Toronto Sports Media Weekend Roundup


“You had to hear the way Cherry pronounced “Toronto” the second time — “Tronna.”

Nobody says Toronto that way any more, but Cherry is reaching back to something elemental in our civic memory. He’s appealing to base instincts and national animosity. He’s dropping well below the belt.

It’s about time. Cherry has famously been sliding into irrelevance for a while.

He picked the wrong side in the debate on violence in hockey and — true to form — has continued swinging long after being swamped by public opinion.

His entire appeal is populist, and he’s started losing the people. Banging on about headshots and wimps isn’t getting Cherry anywhere.

However, wrapping himself in the flag is a winner. Using the flag to choke out the city’s most famous foreigner works even better.”

Enough to make me want to puke up all those Don Cherry wings I at over the years.

What a load of crap.

I mean, REALLY.

To suggest that the Leafs are anti-Ontario is nuts. Does anyone with a brain really believe this?

The source of the claim is a guy who knows what it’s like to have a phobia for people based solely on where they were born.

You want to attack Burke on his record as Leafs GM, I got it. How about how he handled Ron Wilson’s tenure? There’s lots of material there. This Anti-Ontario stuff is garbage, much like most of Don’s most recent work.

“Honestly: until the Toronto media starts snooping into who Leafs players are sleeping with, who they’re hanging around with and doing business with and what they do on the road, Burke has nothing to complain about.

The Lakers, Celtics, anybody in Philadelphia or New York or any iconic European soccer team of significance gets at least a 1,000 times more scrutiny than the local flannel.

Burke can’t have it both ways; he can’t say the media is hurting his team – the trade deadline is “murder?” Please! – and then tell us he’s brought in players who aren’t susceptible to media pressure. The only person I see overly-sensitive to the Toronto media is Burke himself. Guess they don’t teach that in Hartford, Anaheim or Vancouver.”

That from Jeff Blair.

It’s a funny thing isn’t it. I don’t think the Toronto sports media are tough at all. I do think they have strength in numbers. There are a ton of them and some don’t know boundaries. There’s a difference between reporters who ask hard questions and publish critical things and then a huge group of people who ask the same questions every single day.

No one writes better feel good stories in the Toronto Sports Media world than Bruce Arthur. Here’s another example.

Have you been following all the stuff on the bounties in the NFL? Are you really surprised? How great a quote is this:

“Some, like Steelers safety Ryan Clark, suggested that whoever cooperated with the NFL investigation “should be ashamed.”

Those who are shocked by any of this are the ones who should be ashamed.

Happy Monday!

photo from here

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mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
March 5, 2012 8:20 am

Cherry is a blight on intelligent discourse. In support of my position i submit a few comments from the Globe:

I also have no use for the Ron Don combo but the idea that an American GM has this much influence in Canada is sickening.

As tedious as the Cherry/McLean duo is, do you really want the Brian Burkes of the world regulating the discussion about the NHL? The duo at least represents free speech. What does Burke represent?

99.9% of corporate Canada is comprised of unprincipled, brown-nosing yes men who will say anything to keep their jobs … Don won’t sellout like that …

Don is one of the few who sticks up for Canadians,he wears the Maple leaf very proudly,if it wasnt for guys like him, we would have Americans up our ying yang ruining our sport.

NHL gobbles up players and spits them out when their usefulness is over…do not be fooled they’re not that far from the slave owners of the 50’s who screwed Lindsay and any others seeking improvements to the players lot…

one question for Cherry and his followers: why does a person’s country/province of origin matter when evaluating his performance?

Another Steve
Another Steve
March 5, 2012 10:13 am

I think what Burke was upset about was Cherry’s insistence that Wilson was against the military (or something like that) because he didn’t stop working in the middle of a game to salute “Luke’s Troops.”

To me, criticizing Cherry for that is absolutely fair. He was taking a low and unfair shot at Wison, and he deserved to be called out for it. Unfortunately a lot of people (at least on the Globe’s website) seem to be taking Cherry’s side in a knee-jerk fashion without even acknowledging why Burke complained in the first place.

ML in Kingston
ML in Kingston
March 5, 2012 4:18 pm

Don Cherry is the only thing worth watching on the CBC network, although my husband would disagree. He is 100% honest in his opinions and that alone is worth noting in today’s age of social media. All the credit in the world goes out to him for being one of the very few who will go after Burke.

March 5, 2012 4:23 pm

While I dont blanketly agree with cherry, I do think there is some value in the notion of having local and ontario born players actively playing on the Leafs.
Montreal has long drafted and promoted local or Prv of Que born players. I can appreciate there is a degree of provincial pride in Que unlike elsewhere in Canada, but it does create a sense among young kids and newly pro players to want to play in Montreal.
With the leafs, in a market where enrollment among children in hockey is declining – just from a marketing point of view it would be a good idea. All things equal among two players, I think a local guy would be a better fit and sell.
It’s a shame players who ‘grew up leafs fans’ have limited desire to play in this market when the option is presented (free angency). As that is the case, the only way to get them is via draft or trade. Could you imagine the excitement in this market if 2 or 3 of the top six players were from Ontario, let alone the GTA?
Markets like Minnesota and West Coast love the idea of having a local guy playing for the big club. They often draft guys specifically for that reason.
The Cherry v burke thing has seemed to become personal and often in those cases the argument is less about content and more about firing a shot at one another… Personally, I would like ot see some GTA guys on the leafs.

Another Steve
Another Steve
March 5, 2012 5:17 pm

Somerset Maugham once wrote that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. There are tonnes of reasons to critique the way Burke has handled his teams, but petty tribalism, to me, seems to be the most juvenile.

There are lots of people who are honest in their opinions, both on the CBC and on other networks. Some people, however, also have a switch in their head that forces them to think before they speak. That is not to say that I don’t find Cherry entertaining – because he does make me laugh a lot of the time. However, sometimes the honesty of his rants remind me of the temper tantrums that my daughter and son used to have as teenagers. Yes, they were honest when they told me that they hated me because I wouldn’t give them their allowance unless they did their chores – but their form of honesty was hardly a virtue; rather is was a sign of being children.

March 5, 2012 7:58 pm

Cherry speaks for the honest fan, disagree all ya want but without him the CBC loses what it has left in sports coverage, bottom line is what it’s all about, he delivers in spades.

March 6, 2012 1:22 am

What’s really sad is people in this post and on this blog are such buffoons as to buy cherrys crap.

Seriously, it’s embarrassing that something which is such a bad joke is actually discussed legitimately.

Cherry is a mockery of media (particularly Canadian hockey media) stereotypes. I remember brunt playing coaches corner footage at Harvard for a canadian studies class,,,,god he has balls. I would deny being canadian, a hockey fan, etc in his place.

He is way past his due date and either slightly senile or pushed to be retardedly controversial.

Il Duce
Il Duce
March 6, 2012 2:46 pm

Cathal Kelly recently wrote a column about how irrelevant Cherry is. If you want to talk about irrelevant does anyone read Cathal’s columns? Thanks for making Cherry even more irrelevant Einstein!!

Yes Cherry vs. Burke is a fight and yes it’s personal as most fights are when individuals are involved. Burke made it personal when he went after Cherry and tried to have him fired for his ripping of Wilson after the Support the Troops snubbing. Ripping Cherry is one thing but going after his job is crossing the line, who does Burke think he is? If it came as across as Grapes saying Burke was Anti-Ontario it was in response to Burke’s claim that the Leafs have a tough time with opposing teams because they have five to seven Ontario players who when coming to Toronto play harder in front of family and friends. Again Burke’s words not Cherry’s. Don bases his argument on players currently on the Leaf roster who are GTHL players = none. FACT! And if Cherry wants to make personal statements, it’s his prerogative, the last time I checked Canada is still a free country.

Cherry’s rant on Wilson was for his lack of acknowledgment not for him, when he made his short speech but it was about supporting the troops. Not that Don could care less if Wilson likes him or not but Grapes felt he disrespected the troops and he’s right. Wilson made this about Wilson and not about the bigger issue on a night that was dedicated to our nation’s men and women who put their lives on the line on a daily basis. I was at the Support the Troops game and was shocked Wilson didn’t even acknowledge it, he didn’t even look at the screen. Wilson’s personal feelings of Cherry got in the way of doing the right thing.

I’m young but I love Donald S. Cherry. When I watch HNIC I make sure I catch Coach’s Corner like most of the viewers (and like all those who say they don’t but actually do watch). I find this all so hilarious of how one man from Kingston Ontario can spark a National debate about hockey no less. One of the commenter’s here even quotes Somerset Maugham to make a point? Are you kidding me? Yaaa, you must be a real scream, life of the party!! And again, love him or hate him, Cherry is the last real character worth watching or listening to on Canadian media. And again that’s just my opinion… and the opinion of millions buffoons like me across this great nation.

March 6, 2012 2:51 pm

IL Duce.
Very well said young man, couldn’t of said it better myself. Isn’t it hilarious that when people on this site disagree with one’s point of view they resort to name calling and YELLING!

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