The List: 10 things CFL commissioner Mark Cohon can’t live without
1 | My indestructible watch
In 1990 I went on an expedition to the Arctic with 30 Soviet and Canadian students. While I was preparing for the trip, my parents gave me this Rolex Submariner. On the back it says, “Go for it, Love Mom and Dad.” It’s survived the freezing cold, having kayaks fall on it and being chased by
2 | My trainer
His name is Teiko Reindorf, and he comes to our house three days a week. It’s an intense 45 minutes of interval circuit training. He just kills me. But it gives me energy for the day.
3 | My weekend retreat
Four years ago my wife, our daughter and I were visiting friends at Lake Simcoe, and we fell in love with the place. There happened to be a cottage for sale next door—and we bought it. It’s only an hour from Toronto, so we’re there almost every other weekend, all year round. Our daughter, who’s now six, calls it Lake Sim-Cohon.
4 | My good luck charm
My grandfather died in 1991. When I was cleaning out his apartment, I found this American $10 bill in his wallet. I’ve kept it ever since, and I take it with me wherever I go.
5 | My perfect travel bag
My father is George Cohon, the founder of McDonald’s in Canada and Russia. He used this suitcase when he was trekking back and forth to Moscow in the ’80s. When I became commissioner, he gave it to me. I love it because it fits just enough for a short trip: my suit, some shirts, workout stuff and we’re good to go.
6 | My Zegna suits
I love the cut of Zegna suits, which I get from Harry Rosen. Pinball Clemons always compliments my clothes, so I must be doing something right.
7 | My signature pigskin
The first thing I had to do when I became CFL commissioner was perfect my signature for the official footballs. I practised for three weeks before I sent one off to the company that makes them. I got to keep the first ball off the line.
8 | My golden retriever
About 12 years ago I went to Sumatra to study orangutans with an organization called EarthWatch. When I came back, I got a puppy and called him Pongo—the scientific name for orangutans. I was living in New York at the time, and I took him to an outdoor patio and saw this beautiful woman there. The dog worked! The woman’s name was Suzanne, and she became my wife.
9 | My killer sound system
Sonos is the best invention ever. It’s a web-based system that connects all your speakers so you can listen to satellite radio or your iPad anywhere in the house. When I’m alone, I crank my Kool Moe Dee or Hendrix. But when my wife and daughter are home, it’s all Katy Perry, all the time.
10 | My go-to TV channel
I’ve always had a passion for animals. During high school I had a summer job at the Toronto Zoo. I looked after polar bears, camels, orangutans. Since I can’t pick up and go to Sumatra on a whim anymore, Animal Planet is how I get my fix.