Don Cherry is a former National Hockey League coach and famous Canadian hockey commentator. I would describe this curmudgeon as somewhat knowledgeable about hockey, outspoken and very colourful. He admits to being a right-wing conservative hawk and a regular guy’s blue collar Joe six-pack. Hardly educated, Don has the vocabulary of a fifth grader and the intellect of an antelope. Yet he states his mind and is always fun to listen to, and especially watch. His trademark is his over-the-top colourful suits that he wears during his NHL game segments called “Coach’s Corner”.
Tonight Don had on a suit celebrating the Christmas season. His tailor is a magician.
His sidekick is Ron MacLean. A rather dry and boring man, yet very smart hockey analyst. His puns and quick witty retorts sometimes make Cherry want to punch him.
Cherry comes up with some funny quotes. Not exactly witty, but interesting nonetheless. Here are a few of the 82 year olds best.
(Introducing Toronto’s new mayor, Rob Ford) “I’m wearing pink for all the pinkos out there that ride bicycles and everything.”
“If it keeps going like this, the Zamboni driver is going to be the first star.”
“It’s always been a part of the game. The fans love fighting. The players don’t mind. The coaches like the fights. What’s the big deal?”
(After a goal, Islanders’ Zigmund Palffy kisses teammate Travis Green on the lips) “I know those guys who wear visors are sweeties, but that’s a little too much.”
(On Edmonton Oilers defenseman Randy Gregg, who also happened to be a doctor, missing a wide open net) “How would you like that guy operating on you with those hands?”
“To run up a score like that, that is wrong. First of all it is not the Canadian way.”
(On the Boston Bruins) “I love them so much I still wear their shorts.”
(On the Canadian Football League) “The best thing about this game, there’s no Russians or Swedes playing.”
“I consider my style that of the men of the 1930s, where men had an elegant style, tight suits, tight collars, lots of jewelry, a clean sharp image. I must admit my style has been called foppish, but I like it.”
“Never forget a friend. And never forget an enemy.”
On Ron MacLean’s puns: “A million comedians starving to death and you’re trying to be one.”
On being pulled over by a motorcycle policeman: “He was wearing a visor. I thought he was Russian.”
In 1989, Winnipeg Jets’ owner Barry Shenkarow threatened to sue Cherry for referring to the team’s assistant coach, Finn Alpo Suhonen, as “some kind of dog food.”
During the 2008 Olympics in Nagano, Japan, Bloc Quebecois party members complained there were too many Canadian flags in the Olympic village. Cherry responded by saying “They don’t like the Canadian flag. You know it’s funny, they don’t want the Canadian flag but they want our money.” He also said, “Then we pick a French guy, some ski guy that nobody knows about,” referring to French-Canadian skier Jean-Luc Brassard, who was selected as Canada’s flag bearer.
During the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, two Russian cross-country skiers, Larissa Lazutina and Olga Danilova, tested positive for Darbepoetin (increases red blood cells) and were disqualified. Don Cherry weighed in on the incident, saying, “I’ve been trying to tell you for so long about the Russians. What kind of people they are and you just love them in Canada with your multiculturalism.” After the Olympics, Cherry addressed his comments on Coach’s Corner and said “I don’t regret one word I said ” I meant every word of it.”