Back In The Saddle

Happy to be back in Toronto after a quick trip to NYC.

Nice to hear national media ripping Bryant Gumbel for his stupid, stupid, stupid comments on HBO the other night. In case you missed it here is what he said in reference to NBA Commissioner David Stern:

““Stern’s version of what has been going on behind closed doors has of course been disputed, but his efforts were typical of a commissioner who has always seemed eager to be viewed as some kind of modern plantation overseer, treating NBA men as if they were his boys. It’s part of Stern’s M.O., like his past self-serving edicts on dress code and the questioning of officials. His moves were intended to do little more than show how he’s the one keeping the hired hands in their place.””

McCown had Michael Hiestand of USA Today on PTS tonight and he made a great point. Gumbel threw out the comment and didn’t back it up. He didn’t give an example.

Clearly Gumbel is hurting for attention.

What is it with the Globe and Mail and Abe Simpson? We’ve all moved on the idiotic comments from that sham of a segment called coaches corner. Yet, there is the Globe still sucking up to the old man.

“Anyone who portrays Cherry as a clown or believes his weekly lectures had no impact on impressionable young players is deluded. His philosophy, repeated by an amused/shocked press corps, reaches down to the lowest minor-league levels, and it saturates the mindset of the young men who play in the NHL– and now overwhelmingly approve of fighting. Cherry’s fingerprints are all over Canadian hockey, and his impact is undeniable. Usual Suspects? Not so much. ”

I don’t know about you all, but whenever I hear people talking about Abe, it’s in sad terms, as in it’s sad what he has become. Cherry is a side show. Nothing more. His views on the hockey are about as valid as Henry Ford’s would be on the modern automobile.

Did you catch the Leafs post game on TSN tonight?

The Leafs sucked for most of the game save for Steckel, Lupul and Kessel and eeked out a SO win. Interesting the positive spin TSN had on the buds. Compare with the complete assassination Sportsnet did on the buds a couple of nights ago that had any leaf fan looking for gasoline and a lighter.

The Buds are off to Boston. Cue the endless banter on the Kessel trade.

I follow quite a few US based NBA writers on twitter. It’s kind of funny seeing them tweet about their respective market’s NHL team. Ira Winderman talking Florida Panthers hockey takes the cake.

I heard Dan Dunleavy doing the Leafs pregame tonight. It was good radio. It’s a nice change hearing a fresh voice on leafs radio broadcasts.

I am told that Tim and Sid have been hanging out at the rogers campus. Look for their show to begin late November/ early December.


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Scotty G.
Scotty G.
October 20, 2011 12:01 am

Man I wish Tim and Sid could do some “test” podcasts to keep the groove going. Must be getting rusty by now.

Are all non-compete clauses in sports radio 2 months?

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
October 20, 2011 7:57 am

does “eeking out” a win involve scaring your opponent into defeat?

re: the Kessel trade: Seguin is now playing on the Bruins’ top line.

October 20, 2011 8:30 am

All this time you were using the name “Abe Simpson” I thought you were referring to Craig Simpson – you had referred to “Abe Simpson” and Jim Hughson in a previous critique, thus I made that connection. (Stop being obtuse)

Once you start a nickname you never seem to let go (in a highschool you’d be suspended for bullying)…John Shannon has thick glasses – referring to him as Mr Magoo” is a personal attack, rather than a comment on his abilities as a radio personality (which are limited)

I don’t care about Cherry either way, but all this whining about getting him off the air is more annoying than he is. Dowbiggin is like a dog with a bone on this issue. Dowbiggin was publically humiliated by Cherry more than once in years gone by, so his bias against Cherry is obvious. I personally find McLean harder to take than Cherry, who’s on for a few minutes a week.

If you are comparing TSN’s panel to Sportsnet, you’re comparing steaka and dog food (they are both meat, but that’s where it stops). No offense or name calling here, but McLean and Kypreos are the so called “experts|” at SN – TSN attracts big names (coaches and players) and lots of them. I think the ex NHLers want nothing to do with SN – If you don’t like TSN, you can’t compare their level of expertise with that of SN – there is no comparison…Bob McKenzie, Dreger and Pierre Lebrun are reporting on NHL issues…who does SN have? Last point: James Duthie vs Daren Millard? Enough said…Competition is good for any business. Sportsnet needs to get in the game.

October 20, 2011 8:35 am

Mike in Boston: I am not a fan of the trade and think Burke overpaid in order to get an American with offensive skill on his team…but Kessel is leading the league in scoring (to this point). You can’t play the seguin card for the time being

Chef Mike in Burlington
October 20, 2011 10:00 am

Hey Rob, you might want to re-read the piece, Dowbiggin was actually kind quite fair to Cherry, at least to his influence and legacy. Considering the animus they have developed for each other over the years, I was quite surprised.

Steve from Waterloo
Steve from Waterloo
October 20, 2011 10:26 am

After watching my 18 year old, and his pick up hockey buddies stay home until AFTER coaches corner on Saturday night, you would have a hard time convincing me that no one pays any attention to Cherry.

I certainly missed the “quite fair” piece that Dowbiggin did. Everything I have seen from him since the season started has been negative to Coach’s Corner. He’s reminded me of Al Strachan (which is should be considered a terrible insult to a journalist!)

October 20, 2011 11:18 am

I thought that Dowbiggin’s column was bang on.

This country is filled with old-time hockey wannabes who are either playing or have their kids playing. They got their Tim’s in one hand and their penis in the other every time “Grapes” is on TV.

“Geez, he’s right, eh? Oh, geez, I spilled my Timmie’s.”

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
October 20, 2011 11:30 am

i had this thought a while a go and i’ve been waiting for the right thread to throw it in to. this is going to sound highly elitist but i don’t mean it that way. i’m actually curious what you think TSM, given your opinion stated above. so, here goes:

is it possible that one’s level of interest in what Cherry has to say is highly correlated with one’s level of education?

for me the real turning moment was when he went after that doctor for linking fighting and concussions. he insulted him and went with his usual “you don’t know the game” angle. why would you attack someone for pointing out a putative medical fact? isn’t this a relevant issue for player safety? why try to undermine the person rather than the science?

there’s something oddly similar about the support for Cherry and the support for G.W. Bush. Many people liked Bush because he was the kind of guy with whom you could see yourself having a beer. Of course many other people refer to him as one of the dumber US presidents.

Anyway, i’m not 100% sure what i think about this, but Cherry does tend to have strong blue collar support and has picked fights with those he sees as know-it-alls.

Is there something to this?

Gerry (Burlington)
Gerry (Burlington)
October 20, 2011 11:42 am

@Drumanchor, I think alot of ways you are right. Most hockey parents I know and others very involved with hockey are riveted by Coaches Corner. I am seeing more of them feel Cherry is going a bit overboard, but their is still a huge amount of support for the guy.

As for Mike in Boston, I see where you are going but don’t think there is a correlation. I have alot of University Graduated friends who are big into hockey and big supporters of Cherry. I think your point is relevant from non hardcore hockey fans, but that isn’t saying much since he is a Hockey guy. I used to be a huge fan of Cherry when he first came on CBC and up until about 6 years ago. But I could no longer defend or tolerate his obvious bigotry towards Europeans, French, and many other topics.

He has done some wonderful things for people close to me, including a friend who lost her son (Lacrosse/Hockey Player) at a very young age to Cancer. It is these types of things he does that I do believe are genuine that endear him so much to many. But his shtick on CBC has just gotten old and worn out.

The game is changing and he doesn’t like change it seems. Perhaps afraid it means the end of hockey as he perceives it to be, and that is a big part of his life.

October 20, 2011 3:55 pm

Notice how Cherry never ever talks about the current state of the NHL?

I’m talking about Gary “The Moneycount” Bettman’s watered down 30 team crap NHL.

Every game i have seen this year in the NHL has sucked. Bettman’s 30 team league NHL is not only loaded down with talent lacking 3rd and 4th line plugs who have no business playing in the NHL but also a stack of teams in financial debacles of biblical proportions.

You will never hear Cherry in his god awful looking suits talk about that.

Ami Angelwings
October 21, 2011 5:47 am

“there’s something oddly similar about the support for Cherry and the support for G.W. Bush. Many people liked Bush because he was the kind of guy with whom you could see yourself having a beer”

This is v true. I’m not going to say it’s correlated to intelligence, or even educations, because it’s always a bad idea to just assume that anybody who disagrees with you is just not smart enough to understand the truth. For example, there’s plenty of intelligent and educated people I know who support things I consider bad (homophobia, racism, etc). But you don’t need to be uneducated to be blinded by ideology, or prejudice, or fear, or nationalism, or etc…

However, you’re bang on that the appeal of Don Cherry is in the same way as George W. Bush and even, Rob Ford. All of them play up the “I’m just one of the boys” (which tends to be white, middle aged males), and “I’m tellin’ it like it is” and reassures their audience that the way things were when they grew up are the way they should be, that you don’t need a fancy schmacy degree to have “common sense” (that might be where the uneducated thing plays in actually) and that their audience (and only them, not people who disagree) are “real Canadians/Americans” that they are the grassroots and etc etc… and that’s also part of the trick… they also convince their audience that they’re normal regular folk, even though they’re not (Ford is wealthy, Bush was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, Don Cherry makes 600k a year). and that their opponents are snobby, white tower elitists. And that’s also why when there’s criticism of them, there’s always a backlash too, because their supporters don’t see just those individuals attacked, or even their shared ideology, they see themselves.

Ami Angelwings
October 21, 2011 5:53 am

October 20, 2011 at 3:55 pm
Notice how Cherry never ever talks about the current state of the NHL?
I’m talking about Gary “The Moneycount” Bettman’s watered down 30 team crap NHL.
Every game i have seen this year in the NHL has sucked. Bettman’s 30 team league NHL is not only loaded down with talent lacking 3rd and 4th line plugs who have no business playing in the NHL but also a stack of teams in financial debacles of biblical proportions.
You will never hear Cherry in his god awful looking suits talk about that.”

I always find it funny when Cherry brands himself (or is branded by his supporters) as a rebel or a firebrand, when in fact he pretty much echoes NHL and hockey culture orthodoxy.

What drew me to Bob was that he ACTUALLY DOES say stuff that’s outside the usual platitudes that the talking heads in sports, esp re hockey in Canada, give. He does say “we need to get rid of teams”, he does say we need another team in Toronto, and he’s been against fighting before it’s now become in vogue to be against it. (though I’m sure he’s not the only one, I’m not that old that I remember the opinions of Sports media from more than like 6 years ago xD )

And it impresses me, b/c usually “he tells it like it is” or “he has outrageous opinions!” usually means it’s the same old same old on radio and TV of a guy saying homophobic, sexist or racist things, and acts like stuff that LOTS of people believe and loudly say, are these amazing rebellious things that *gasp* nobody dares to say, like “GAY MARRIAGE IS WRONG” xD

Bobby G
Bobby G
October 21, 2011 10:33 am

If you actually read all of Dowbiggin’s piece, you’ll realize that (for once) he’s absolutely correct. Cherry has influenced a lot of people.
As for turning his popularity into some sort of class war, ridiculous. Everybody listened to Cherry in his heyday — doctors, lawyers, teachers and garbagemen — I can name some who didn’t even watch the game but would stop what they were doing on Saturday night to see the first intermission. And judging by his ratings, they still do — even if it’s just out of habit. You don’t get those kinds of numbers by attracting only a segment of the population. Cherry’s days on TV are numbered but only because of his advancing age, not declining popularity. Which act shows less intelligence and maturity — watching Coach’s Corner or referring to him solely by the name of a cartoon character from a show that’s been on the air almost as long?

October 22, 2011 1:23 am

Bobby, id say that watching and agreeing is worse, although watching like you might watch a car crash makes some sense I suppose.

People, it’s a harmless joke nickname…not offensive, get over it. You want offensive and insulting, as well as immature? Tune in Saturday nights.

It’s sad that he is so popular and that anyone can respect or like him. Once again proving the majority of people (educated or not, let’s not confuse education with intelligence) are ignorant fools.

Bobby G
Bobby G
October 23, 2011 12:18 am

I’d love to know what makes you and the Cherry haters smarter than everyone else — educated or not. Smart people can watch entertaining television and decide for themselves. They don’t need to denigrate a clearly very popular icon to create the illusion of their own intelligence.

Bobby G
Bobby G
October 23, 2011 12:26 am

You are right on one point, though. Cherry, despite not being highly educated, was intelligent enough to turn a sinking NHL coaching career into a multi-million dollar industry and then empathetic enough to be one of the largest contributors to children’s charities in the country.
Sounds like somone to emulate, not take every opportunity to disparage.

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