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Speros, others want league to hire vice commissioner with U.S. clout


Is one commissioner enough for the Canadian Football League?

Not necessarily. The owners of the five U.S.-based CFL franchises are lobbying for the appointment of a vice commissioner to be based in America and share power with CFL commissioner Larry Smith, according to a report in the Toronto Globe & Mail.

Baltimore Stallions owner Jim Speros confirmed that Peter Ueberroth and Jack Kemp are two of the candidates that U.S. owners are pursuing. Speros added that the American owners aren't dissatisfied with Smith. They think he needs more administrative help in a 13-team league that could grow to 16 by next year, if the CFL adds three more American expansion teams.

"I'm in favor of a vice commissioner in the U.S., who would work on marketing the game here and on TV contracts here," said Speros, who has talked with Kemp, a former presidential candidate.

"I believe the league should have one commissioner, and that's Larry Smith. But we need a figurehead who has clout in the U.S.," Speros added.

"For the last three years, Larry has been putting out fires, finding new owners for existing teams, and expanding the league. We need a guy who will take some of the pressure off of Larry. It's not a nine-team league anymore. He can't do it all by himself. This is a sensitive issue. Something good will develop from it, but we have to do it the right way."

Speros added that the issue will be addressed at tomorrow's Board of Governors meeting in Toronto. Smith was unavailable to comment.

By the way, Kemp's son, Jim, is the backup quarterback for the San Antonio Texans. Kemp has been a guest of owner Fred Anderson at several San Antonio games.

U.S. streak stopped

American teams had won six consecutive games against Canadian teams before San Antonio dropped a 20-17 decision to Winnipeg on Wednesday.

A big reason for the Texans' failure was the inept play of Jim Kemp. He replaced starting quarterback David Archer, who had the flu and a hamstring problem.

The result? The Texans (2-3) did not score a touchdown, and Kemp completed 13 of 28 passes for 194 yards and four interceptions. His last interception set up the game-winning field goal for Winnipeg.

Calgary unstoppable at home

When Baltimore travels to Calgary next Sunday for a contest that many believe will be a preview of November's Grey Cup, the Stallions will try to overcome the greatest home-field advantage in CFL history.

Calgary has won 26 consecutive home games -- the longest streak in league history -- and has not lost at McMahon Stadium since Sept. 7, 1992, when the Stampeders dropped a 34-21 decision to Edmonton.

With quarterback Doug Flutie, the league's reigning Most Outstanding Player, the Stampeders are 5-0 and are averaging 40.4 points.

The Stallions will be at an additional disadvantage in Calgary: Baltimore will be playing its third game in eight days, and the Stampeders will be playing for the first time in nine days.


Interbrew, the Belgian brewer that recently purchased Labatt, which owns the Toronto Argonauts, has put on hold plans to sell the team. . . . The same goes for the pending sale of the Calgary Stampeders from Larry Ryckman to Sig Gutsche. There are growing doubts that Gutsche has enough money to purchase the Stampeders, estimated to be worth about $4.5 million. The deal was supposed to be finalized three weeks ago. Both teams will be points of discussion at the Board of Governors meeting, after which a new television contract with ESPN will be announced.


Opponent: Edmonton Eskimos (4-1)

When: Wednesday, 9:30 p.m.

Where: Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton, Alberta

TV/Radio: Ch. 54/WJFK (1300 AM), WGRX (100.7 FM)

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