Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Secrecy surrounding protected list pure B.S.

  • Print

Movies have been made about the acquisition and revelation of secret information. There have been Mission Impossibles planned to recover it, and it has been the objective of more than one James Bond assignment.

It is the new contraband of the CFL, clouded in secrecy to shield its players from the truth, and with a street value that will only increase as the days go by. It is all about the names that were, and were not on, "the list."

It matters little we are talking about unearthing the names of professional football players and not double agents living undercover around the world -- it is still an important list. It is a list of those protected and left exposed for the expansion draft. It is a list that is said to be kept from the public to "protect" the people on and off of it, and their work relationships -- which makes it worth finding out about.

After Monday's expansion draft, we now know only three of the players who were not protected by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers: Import Miles Wallace and non-imports James Green and Rory Kohlert. What we don't know and what I don't understand, is why the public wasn't privy to the complete list of protected players submitted by the member clubs over a week ago, and therefore, more importantly, the ones left off of it.

When asked about this veil of secrecy at the 2013 Grey Cup, as Vancouver writer Lowell Ullrich recently reported in the Province, commissioner Mark Cohon told the media, "the most important thing is to protect the relationship between players and coaches." Indeed, this is what they intended to do, but it is a very misleading notion.

"Protecting the relationship between players and coaches," is not how the CFL should have explained this omission. They should have been honest about what it really implies, which is the CFL will not be releasing this list, "to prevent some players from being exposed to the truth and reality about their relationships between their coaches and member clubs."

The truth is that, almost to a fault, coaches and organizations blow smoke at their players all day, every day. They want them to think they are indispensable and highly valued components of their football team, even when they are not. They want their players to think they have their back, even when they don't, so they will be motivated and can get the most out of them. The revealing of these protected lists would have done the players a huge favour, but the teams a disservice. It would have interrupted the state of denial so many athletes live in, it would have shown them an honest snapshot of their value to their ball clubs and it would have taught them a quick lesson in the realities of pro sports.

By hiding this list the CFL is shielding their players from the reality of their situations. You know what happens when you shield something from stress? You make it weaker.

This was an opportunity for the CFL to give their players an honest accounting of where they stand with their football teams. This was a chance for the players to see the truth about how their organization really feels about them -- not just what they are told -- and where they are ranked. It might have stung for some and been a surprise for others, but it also would have been vindication for some athletes insecure about their standing, and a wakeup call for others living off the fumes of past performances. This wasn't about "protecting relationships between players and coaches," this was about protecting fragile egos and perpetuating the lies told to naive athletes on a daily basis, lies they have wholly bought into.

Discovering which players were protected and which were not would have been a strong discussion and debating point, and given fans insight into this decision-making process. More importantly, the players could have learned and grown from it. But you know the saying: If you have nothing to hide, you wouldn't be hiding it.

 

Doug Brown, once a hard-hitting defensive lineman and frequently a hard-hitting columnist, appears Tuesdays in the Free Press.

Twitter: @DougBrown97

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 17, 2013 D3

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Sneak peek: The galleries of CMHR

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A black swallowtail butterfly land on Lantana flowers Sunday morning at the Assiniboine Park English Gardens- standup photo – August 14, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Winnipeg’s best friend the dragon fly takes a break at English Gardens in Assiniboine Park Wednesday- A dragon fly can eat  food equal to its own weight in 30 minutes-Standup photo- June 13, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should the Canadian Museum for Human Rights use the word 'genocide' in exhibits on Indian residential schools?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google