Back in February, Don Cherry took a brave stand against the encroaching forces of fun and entertainment that were descending upon the world of hockey led by the Carolina Hurricanes. He famously called the Hurricanes a “bunch of jerks” for the elaborate choreographed celebrations they’d perform after home wins, and warned them not to do that in the playoffs.
Since then, the team has turned the phrase into a rallying cry and marketed the shit out of it all while stopping the celebrations once the postseason began. Even Cherry has been relatively quiet on the subject since. But that all changed on Saturday when Ron MacLean brought up how the Hurricanes had used the word “jerks” in different forms of apparel and spelled it out with shirts on arena seats. Cherry was having none of MacLean’s attempts to draw admiration from him towards the “jerks phenomenon” and, once again, babbled incoherently about Carolina’s fun ruining the game.
Rather than try to transcribe all of the half sentences Cherry manages to spit out between lapses in brain functionality, it’ll probably be easier to just point out the flaws in his arguments:
- Cherry not knowing how something he said in Canada could make its way down to Carolina is some peak old guy shit.
- Just because the Hurricanes aren’t doing their celebrations in the playoffs doesn’t mean they ever thought it was a wrong thing to do.
- Fans tend to not fill arenas for losing teams so of course attendance is going to spike when a team becomes a playoff contender.
- If winning is the only thing that is bringing these “front-running fans” to games, and gimmicks have nothing to do with it, how come fans were quick to embrace the team’s celebrations and decision to make Cherry the butt of a joke?
- Every other sport in the world has done that kind of celebrating. If anything, the Hurricanes are late to the party.
It’s clear that this is a hill Cherry is willing to die on, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise. On top of being an analyst, his job is to be a flanderized caricature of this sport’s old guard that gets mad whenever something or someone breaks the norms established in the good ol’ days of his prime. With Coach’s Corner heading to the Eastern Conference finals, Cherry will get at least four more opportunities to flash this side of his television personality while MacLean uncomfortably stares off into the distance. If there’s any silver lining to the incoming onslaught of old man takes he’ll likely sputter out, it’s the fact that this feud with the Hurricanes might make folks realize his way of thinking needs some help getting swept up in the passage of time.