children play football?

calgary32008 karma

To follow up on this question, what are your thoughts on concussion sensors? Any new technology that will be used next season to ensure the safety of all players?

MarkCohon_CFL11 karma

We're focused on the Safe Contact program to teach kids how to tackle properly. I would absolutely allow my daughter and my nephew to play the game if they wanted to. http://safecontact.footballcanada.com/


Thank you for doing this Mr Cohon!

A few questions for you:

Forgive my ignorance from here on in

Do you watch other leagues/sports? If so:

  • What are your favourite teams? Why?
  • Any favourite players? Why?

  • Do you watch and see if you can incorporate anything into the CFL?

There is a large debate over the expansion of the NFL (starting with the London games).

  • Do you see the CFL expanding overseas, whether through broadcasting of domestic games or even playing games abroad?

  • What are the pros/cons from your point of view?


MarkCohon_CFL10 karma

1: I watch the NBA, I used to work there, so I love watching the Raptors. I really like Lowry, because he's all about hustle. Always looking at other leagues in North America and around the world for ideas, just like they look at us.

2: I can see more broadcasting internationally, and maybe in the future an exhibition game to expand our reach. Our focus is to continue to build in Canada.