Does Don Cherry need a remedial reading course?
We know that Don Cherry can't pronounce names very well based on his frequent Hockey Night In Canada verbal manglings of just about anything beyond Smith or Jones. But it was always assumed that he could read. Based on Saturday's Coach's Corner rant, that assumption may be wrong.
Cherry was in high dudgeon, as always, about something I wrote last week. (I'm grateful that he didn't use my name, based on the last time he tried to pronounce it on air.) According to Cherry, I didn't know who Warren Rychel and Bob Boughner were and therefore wasn't worthy to write anything about hockey. Well, just to set the record straight, here's what I wrote:
... CBC dipped into mystery - or theatre of the absurd - thanks to Ron MacLean and Don Cherry. During the late-game intermission, MacLean asked Cherry if he was going to apologize to Warren Rychel and Bob Boughner, assuming viewers knew who they were.
"They beat them again ... and they played the clip before the game, " MacLean added with no further explanation. "So, poor Spitfires."
"Anyhow, " Cherry responded, "I didn't mean to do that. I'm not getting on to it again, but they lost again today. I don't know, Warren's ..."
And that was it. We'll assume at least Rychel and Boughner knew what they were talking about.
I know who Rychel and Boughner are, though I had no idea what he and MacLean were referring to.
My point, which I thought was obvious, was that he and MacLean assumed viewers had watched the previous edition of Coach's Corner and knew what they were talking about. MacLean usually attempts to translate these things for the average viewer, but this time didn't even make an effort.
It's all part of a disease that seems to afflict the denizens of HNIC: an assumption that everybody in the country is following the game as closely as them and they've all watched every minute of every broadcast.
That was in evidence during Saturday's Hotstove panel discussion, in which references were made to something happening in Edmonton and somebody named ``Sparky". If you'd been combing the Internet or reading Alberta newspapers, you might have known they were talking about the fact that the Oilers had axed their longtime training staff.
If not, you probably had no idea what they were talking about. Even if you did, this was hardly front-page news. Neither was the rather arcane discussion that followed, which focused on who might occupy executive chairs with some of the U.S. franchises.