Despite the garage-sale-giddy jackets and collars, I’ve always been a big Don Cherry fan. Grapes saves his most outlandish outfits for playoff time and this April is no exception. To paraphrase the old Milton Berle line, he’s sold more HD sets with his suits than anyone else on television. When Coach’s Corner came on Saturday night, my uncle sold his set, my cousin sold her set, my brother-in-law sold his set…
Getting past the Cirque du Soleil attire, Cherry has been very on his game so far these playoffs. Have to be impressed at how much ground he covers in seven minutes, cramming multiple clips from different games, references back and forth to games past, reacting to whatever controversy has erupted when not creating a new one on his own. For 74, the dude can still stick handle, especially working with long suffering set up man Ron MacLean.
Cherry knows his character and plays him to the hilt. He’s beyond anything another Cherry, Marc, would dare dream up on Desperate Housewives. Yet he remains relevant and credible because his core observations are so insightful. That guy in Philly who nearly had his nuts blown off from a blast from the point should have been listening every time Grapes scolded those “kids at home” to turn away from the shot when they drop to the ice.
Cherry really contextualizes the game, an art that is generally lost on television (and even disappearing in print). Check out this link to Saturday’s Hockey Night in Canada Coach’s Corner rant and tell me Grapes doesn’t score more points than Ovechkin.
Even Cherry’s troop shout outs seem somehow appropriate despite being parachuted into a sports segment. It is Coach’s Corner, and if Coach wants to widen the scope of the discussion, it is his segment. You might disagree with what he says, you might be blinded by his suits, you might be horrified by his syntax. But Cherry wears his heart on his sleeve and it beats 100% red and white for Canada. It is a point of view you don’t get anywhere else. No matter what age you are, there is a good chance you will be entertained and informed. I’ve got all the time in the world for him, especially seven minutes at a time.