Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/07/11 at 02:49 AM ET
from Cathal Kelly of the Toronto Star,
He’s 77 now and while he still sets the agenda for our national hockey conversation, he is more of a cult figure than a trailblazer. After three decades spent listening to a remarkably consistent message, a great many people have decided that Cherry’s defence of violence isn’t just wrong-headed, but that it’s morally corrupt.
Cherry replies by adding more square-footage to his bunker. He is besieged, and for the very first time, it seems possible that he could be broken.
The not-so-secret secret to Cherry’s success as a broadcaster is his commitment to an ideal. Cherry believes in a perfect sort of hockey and, more importantly, a perfect sort of player. That player is a humble thug, a skilled brute. He does not complain or retreat. He is always the aggressor. Cherry’s perfect player is the perfected version of himself.
Other analysts and experts are professional prevaricators. They can see both sides of any issue. Cherry sees hockey two-dimensionally. That’s what makes him compelling.
He’s also intellectually honest. As much as he sets out to provoke, no one who watches him can doubt that Cherry believes completely in everything he says when he’s saying it. There is always something calculating about a provocateur. Cherry isn’t one of those. He’s a zealot.
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