Don Cherry

Despite being suspended for the rest of the season after choking teammate Bryce Harper, Jonathan Papelbon is receiving support from a variety of weird corners, including Fox Sports’ C.J. Nitkowski, The Kansas City Star‘s Lee Judge, and now, CBC hockey commentator Don Cherry. Cherry appears to be branching out to other sports these days; he called Tom Brady “too handsome to cheat” in an August rant, and Tuesday, he went off on those criticizing Papelbon for assaulting a teammate, unleashing one of his famed multi-tweet rants to blast Harper and support Papelbon:

As with many of his other Twitter rants, this one’s an excellent candidate for Don Cherry Bingo. Advocating physical violence in sports? Check. Implications that critics can’t understand because they “never played the game”? Check. Calling out stars and boosting “gritty” guys? Check. Espousing the sacred culture of the locker room (or, as Craig Calcaterra noted, the clubhouse)? Check. Really, this could be any of Cherry’s hockey rants, only with a find-and-replace to put in Papelbon and Harper. We could probably create a “Don Cherry Rant Generator” to predict what he’d say on any given topic; bonus points apply for each use of “hustle” and “never played the game.” Also, like Cherry’s hockey rants, it has a loose relationship with the facts: Harper is only making $2 million this season, part of MLB’s continual underpaying of valuable young players.

This Cherry story shows a couple of things. For one, it illustrates how absurd the Harper-Papelbon mess has become that commentators from other sports are now weighing in on it.  It also is further proof of how predictable Cherry’s opinions have become; honestly, people could probably guess most of what he said just from reading a “Don Cherry weighs in on Harper-Papelbon” headline. Cherry’s Twitter rants in particular are starting to feel like some of Andy Rooney’s later pieces for 60 Minutes, complaints about the way the world is today and how everything used to be so much better. He’s not literally yelling at clouds yet, but he’s sending his yells into the cloud, bashing everything that isn’t grit, heart and playing the game the right way.

[For The Win]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously worked at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.

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