Wednesday, December 8, 2010

How obnoxious does Don Cherry need to be?

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.”

Pithy, eh?

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.”

Always articulate.

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.


© 2010 Russell G. Campbell
All rights reserved.


  1. Russ:

    Stick with the PINKO's.
    Switch to the Blogging Liberals.
    You can't have it all ways.

    E Mac.

  2. I would not disagree with your analysis of his hockey or coaching career.

    I do however about his comments to those in city hall and reporters who have attacked him for his support of the troops and fashion style.

    Without a doubt the losers are envious of him. Many of them have a higher education but can't earn half his income for HNIC.

    Just like those athletes who fall short and blame the system.

    We don't need more 'pithy'. Direct and blunt 'stuff it' should suffice. After seven years of wrecking Toronto it is time to end the polite language and silly games. End the political correctness and fix the culture at City Hall.

  3. Wow, you didn't like his speech so you attack his entire career.
    Even the left-wing pinko's on Power and Politics didn't do that.

  4. Oh boo hoo, the man may have been inarticulate and insulted some people who needed insulting. The past seven years have seen conservatives ridiculed, verbally attacked and marginalized thanks to the old regime. Mayor Ford will bring some balance back and if some lefties get their feelings hurt, so be it.

  5. I've never liked Cherry or his schtick, but I really respect someone who says what they feel without having to read their santized, politically correct statements from a teleprompter, or fill their 15 second sound-bites with with escape clauses, and back-track handles. Yeah, I've never really like Cherry and his Liberace attire either .... until now.

  6. I strongly disagree with your opinion on this matter. Don Cherry is an entertainer, and should not be held to the same standard as a politician. Entertainers entertain. I was entertained by his speech. Mission accomplished.

  7. Cranky or Just a CrankDecember 9, 2010 at 7:22 AM

    Russ, get your basic facts straight before you huff and puff about grapes.

    He had a miserable pro career - one game in the NHL and the rest of the time in the minors riding the bus.

    For the 1977-78 season Bobby Orr was in his third season with the Blackhawks, although it was only six games and Espo was in his third season with the Rangers.
    The Bruins' top scorer was Terry O'Reilly.

    In the last four of his five years with the Bruins, they lost in the semi-finals twice and lost in the finals twice, with both of those trips to the finals without Bobby or Phil.

    If you listen to him about hockey on Saturday nights, you might learn something. Or his he to loud, too straight-forward and that would that upset your delicate feelings.

  8. I agree with you in his career. However, I do find Cherry to be entertaining. He reminded me of Elton John in his pink jaket.
    Makes it a bit hard for us to take anything he says seriously.