Don Cherry dislikes soccer. In other news, water is wet.

If you’re a “real” Canadian (and not one of the limp-wristed, arugula-scarfing communists who watches “European football”), then you were — as always — watching Coach’s Corner on Hockey Night in Canada last night, desperately waiting for your ears to be gifted by the arrival of the infallible wisdom that would surely emerge from Don Cherry’s mouth. And last night, boy, did you ever get a treat.

Grapes Life Lesson #6,794: Celebrating when you accomplish something is not only undesirable; it, in fact, makes you a “goof”.

Yes, while engaging in yet another pointless, ridiculous diatribe against all things European, Cherry decided to roll out a seemingly random assortment of clips featuring soccer players celebrating goals (including Maurice Edu, decked out in red). Take a look for yourself (the soccer-related stuff is in the middle, sandwiched between the usual verbal fellating of talentless goons):

Remember kids: don’t celebrate when you score! It makes you a stupid goof! Be a good Canadian boy and get in the news for doing good, Canadian things, like attempting to cripple your opponents, driving your elbow into the face of another player for no reason whatsoever and clobbering a game official with your stick.

Ovechkin, for what it’s worth, laughed off Cherry’s garbage, remarking “Maybe Canadians don’t have a soccer team.” Well, Alex, we do… but you wouldn’t know it, based on the coverage it gets in these parts. And that’s just the way that Cherry and his ilk like it… you wouldn’t want some nancy-boys prancing around on grass getting in the way of the federally-mandated eight hours of daily hockey coverage.

Okay, I know, Cherry’s outdated, xenophobic nonsense is, to an intelligent person, about as credible and meaningful as the incomprehensible ramblings of a gin-stained hobo. But for many, his words (unbelievably) still carry weight. And this little footy hackjob is the most exposure to soccer that many Canadians will get over the course of the year. Fifty-five thousand at Olympic Stadium to cheer on the Impact? We can relegate that to the digital specialty channel… as long as Grapes gets his 10 minutes in prime time and whatever soccer footage he needs to take that Ruskie down a peg.

The fact is that guys like him and Bob McCown are, like it or not, some of the strongest voices on the Canadian sports media scene, and their continued dismissal of soccer only serves to perpetuate the belief in less-metropolitan areas of this country that soccer is a game for foreigners, somehow antithetical to the nature of being Canadian. Surely, the days of guys like this are numbered, as the sports media will inevitably have no choice but to adapt to the rapidly-changing reality of what constitutes the “Canadian experience”.

But for now, we’ll have to endure the reality that soccer is still on the fringes, being forcefully held out there by anachronistic caricatures in patterned suits and outrageous ties.


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