Let me get this out right now. I have never ever liked Don Cherry. He was the sole reason why I watched RDS instead during the playoffs. At first, I just thought that he was just spewing stuff out that sort of made sense if you really concentrated on the words and not on the god awful suits. But then I began to notice just what an embarrasement he is to this country’s hockey fans.
The premise of Cherry’s rant this time is that Ovechkin celebrates too much when he scores. Apparently he looks like those “goofy soccer” people when he celebrates and that’s bad. According to him, this is not the “Canadian way”. We’re supposed to look at Sidney Crosby as the perfect ideal. Cherry finishes up by comparing people who like Ovehckin’s celebrations as the same who would endorse Sean Avery’s behavior.
Let me say right now that I’m not speaking out against Cherry because I’m a fan of Ovechkin. I’m speaking out because Cherry’s comments make me completely embarrassed to say that I’m from the same country as him. His comments have been borderlining on xenophobic and racist and that is definitely not the “Canadian way” in my opinion. Ovechkin has been everything that Cherry claims to want to see from a player. He plays a very physical style, he brings emotion to the game, he’s a great motivater for his team. Oh and did I mention that he’s got lots of talent to back all of that up?
I suppose I don’t have to mention that it’s terribly insulting to even mention Ovechkin and Avery in the same sentence, never mind the fact that it’s beyond insulting to say that people who like Ovechkin would like Avery’s antics as well. There is nothing at all similar about the behavior of the two players (oh and yes, Avery is indeed Canadian, by the way).
Don Cherry’s views of hockey are stuck in the ice age. He prefers big Canadian players who’ll go around hitting and fighting each other. Everyone is entitled to their views, I get that and I’m fine with that. But what’s not fine with me is how he presents his views. He presents them in a ridiculous rant-like fashion that’s often not very coherent. What’s worse is that these rants are broadcast live on national television. And what’s viewable on national television is viewable internationally as well. This is the view of “Canadians” that the rest of the world sees. People who see this can and do think that this is the view that all Canadians share. Don Cherry is in a position where many people get to see and hear his views. And he’s abusing it beyond belief.
To any Canadians who actually share his views, can I ask you something? Would you like it if some announcer in Europe dissed Sidney Crosby or any other Canadian player for that matter, the way that Cherry disses the Europeans who play in the NHL? You wouldn’t like it. I know you wouldn’t. And I do hope that no one shares his blatantly ignorant view of “soccer”. Please don’t embarrass yourselves by dissing the wonderful game of football in that manner either. It’s not smart.
Ovechkin is the type of player that I would love to see on my team. I’m sure that most teams would say the same thing. I love the way he plays because he plays with a lot of passion and he’s genuinely happy when things go his way. He’s among the first to go over to a teammate and celebrate when they score a goal. After the lockout, the NHL looked to Sidney Crosby to bring a much needed spark to the league to get people interested in the game. What they didn’t realize was that they already had their guy who was drafted the year before. Ovechkin brings that spark, that energy to the building, that the NHL wants to see. Ovechkin is the one drawing people in.
Unfortunately, the NHL as well as Don Cherry fail to get that because all they see is a guy who happens to be born in another country. Because you know, the Euros are only in it for the money and don’t give a damn about winning the Stanley Cup. They just hang out with gangsters and hookers all day, right?
My defense of the European players in Montreal from a earlier in the season.
Cheap Seats’ take on Cherry’s comments about Ovechkin.
Jack Todd’s article in the Gazette this morning in which he also takes a swipe at Don Cherry.