This past Saturday as I was participating in my standard Saturday evening activity (falling asleep on the couch), I was awoken by the familiar music of Coach’s Corner on CBC. For years, this music and the introductory witticisms of Ron MacLean have been enough to get even the most apathetic hockey fan somewhat interested in what was about to be said. Seeing as how I fit the aforementioned description of an apathetic (on a good day) hockey fan, I shook off the cobwebs from my nap to take hold of whatever insight Don and Ron were about to provide me.
It is at this point, that my plan to use Don and Ron for hockey insight fell apart faster than you can say adampollockisafacebooklegend. Seeing as how Ron’s main job is to keep Don in check, and on point, I cannot fault him for the job he did. Don was in check (no Frenchies were insulted during the telecast—although my use of the word Frenchie may in and of itself be insulting), and Don was on point. The problem lies, and it pains me to say this, is that Don Cherry no longer has any points and thus no longer belongs on TV.
In the past Don has had crusades, and valid causes they were (more elasticity to the boards so body checks weren’t like running into brick walls, and no touch icing to name a few.) He advocated those positions passionately, and used his bully pulpit to promote them. He provided the viewer with visual evidence backing up his claims. He made a case by arguing his points and providing factual and tangible evidence that made it hard to dispute him. When he was like this, he was a valuable surrogate for the home viewer to understand some of the more minute points of NHL hockey.
Unfortunately, as this past Saturday crystallized for me, Don no longer is insightful, he is simply an older man with a platform to rant, and that he does regardless of whether or not his rants make sense. (I am aware of the irony associated with my writing that previous sentence, considering that this blog is called Cold Hard Rants.)
This past Saturday as I was listening to Don, he mixed up multiple names. His points were jumbled, confused, and try as I might to decipher them, I was unable to do so. (Incidentally, I attribute this to Don and not to my inability to understand people.) It really was an eye opening experience, and not one I enjoyed
My experience with Don Cherry goes back many years. I had the privilege of attending the worldwide launch of Don Cherry’s Rock ‘em Sock ‘em II. Like any youngster I was suitably impressed with his larger than life personality, and his willingness to make any nobody (for the purposes of this story, I am the nobody) feel important. For that, I will always appreciate Don. However, as this past Saturday showed me, Don Cherry is no longer worthy of being on TV as his segment has turned into nothing but a parody of the insightful and informative segment he used to provide. That is a great loss, as hockey needs all of the cross-promotional, larger than life advocates and celebrities it can get. The NHL needs to get started on creating a new household figure (no, it’s not you Brett Hull), as the time has passed for Don to be that advocate.
For Illegal Curve, I am Andrew M.
About the writer: Formerly a speech writer for a Canadian Federal Politician, Andrew will be bringing his unique take on the hockey world to the illegal curve blog once a week, or more often if the rage needs to be released in a manner other than clobbering a referee over the head with a whiskey bottle. Mainly because he doesn’t have enough empty whiskey bottles at his disposal.