Doug Mitchell’s influence on Canadian football was unrivaled

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Few people have done much more for Canadian football than Doug Mitchell.

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Probably not.

His illustrious legacy certainly goes far beyond the football field. Mitchell, who died this week, was a “legendary lawyer,” according to current CFL Commissioner Randian Bology. Mitchell and his wife, Royce, were Calgary community leaders and enthusiastic supporters and supporters of amateur and college sports.

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But even though his legacy was tied to football alone, he had a terrible and impressive impact.

Mitchell was the CFL Commissioner from 1984 to 1988. He played for BC Lions in the 1960s and was part of a group of local businessmen who purchased the Calgary Stampeders in 2005. He remained a minority owner throughout his life.

There are many others. Mitchell was a football guy, and the Canadian football community was better for it.

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“You think about everything he did, he and his wife Royce, everything they did for football,” Ambology said on Friday morning. “I think one of the reasons Doug and I were connected was because they had the same belief that football would change people’s lives better. Doug passionately believed that football would connect Canadians. I think Doug basically believed that football would help build and develop the characters of the people who play the game.

“His passion is deeply rooted in core principles. That’s one of the reasons I believe he could be so passionate. He believed it almost to the molecular level, he. Believed that the game was important. “
Before being inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame last month, Mitchell talked about his life in football. He remembered playing on a walk-on with Colorado College Tigers at the University of British Columbia at Thunderbirds.

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Those experiences stuck to him, and Mitchell spent countless hours in college sports.

He founded the BLG Awards in 1993 to honor top athletes at Canadian universities. Mitchell Bowl, one of Canada’s annual national semifinals of college football, is named after him, and UBC’s Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Center bears his name.

“I was very lucky with so many things, and really, all thanks to football,” Mitchell said last month. “I appeared at Colorado College and walked to actually form a team. The rest is history. The coach gave me the opportunity to walk, but Adam didn’t know me. The rest are all football. is about.

“It was like the greatest change in my life.”
If football changed Mitchell’s life, well, Mitchell changed football in Canada as well. Sport was lucky to have him.

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His stewardship helped the CFL survive the turbulent decade of the 1980s. His commitment to the Stampeders helped him recover from the terrible stretches of the early 2000s and win the Gray Cup in 2008, 2014 and 2018. Countless young college students have benefited from his commitment to celebrating college games.

“He left a legacy,” said Ambology. “Probably bigger or bigger than anyone in front of him, and now it is the responsibility of all of us to protect that heritage.

“Dag wanted us to grow the game. He wanted CFL to have a bigger and brighter future. When I heard the news (Mitchell died), I I felt a certain sense of responsibility not only for my work, but for Doug’s legacy as well, to do everything I could to respect it. ”

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Doug Mitchell’s influence on Canadian football was unrivaled

Source link Doug Mitchell’s influence on Canadian football was unrivaled

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