Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ovechkin is better without the Cherry

Picking on Don Cherry is too easy by half, but sometimes...

Moments ago we were treated to several shots of “soccer goofs” celebrating goals (at least they lead with a TFC goal...). This offends Don. It’s not the Canadian way to show joy, I guess. It’s best not to stand out.

Cherry used this rant to spin into a criticism of Alex Ovechkin. Cheery thinks he’s a bit too much like a “soccer goof” (The unspoken here, of course, being that Canadians don’t play soccer. They play soccer).
Somebody is gonna get him and somebody is gonna get him good. You just watch it...don’t you Canadian kids act like this.

Good God. Wouldn’t that just be great. Let’s hope that some talentless hack “gets” Ovechkin. That’ll stop him from having fun. Hopefully, he’ll stop being so damn entertaining. That’s what hockey needs. Less flair.

(deep breath)

Cherry is an old man. He’s stuck in his ways. But, he’s dead wrong about so much that it’s difficult to even comprehend just how out to lunch he is. It’s pretty much pointless to point out how idiotic this idea that a “real” player (i.e. Canadian) needs to be colourless. There is a saying about urination and weather patterns that comes to mind. But, what the hey.

The best thing to happen to the NHL in the last 10 years is Ovechkin. He plays the game with such joy and skill that it’s infectious. If the league is to ever overcome the fools that run it we’re going to need 25 more Ovechkins. The last thing it needs is for someone to “get” any of them.

Everyone loves the crusty old uncle that gets away with saying obscene things that would have been offensive in a frat house in 1972. But no one takes them seriously. Too many hockey people listen to the crusty uncle and continue to base the game's mores on his ramblings. Enough.

Hey Canadian kids, don’t be afraid to play the game outside of the rotten little box that Cherry and company are desperate to keep it in. Remember that the greatest Canadian players of all-time – including, ironically, Cherry’s hero Bobby Orr – played waaaaay outside that box. Gretzky, Lemieux, and Richard didn’t become legends by keeping their stick on the ice.

Exuberant celebration of goals isn’t what’s killing the game. Cherry is. It’s time all of us that care about the game to do what we need to do while standing against the wind.

Related: Yes, 'cause this is what's wrong with hockey


krister said...

NHL can become like the "no fun league" where they get a flag for celebrating a touchdown. Way to go Don - you goof!! Tough time selling video violence if they have too much fun in NHL????

Hoju said...

Last week Cherry was wondering why the Leaf fans cheered Sundin and booed McCabe. He was actually comparing the Leaf careers of the teams all-time leading scorer and Bryan McCabe. I know McCabe became a bit of a scapegoat, mainly because of his contract, but comparing his tenure to Sundin's is laughable.

capsfan said...

Cherry everyone in DC Knows you and the entire NHL are biased against OV. But I still can't believe you would be low enough to put a bounty on Him. Which is exactly what you did tonight. And you look like a wrestling promoter you horses ass.

sager said...

George James Malik was on Grapes' case tonight too. There are empty seats in Detroit because the bottom has fallen out of the Michigan economy, not because the Wings have too many Swedes.

rosco said...

i love it when a guy who bases his persona on wearing ridiculous outfits gets upset because a player exhibits too much flair in his goal celebrations. i really wanted ron mclean to interrupt cherry and say, "but don, you are wearing drapery fabric. isn't that a bit too much as well?"

kinger said...

An integral part of sportsmanship used to be not rubbing your opponents' faces in something you'd done. There's a reason why a good chunk of baseball fans, especially those who use the label of purist, point to Scott Rolen as a model for player behaviour.

It doesn't take away from the fun of a game when you're unable to embarrass your opponents.

Besides, everyone knows the standard demo reel to make fun of soccer is the classic "clutching the knee writhing in pain" montage.

eyebleaf said...

We all need to stop talking about Don Cherry. The man has clearly lost it. That rant today about Ovechkin and soccer was disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. He is a disgrace.

sager said...

Rosco nails it: Cherry is throwing stones and he's wearing glass clothing.

Rubbing your opponents' faces in it is something you worry about with 10-year-olds. These are professionals, it's show biz. Ovie's just enjoying playing a beautiful game.

The Sporting News and the Capitals beat writer at the liberal sissy WaPo each picked up on this.

Dennis Prouse said...

Cherry is absolutely right. What the Wings need to do is trade Datsyuk to the Senators for Chris Neil, and send Zetterberg tp Montreal for Laraque. That will fill those seats at the Joe!

Not that Cherry has ever let the facts get in the way of a good rant, but he is factually inaccurate regarding the state of other Michigan sports teams:

Anonymous said...

Alex O is one Russian who gives his all EVERY night. Same can't be said about Yashin, Federov, Kovalchuk, Kovalev, et al.
So he is a little overboard with his what?
If you can back it up, it ain't braggin'.
Besides....remember when Tiger Williams used to ride his stick like a motorbike when he scored?
That wasn't hot-dogging?

sager said...

It's just not done in hockey and it's poor form to wish words into someone's mouth, especially since Washington has plenty to concern itself after losing 6-2 to Panthers today ... but you get the sense Bruce Boudreau would have liked to say is, "Guess what, Grapes? Your time is past. You coached 30 years ago when the NHL was 95% Canadian and you have not changed with the times, you don't know what you're talking about and you're just CBC Sports' carnival clown. You were great in your day, but now your entire platform consists of one-sided rants about how hockey was played 50 years and pushing your political agenda down people's throats, all on the taxpayer's dime and heaven forbid anyone should ever be allowed a dissenting opinion, even though giving everyone a say is at the CBC's essence (ya, right). As for doing things to get people's attention, you are fine one to talk, since that has been the basis for your career. By the way, we'll be winning the Cup when Joe Thornton is golfing, again."