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America NEEDS Don Cherry!! - Junior Hockey News
Published: Tuesday, 8 Nov 2011
By: John Petruzzelli
My sons final year of minor hockey coach Mick posted a link on his Facebook account the other day that really got me thinking. It was a youtube video from Hockey Night in Canada (link is at the bottom of the story) from 2 years ago. Mick asked, "Why can't ESPN do this for the American fallen?"
Ron MacLean and Don Cherry do a segment every week called Coach's Corner on Hockey Night in Canada, and on November 7th, 2009 they did their normal segment for a few minutes and then the rest of the segment was dedicated to Canada's fallen soldiers. It is a very nice homage to these warriors with their pictures, name, age and hometown with some appropriate music.
For the uninitiated, Don Cherry is the absolute best dressed coach to have ever been a part of the game. He is known for his devotion to his family, his dog Blue, and to everything that is right about the game of hockey. Don coached at a number of levels, most notably in the show with the Boston
Bruins and the Colorado
Rockies (the now New Jersey
He is also a great supporter of the armed forces in both the US
, and after his beloved wife Rose passed away created a charity in her name. He usually has a rose on his always loud suit jackets in her honour, and to honour the troops he wears a red poppy.
So you ask, why does America
need Don Cherry you say? The one of the not so political incorrectness Don Cherry?
Because Don stands up and says what he means and means what he says. In spite of the fact that his politics are a bit to the right of Attila the Hun (by Canadian standards), he was ranked 7th Greatest Canadian by a CBC poll. While he supports the troops and the battles they fight, he also was the loudest voice north of the 49th parallel to voice support for the war in Iraq-not because of the war, but because those men and women who serve stand for all the freedoms that we enjoy here in North America. Bear in mind that his employer the CBC is a government owned broadcast network, and his comments sometimes are not flattering to his own employer.
I can't say that I agree with everything "Grapes" says or does, but I do have a lot of respect for him and his beliefs. He is passionate about his beliefs and is willing to say it at the top of his lungs. In spite of the fact that many Canadians disagree with him on his politics and his regular rants about French Canadians and European players, he still is a big reason that folks tune into HNIC.
The big things that Grapes talks about are about doing things the right way, working hard, and a code of honor in the game. He is always fond of the journeyman players and the pugilists in the game, and he hates the flashy stuff. He is always willing to debate just about anything and anybody. He thinks touch icing is ridiculous (which it is) and he weekly implores kids to keep their sticks on the ice and NEVER EVER HIT ANOTHER PLAYER FROM BEHIND WHEN YOU SEE THE NUMBERS ON THE SWEATER.
In my area, as in most areas of the US
, CBC is not in our local cable or satellite lineups. You want to see folks get excited about hockey in the US
, put CBC on the dial in every market where there is a Junior Hockey program. If the casual fan of the sport could see just how hard the typical Junior player works at his craft, the grind of an 82 game regular NHL season or the hard work of the journeymen who toil anonymously in the minors, all the while not making boatloads of money, I think you would find a real growth in support of the game. There'd be more fans, more young boys and girls wanting to try the game, more billet families and maybe even more facilities built that would help drive the costs of the game down. The net effect would be more participants at the all too important minor and junior levels of hockey, which would be a great thing for the game.
I'll tell ya what, Rock Em Sock Em Hockey is a heckuva lot more entertaining than Kate Plus Eight!
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