Monday, June 01, 2009

CBC Sports: The sticks are composite; Cherry's entrance was wooden

Don't ask how CBC Sports can reconcile Don Cherry ripping Alex Ovechkin for doing stuff that's "not part of hockey" and then waste airtime on something that's not part of hockey. At least Ovie's shenanigans are mostly kept to the regular season.

Far be it to say last night's Dos Equis parody was a bad idea, executed very poorly. It was actually a good diversionary tactic. It's more water cooler-worthy than Cherry's "claim Saturday that hockey players 'do not take drugs,' " (Chris Zelkovich, Toronto Star), which was either blissful ignorance or grossly irresponsible.

It was also pretty much exactly what Jeff Blair predicted would happen when news came out last week about a guy who'd been busted for selling steroids claiming he sold them to Washington Capitals players.

Anyway, here's what Blair said last week:
".. it will be fun to see how the NHL turtles in response to a report out of Central Florida that a man is claiming he's sold steroids to members of the Washington Capitals and Nationals. This is how baseball was ultimately outed. This is how the code of silence or more likely lack of interest or moral ambiguity on the part of those of us who covered the game was broken and the whole steroid mess unravelled. Considering how much of the stuff that goes on the ice smacks of good old-fashioned 'roid rage, my guess is there's some fire behind this smoke.
It would not come as a shock. Hockey players would not be any more immune to juicing up than their counterparts in baseball, basketball, soccer, football, mixed martial arts, cycling, the Olympics, and on, and on. The NHL doesn't drug-test in the off-season. There is plausible deniability, though:
"Al Strachan topped (Cherry) a period later. After blasting those who say hockey players just haven't been caught, he added, 'Using that logic, I guess, Mother Teresa was a mass murderer. They just never caught her killing people.' Ron MacLean rightly called that 'ridiculous.' "
The NHL, give it credit, seems aware that the public wants to see leagues at least say they're trying to get rid of the scourge of steroids, even though they help make it possible for players to put on such amazing performances over an eight-month-long season.

Anyway, back to the Dos Equis parody. Not to be Buzz Killington on this, but one would think one of those 553 middle managers at the CBC could have found a voice-over person who at least remotely sounded like the narrator in those commercials.

Those commercials are damn entertaining, but people are aware that they're a rip-off of something else, right?
"Improbable one-liners describing an allegedly interesting man flooded pop culture in 2005, with 'Chuck Norris Facts.' Chuck Norris can kill two stones with one bird. He sweats Gatorade. His tears cure cancer ... Too bad he's never cried. Etc., etc., etc.

"Some of those one liners, I have to say, are funny. But the larger theme under which they are generated is extremely tired. Chuck Norris Facts were spun off, and in some cases stolen from, the Vin Diesel Fact Generator (which also generated facts about Mr. T And Bob Saget). And the Vin Diesel Fact Generator was clearly a rip off of the 1996 Saturday Night Live sketch, Bill Brasky, which involved a couple of alcoholics sitting around reminiscing about their superhuman friend. Bill Brasky inhaled a seagull, scissor kicked Angela Landsbury, and sweated Gatorade, by the way."
In other words, Hockey Night in Canada was way late to the party with Cherry's entrance. Forgive them, though. Look at how long it took to face facts that Jim Hughson should supplant Bob Cole as their No. 1 play-by-play man. As a great man once said, that's the CBC for you!

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