The Canadian Football League failed once again to be like its massive brother south of Trump’s Second Invisible Wall. It had a problem with an easy solution, and it solved it.
More specifically, commissioner Randy Ambrosie, doubtless in concert with the eight owners who don’t run the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, solved it by nullifying the hiring of former Baylor head coach Art Briles to become the assistant head coach for the Ti-Cats. No fuss, no muss, no investigators, no long drawn-out stall. Just a simple, “This is bad, let’s not do it.”
Briles, who while at Baylor worked tirelessly to run an excellent football team that took a disturbingly active role in hiding sexual assault cases involving his players and was fired as a result, had been hired by the winless Ti-Cats’ coach June Jones over the weekend, to a bi-national hue and cry of “What the hell are you thinking?”
Jones was thinking he knows Briles, felt sorry for his current lot in life and threw him a lifeline despite his revolting role in the Baylor scandal. Jones was also thinking Briles is a bright football mind and the Ti-Cats need all the help they can get.
But Ambrosie was thinking something else, namely, “What the hell are you thinking?” And then he thought something else – that Briles’ employment was a very bad idea that needed to be halted. And so it was, Monday night, before Briles even had a chance to move his stuff into the office.
Ambrosie thus did what Roger Goodell hates doing – acting swiftly to fix an obvious failure in social comprehension – and is being hailed for it because, after all, if a commissioner has any role at all in the modern sports world other than as the boy who fetches the tea, it is to act when the solution is clear to everyone but the fellow who caused the problem.
If there are lessons to be drawn from this, the obvious first one is that shielding people accused of rape is always wrong and when done as many times as Briles did is worthy of exclusion from public work. The second one is that commissioners do not always have to canvass the room for weeks and talk to lawyers for months before doing what it clear to everyone in the room.
It took less than 24 hours to undo the deed. Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?