Less sock ’em, more rock ’em
Can Cherry class up his act and ascend to hockey greatness?
From Euro bashing to pinko trashing, Don Cherry’s brazen commentary has scored him more than a few critics. After 30 years and closetfuls of loud suits, we ask: “What can hockey’s elder statesman do to quiet his critics and refine his image to gain lasting status as a Canadian icon?”
Bob Sirois -- NHL veteran and author of Discrimination in the NHL, Quebec Players Sidelined
Everything Don Cherry says about Quebec hockey players, Europeans and people from other nations sets a very bad example for young Canadian kids who watch him on Hockey Night in Canada. He should be X-rated. Only people 18 years and older, who are vaccinated, should be allowed to hear that stuff. He’ll go down in history as an X-rated national icon.
David Clemmer -- Celebrity style expert, Judy Inc
What Don Cherry needs most is a style make UNDER. Using colour to reflect one’s personality is a great way to use fashion, but Don, are you ready for this ... OVER does it! By limiting his items of colour to ties and pocket squares, Don can polish up his look without giving up that colourful splash that so matches his personality.
Joe Mihevc -- Toronto city councillor, St. Paul’s West
Don Cherry’s recent comments to city council were disheartening in their divisiveness and undermined efforts to foster a cohesive spirit amongst the residents of Toronto. Rather than continuing to engage in political name-calling and instigating controversy for controversy’s sake, I hope that Don Cherry will choose to refine and cement his image as a Canadian icon by doing what he does best: cheering the efforts of “Team” Toronto and “Team” Canada. In the end, regardless of whether you support blue or pink, we all wear red and white.
Chris Zelkovich -- Sports media columnist, Toronto Star
To the legions of hockey fans who hang on his every word and wear flowered blazers while walking their bull terriers and keeping their hands in the thumbs-up position at all times, Don Cherry doesn’t need to change a thing. But to those who believe his act wore thin 20 years ago, the only way he can salvage his reputation is to appear on Hockey Night in Canada every Saturday night wearing a Swedish-designed jacket and a tie with David Suzuki’s picture on it while sporting a badge that says, “I brake for Toronto cyclists.”
Bruce Arthur -- Sports columnist, National Post
The trouble with refining Don Cherry’s image is that it is built on Being Don, the man who says exactly what he thinks. But before his descent into self-parody, Cherry was a hockey man who dabbled in non-hockey talk. Now, the ratio has been reversed, from pinkos to soldiers to his inflexible, inevitable xenophobia. If Cherry could just find faith with hockey again, say, finding a way to praise the Russian world junior team for its astonishing comeback against Canada, he might seem, for the first time in forever, more human than cartoon. But he won’t.