Boys, boys, boys. Let’s all grow up here.
Lots of name-calling going on between Don Cherry and a group of former NHL enforcers these days, but not a whole lot being said, at least not much more than the kind of insults and taunts you might hear in a schoolyard.
Now, maybe we shouldn’t expect more. But maybe we should. See, the issues of fighting, concussions and related depression are serious, serious issues, and the way in which these folks are dealing with them is simply trivializing the problem.
Now, for starters, that’s enough with the lawsuit talk. First of all, nobody should publish stories about somebody “threatening” to sue. It’s a story when the papers are filed.
Second, nobody should be suing anybody. Cherry used his bully pulpit to, well, bully Messrs Grimson, Nilan and Thomson, who now feel aggrieved because they don’t like being called mean names. Well, guess what? So have many of us who have had our views distorted by Cherry, who is incapable engage in a constructive, intelligent debate on any subject, let alone fighting. He can show fights, repeatedly talk about how they don’t cover the points any more and wave the flag, and that’s about it.
But those of us who find ourselves the targets of his shots don’t fire back with threats of lawsuits. You fire back by continuing to point out the many holes in Cherry’s arguments, and you never let up, no matter that his main argument on most every subject is that all who disagree with him should shut up and mind their own business because they didn’t play in the AHL during the 1960s.
To be honest, I just don’t see Cherry being very influential anymore. He’s got his devoted constituency, but it’s not growing. He’s been pushing no-touch icing for a decade, for example, and has managed to achieve zero, so how influential, exactly, can he be? He is incredibly popular, which is a different thing entirely, and he knows how to generate headlines to feed his ego, commercial interests and attract viewers to his show, which is why the CBC continues to pander to him.
But he’s not changing anybody’s mind on any subject.
Of Stu Grimson, Jim Thomson and Chris Nilan, they’ve all communicated in various ways their thoughts on fighting, but they need to understand that getting involved with Cherry is just playing his game and distorting any useful message they may have on the subject. State your ideas and opinions, and don’t worry what the CBC bully has to say.
You don’t engage with him. You never hear, say, Ken Dryden mention Cherry’s views. You ignore Cherry, you let him rage against the light as his twisted vision of Canada’s great game slowly, but inexorably, fades into history.