Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cherry in more hot water

To follow up on my last post about "Grapes":

The three NHL players that Don Cherry criticized last Thursday night -- that three retired NHL players, namely Stu Grimsom, Chris Nilan and Jim Thomson were "pukes," "turncoats," and "hypocrites" for saying the enforcement game in "Le Great Game" has gone overboard --  have decided to fight back.    Mr Grimsom who is now a lawyer has sent a letter to "Grapes" saying that the issues they and other players current and former are facing are very real and cannot be minimzed.

Last Saturday, Don Cherry appeared to back away (just slightly) from his comments two nights before.     But to further make his point on violence in sports, he then showed  some very close calls in baseball where the catcher and opposing runner were colliding at home plate -- often with the same kinds of head shots we're seeing all too often in hockey but without the same protective equipment (a baseball helmet is quite different from a hockey one after all).

To that Grimsom has said, not good enough.   The phrase he uses to describe Cherry's semi-retraction was that "Mr. Cherry's conduct throughout has shown a complete lack of decency."

Actually, Cherry's argument is a fine attempt at making a point -- to a point.    However it fails in this respect,  that when a pitcher deliberately beans a ball at the batter to force a walk and there winds up a bench clearing brawl, there is clearly intent; but when a runner is racing home and the catcher is trying to catch and tag in one fell swoop, contact is inevitable but rarely is there the same kind of intent.    Hockey, of course, is different -- some minor penalties such as high sticking or "holding the stick" can be unintentional but swinging a stick is uncalled for (and even if it is in "self-defence" the standard for the argument is much higher).     Full contact is to be expected in ice hockey -- I would never favour a reversion to shinny -- but expected and unexpected contact are different things.

The Mother Ship continues to insist that Cherry's views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the network.    "To all you youngsters out there," as he is fond of saying, it would help if the CBC flashed "Editorial Reply" to make that emphatically clear.

When a player dies on the ice from a head shot, God forbid, and several players get banished from the game, maybe there will then finally be a reckoning.   But I can hardly think that Cherry still deserves $700,000 a year to shoot off his mouth like that for six minutes a week (he got eighteen this weekend because it was the opening of the season).   He must make twice that from merchandising so it's not like he would have to collect unemployment insurance (at his tax bracket he'd have to pay most of it back anyway in April).

A body check and a head shot are like an apple and an orange.    But I'm not really surprised at the state of affairs.    It's why I hardly watch the game anymore.    If I wanted to see a prize fight I'd order it on pay per view.   At least I know that sport is rigged.


Michael Harkov said...

If you mixed martial arts is "prizefighting", then LOL, no, it isn't "rigged".

BlastFurnace said...

MMA definitely isn't, I agree with you on that Michael. I was referring to boxing -- all the boxing commissions in the world aren't going to get rid of the rot that infects that sport.

Michael Harkov said...

Oh, you are absolutley right there; boxing is corrupt beyond belief. Boxing is on a steep downslide, so much so that I and many others can't even name who the heavyweight champion is these days. I'm sure that the advent of MMA has contributed to the loss of interest in boxing. MMA and the UFC in particular have a good thing going - as long as they don't fall prey to the same BS that has afflicted boxing.