10 April 2007

Don Cherry Takes on America


Now that's what I call a broadcast team!
Ron MacLean (Left) and Don Cherry (Right)

America, finally you have a reason to watch Hockey.

It may have come a few years too late, as the sport has been buried on Versus and is basically only popular in Detroit, Minnesota, and Buffalo. But long time Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) color (and do I mean color) analyst Don Cherry has been brought on by NBC to add to its Stanley Cup Playoff coverage.

I only have one question: Why didn’t someone think of this earlier? Cherry is the Canadian Madden or Vitale as in he is one of the few broadcasters that people would tune in just to watch him no matter what teams are playing. In an increasingly PC world where Don Imus and the Rutgers women’s hoops team have to get together and have a town hall meeting, Cherry will say whatever is on his mind no matter what people think. As a staunch conservative (if he was American, he would have been in one of those Chevy commercials), he got a ton of heat in Canada for being for the war in Iraq.

But because he is such a character, not just some ex-jock blowhard, he makes watching the games an event. Because he is so into it, you feel like you are watching something important. You can’t really get that with American hockey broadcasters. His plaid sport coats are also a feast on the eyes (I can’t wait to see them in HD!), and they are such a symbol of his shtick that Molson one year made plaid mini-kegs for the playoffs.

I found Don Cherry when I was living in Michigan and I could get CBC on cable, and ever since my time watching Hockey Night in Canada, I have yet to be able to sit through an entire hockey game on American TV. (Of course, maybe that is also because they don’t run the games commercial free at 3 a.m. for drunkards like me like they do there). While viewers might not get the complete Canadian broadcasting experience with solely Cherry, you are certainly going to get one of the best main courses.

If you are a fan of sports television, you owe yourself at least a look at Cherry this playoff season. I promise you will not regret it.

9 comments:

sager said...

Too bad they hadn't done this 20 years ago, when Grapes was in his prime.

TomUWO said...

You think Coaches Corner on NBC will be under the same time restrictions that it is on CBC? I hope so, watching Ron and Don fight the clock is the best part of the segment.

DCThrowback said...

I disagree with Neate Sager (as I do on most issues) - one Grapes is worth Two Hulls and 3 Chicken Parms. Go NBC.

That being said, I think Tom also has a good point - his cohesion with his sparring partner is very important. Hopefully they import McLean as well.

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