Don Cherry, wearing an outrageous pink suit, made an ass of himself at the inauguration of Toronto’s new mayor, Rob Ford. Had Cherry dropped his pants and mooned the audience, he would not have made a worse impression than he did with his silly comments.
Cherry had a mediocre pro hockey playing career, but a successful, though rather short, coaching career, which he parleyed into a long run as a Canadian personality. Good for him.
But he’s not a great hockey mind—his Bruins team (1977-78) had 11 players with at least 20 goals each, plus Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito. How lucky was that? People say you have to be good to be lucky, but Cherry’s coaching record suggests he really wasn’t that good.
His Bruins team—though stacked with talent—made the Stanley Cup finals twice in the mid- to late-1970s, but lost both times to the Montreal Canadiens. Then, while up a goal with less than two minutes left in the seventh game of a 1979 semi-final playoff, Cherry’s Bruins were penalized for having too many men on the ice—a coaching gaffe of monumental proportions that got him fired. The Canadiens tied the score on the resulting power play and went on to win the game in overtime. How smart was Cherry then? And things didn’t improve much in Colorado (his next coaching stop), where Cherry was pretty much a failure.
Cherry talks a good game when promoting his hockey insight on Hockey Night in Canada, but couldn’t back it up when he was the part-owner and coach of the Ontario Hockey League’s Mississauga IceDogs. In the IceDogs’ first three seasons his team won a combined total of 16 games. Even when Cherry took over as coach in the fourth season, the team managed only a pathetic 11 victories. His team missed the playoffs four straight years with him in charge.
We’re used to seeing Don Cherry play the buffoon on television on Saturday nights, but those in attendance yesterday at Rob Ford’s inauguration got to see and hear him do it in person. Lucky them.
After city councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker jokingly kissed Rob Ford on the cheek, Cherry said as he introduced Mayor Ford, “That kiss—is that the kiss of death that they give like, ah, I guess that’s what they do around here. Well actually I’m wearing pinko for all the pinkos out there that ride bicycles and everything. I thought I’d get it in.”
He went on to say, “What’d you expect, Ron Maclean here, to come here? But, you know, I have to, I am befuddled, because I thought I was just doing a good thing coming down with Rob, and I was gonna do this here and it was gonna be nice and the whole deal.”
The rest isn’t worth boring you with—mainly a lot of vindictive abuse of the media/press and abusive comments aimed at about 50 per cent of Toronto’s population.
No one should be surprised for Cherry is a bully—we see that demonstrated often on TV, and he proved the point beyond any doubt off-air yesterday.