Guest Writer Jim Takes A Hard Look At Don Cherry

You may have read Jim before. He’s had it up to here with shootouts. He comments regularly on the state of the game and how it could be fixed. And beginning now, in three installments, he sets his sights on possibly the only person more opinionated than himself, Don Cherry. 

                                                                                                 WHY DON?


 Should Don retire?  Two ways to reply to this question are:  first, respond directly to it as if it raised a legitimate topic for discussion;  second, examine it’s provenance, question the question, as it were – why has the question even been posed and who posed it?  My position here is clear and unequivocal – of the two, the second approach is the best one because it is the one that impels us to think about Don in an effort to understand  the truly interesting question,  `Why Don?’.

 Should Don retire?  From what?  He can’t retire from himself.  He can’t retire from hockey.  He can’t retire from being a public personality because, after all, it’s The Media, in all its magisterial might, and not Don who decides what is newsworthy and what is not.  Whether or not Don is deemed so a la Paris Hilton or otherwise is, perhaps, moot, however the indubitable fact is that The Media has ordained that Don is NEWS and it is from this fount that all things Donian flow including this question.  Thus, the question is bogus, the appropriate question might be, `Should The Media retire Don?’ If the answer is yes, then I suppose they could start by retiring Coach’s Corner and go from there, stop flashing his mugg at us, passing on his opinions, talking about him – censure any mention of him whatsoever in all the mainstream media, in effect, make him go poof!  Unfortunately (for the anti-Donians), the dood is incorrigible, he simply won’t keep still and, like the Cheshire Cat in Wonderland, he’ll undoubtedly pop out of the infosphere somewhere/when else.  The internet. The local arena.  Bobby Orr’s birthday bash.  Blue II’s funeral.  

  And does The Media really want to retire Don?  After all, it is plugged into him as much as he into it, eh?  As well, The Media insistantly reminds us that it would never ever censure The News!  It merely reports it, the facts  – that Don is, well, out there is not a fact of their making –  and nothing else, that it doesn’t `spin’ possible meanings, that it doesn’t design page-layouts, pick n’ choose and order items in order to favour one interpretation, one position, one set of beliefs over another – after all, it’s not in the propaganda biz, is it?  Nevertheless, culpable as The Media is in the creation of Don, it would be remiss to lay the entire blame for him at its doorstep.

   Don is not merely a two-dimensional construct of The Media, he is also very much a creation of us, the Canadian Hockey Fan..  Perhaps the ultimate responsibility for retiring Don lies with US.  Should WE retire Don? Should WE  take undertake a  determined pro-active initiative to make Don go poof!  WE could do it.  WE could band together, kick things off with a country-wide burning of Don – in symbolic effigy form, of course.  Make Don’s retirement into a national holiday akin to Guy Fawkes day in England with speeches and beer, fireworks galore and balloons and candy apples and everything else that goes into such an event.  I’m sure The Media would luv to help US out.  The ratings would be astronomical and the advertising revenue awesome.  Imagine, Don would go up in flames on practically every block in Canada as WE unite in our unanimous desire to exorcise Don from OUR collective as-yet-to-be-determined sense of self. 

 And Don would be more than happy to lend a hand.  He could deliver a nationally televised rant on European hockey players, fisticuffs, the instigator rule, no-touch icing, etc etc, after which he could diss Ron, tell him for the umpteenth time that he doesn’t know what he is talking about whereupon Ron, his mug graced with a beatific smile, would, after a good bad pun appropriate to the occasion, set a torch to a giant effigy of Don on Parliament hill then a select posse of sports writers could lead US in consigning his Rock `Em Sock `Em stuff and whatever else they deemed was tainted with the imprint of un-Canadian Donism to the cleansing flames. 

 Religous /feminists/environmentalists/activists-at-large could denounce Don as a dinosaur, a relic of a by-gone era, and as such an intolerable obstacle on OUR journey to national self-realization and therefore guilty of creating his own reality – it’s clearly his fault that WE are forced to make him go poof. 

 The politicos could chip in, too. The next morning the Prime Minister could give a speech in which he announces that effective immediately it would be a criminal offence punishable by a fine of no less than $19.37 plus GST and 78 minutes in the corner of the Kindergarten class nearest to the offender to even say Don let alone name your baby after him.  In fact, not only the name Don but the very word could be erased from OUR lexicon.  No more Don! No more don! And Cherry/cherry, too. Kiss `em goodbye! In less than 24 hours Don would be officially gone – after all, WE Canadians are respectable law-abiding citizens, eh?  No longer would he be in OUR collective face and on the tip of OUR tongue and, unlike the Cheshire Cat, his poofing would be terminal leaving US Don-free to continue OUR quest to find ourselves, to create a new vibrant identity that captures and expresses OUR Commitment To Diversity, to being everybody and nobody – a  challenge that only a progressive post-post-modern Canada can meet – and become living proof that `It Is All Relative’ as WE lead the way in the forging of a Brave New World, a peaceful haphaphappy world from which all those bestial atavistic urges and surges inherent in Donism have been eradicated

 An alluring vision, eh?  Alas, like all utopian dreams, it is impractical.  Why? I’ll tell you tomorrow.

11 thoughts on “Guest Writer Jim Takes A Hard Look At Don Cherry”

  1. Just a word of advice. Don Cherry is a bit like so many politicians and talk show hosts; no one actually values their opinions, but he mentions enough contereversial ideas that he becomes fun to talk about, but his ideas simply don’t make enough sense for us to actually listen to, and for sure not to implement. Judging from previous experience, if you simply ignore him, find something else to do during Coach’s Corner, and basically erase him from your life, you’ll find that others in the media don’t mention him as often as you think, and when they do, its usually to tell us how dumb his latest idea is. Having said that, if CBC ever does decide to remove Don Cherry and his battery powered suits from their broadcasts, I nominate Jim to be his replacement. Maybe they’ll even let you choose your own good bad puns.

  2. Hah! I’ve already retired him – I choose not to watch him spew his vitriol. Please – save yourself the trouble and don’t bother writing more about him.


  3. If WE are gonna go through that much trouble to erase someone from OUR collective existence, I humbly say Stephen Harper is a better choice.

  4. OY VEY! dave in jersey, you obviously didn’t understand what was said, which is fine, however I am surprised by your talent for vacuity. Hehe, out of all that verbiage only one intelligible meaning emerges: if you ignore Don, you can poof him! LOL More nonsense in that that ever came forth from Don. Are you so intellectually challenged that you can’t apprehend, for example, `no touch icing’? Simple. Straightforward. Hmm, perhaps you should stick to kosher dogs, lay off those nasty Jersey ones – they could be unduly affecting your mental faculties. Just a word of advice: simply saying something doesn’t make it so.

  5. Jim. Be nice. You don’t have to be insulting. Who’s going to want to comment if you insult them and get personal?

  6. UH? I’m insuling?? C’mon, Dennis. Read the dood’s words … okay, not exactly poetry but, hey, crass at best.

  7. I think you see things differently than everybody else. I saw nothing about his words that would lead me to what you saw. You have to let others have their opinions. Or is it only your’s that’s correct?

  8. Don has become a parody of himself in recent years – and I think part of the reason is that he has been attacked by so many censorious types on the left (and within the fetid bowels of the CBC) that he’s elected to make himself into a bit of a punchline in order to take some of the heat off.

    Maybe he should retire – but that would bring comfort to his enemies and the people who hate don tend also to be the people who embrace human rights commissions, speech codes in universities, political correctness run amok, and all the other things that make canada a budding orwellian wonder-land

  9. I don’t want him to retire. Whether he’s out in left field or not, he’s interesting. And he does know his hockey, there’s no doubt.

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