June 5, 2007, - 12:46 pm

Welcome to America, Mr. Cherry!

By Debbie Schlussel
Last night, in a smart move by NBC, my absolute favorite famous Canadian–Don Cherry–graced the airwaves in prime-time National Hockey League play-offs.
It was the first time that Cherry did color commentary on American TV. And hopefully, it won’t be the last. Canadians love to hate him. And I just love him.

Doncherry.jpg

As a Detroit-area resident who’s become familiar with Cherry from his regular perch on Canada’s CBC Hockey coverage in “Coach’s Corner” on “Hockey Night in Canada,” I’m an enthusiastic Cherry fan. Dapper Don–whose trademark is a wardrobe of flashy sartorial splendor–because he’s an entertaining and a conservative and not afraid to show it. And he has a sense of humor and a flair for the blunt. Cherry is the most exciting sports commentator on television because he doesn’t mince words and refuses to be PC. And he loves America. In a country (Canada) where even the “Conservative” Party is liberal, Don Cherry is a conservative in the Reagan tradition.
When Canadian hockey fans booed Americans after the start of the Iraq war, Dapper Don told them off and spoke of the greatness of America and its soldiers and what a great friend American has been to Canadians. Cherry’s not afraid to point out the wimpishness of Europeans–through hockey–citing their use of visors and helmets while starting fights that injure others. And, like me, he thinks the NHL was stupid to take the fighting, the masculinity, out of hockey.
Last night–in a welcome respite from PBS’ anti-Israel special on the Six Day WarCherry said (among other things):

Hey, America, hey, NHL, don’t be stupid. Put the fighting back in hockey. I have to laugh . . . I’m told the reason they cut it down was because they wanted USA people to watch. Can you believe that? That is the dumbest thing I ever heard in my life.
The NHL, NBC, and everyone in U.S. television are making a big mistake. We should go back to rock ‘em, sock ‘em. It would help the game and help your audiences.

Even in Cherry’s uncharacteristically hoarse voice, last night, he was exciting and interesting to watch and listen to, as always. (Unfortunately, he was paired with thug and spoiled brat Brett Hull.)
If only we could keep Don Cherry, and send Canada one of our “treasures” . . . like Rosie O’Donnell, Sean Penn, or Michael Moore. I think that’s a fair import-export deal.

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9 Responses

I watched Don Cherry last night too, you gotta love him. I tune into hockey night in Canada on Saturday nights just to see him.

mbwings on June 5, 2007 at 2:46 pm

And lets bring back some physical contact in the NBA. It’s too boring right now.

LoveAManInAUniform on June 5, 2007 at 2:46 pm

Debbie, youíre right about Don Cherry. He was the head coach of the old NHL team, Colorado Rockies. The hockey Rockies werenít all that good, but they entertained when they played. I think it was the influence of Don Cherry that gave them their attitude as a team.

Rocky on June 5, 2007 at 3:14 pm

But it’s too bad this means nothing to anyone that doesn’t live in a NHL city….like baltimore. I don’t understand what this was about. Sure we could get an NBA or NHL team, but our city is stupid to say that they can’t reinnovate 1st Marnier Arena DESPITE DRAWING BIG EVENTS HERE STILL!!!

Squirrel3D on June 5, 2007 at 3:26 pm

who watches hockey its june 5 and 80 degrees,maybe if they let them not wear helmets anymore and the goalie dont wear masks maybe it might interest me but for now i will be watching debbie tigers fall from grace being doomed by the cleveland indians or the pc name native americans

PNAMARBLE on June 5, 2007 at 7:58 pm

Dear Debbie:
Like you, I certainly appreciate Don Cherry’s support of the United States. That being said, I do NOT agree with his comments about putting fighting back into hockey. I was watching when he said that and I couldn’t help but notice that Brett Hull agreed wholeheartedly. That should tell you soemthing.
Hockey will always have some fighting because the sport is inherently fustrating. That doesn’t mean that fighting should be allowed or encouraged. In my view, it takes away from the sport when each and every game is a constant brawl.
When fights are rare, they’re entertaining. When they’re a regular feature, ya seen one, ya seen ‘em all. It becomes boring.
Last night’s game was a barn-burner. I don’t know how a long drawn out fist fight could have made it better.
I understand old-timers yearning for the good old days. I still yearn for confederate flags at NASCAR races. (OK… just kidding, but I remember them well and still see them even if the TV cameras are careful not to show them. They don’t bother me.) Things change and if NHL is going to grow back into a major sport, the big brawls need to be the exception and not the rule.
Who knows! Maybe if they continue to discourage fighting in the NHL, we’ll see fewer “thugs”.
LOOK AT THE LINKS I POSTED FOR BRETT HULL. I MEANT HE IS A THUG OFF THE ICE. ON THE ICE, HE’S SUPPOSED TO BE A THUG (BEFORE HE RETIRED). OFF THE ICE, HE SEEMS TO HAVE FORGOTTEN BASIC COMMON DECENCY AND CIVILITY. . . OR NEVER TO HAVE LEARNED IT.
DEBBIE SCHLUSSEL

There is NO Santa Claus on June 5, 2007 at 10:28 pm

No doot’ aboot’ it! Grapes is an absolute original.The guy just straight up speaks his mind.And yes the two minute instigator rule needs to go the way of the dodo.Bob Probert #24 was the best!

Chiefscotty24 on June 6, 2007 at 11:28 am

Send Canada Michael Moore? dont you mean “Return to Sender”. Even, those canucks didnt want him…

Avatar on June 7, 2007 at 4:21 pm

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