No One Ever Fought Before Don Cherry Arrived

According to Dr. Charles Tator, a Toronto neurosurgeon speaking at a seminar about concussions, Hockey Night in Canada's sartorial peacock Don Cherry is to blame for all the savagery in the great game of hockey, and all players should send their medical bills to him. All right, he may not have said the latter part, but he might as well have for how inane the first claim was. ↵
↵⇥"He's a negative influence," Dr. Charles Tator told CBC News in reference to Cherry, a popular personality on Hockey Night in Canada. "The aggressive, lack-of-respect hockey that he preaches — we need to get that out of the game." ↵⇥

↵⇥Tator, an expert on brain injuries, said hockey culture needs to change and Cherry could influence that. ↵⇥"If he took a strong stand against no hits to the head, it would help," Tator said. He noted that years ago, Cherry added his voice to a move to reduce serious neck injuries in hockey by stiffening rules about hitting from behind. ↵⇥

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↵Cherry is no doubt an iconic figure in hockey, but that's a ridiculous contention on its face. While Tator may have a point that Cherry and other analysts could have an effect on subtly changing hockey viewers' embrace of extreme violence (NFL announcers seem to think so), that phenomenon predates Cherry and will likely exist after he's gone. To draw a connection between the attitude of one broadcaster, no matter how famous, and the entire culture of a sport is specious at best. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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