Dean Blevins delivered this week's hottest take.

Welcome to another edition of This Week In Hot Takes. This time around, we’re breaking down the hottest takes from March 22-28.

5. Don Cherry calls Evgeny Kuznetsov a jerk three times over Kuznetsov’s bird celebration: For the third straight week, 85-year-old Sportsnet analyst Don Cherry shows up here. This time, though, he wasn’t going after the Carolina Hurricanes’ celebrations, or Swedish players on opposite teams who dare to talk to each other. But he managed to combine elements of both of those bad takes on Hockey Night In Canada Saturday, continuing his long streak of bashing European players by criticizing Washington Capitals’ Russian center Evgeny Kuznetsov for Kuznetsov’s flapping-bird celebration (starting around 5:10 here) after he scored a game-tying goal late against the Tampa Bay Lightning (Tampa Bay would go on to win in overtime):

A transcription, via Russian Machine Never Breaks’ Ian Oland:

“Watch the jerk here now after he scores a goal. This is a very important game here. This is like the two best teams here. Now he does the jerk thing like this. Now watch the overtime goal Hedman gets.

“[Kuznetsov] is deep in the [offensive zone]. Watch Hedman get the goal. Remember, kids. Hockey Night in Canada. Karma hockey: always come back. He’s not even in the thing. He is a jerk. And he inspires the other team. Remember, kids. Never inspire the other team.”

As noted before, it’s quite funny that Cherry has made an entire career out of look-at-me antics, takes and suits, and yet has a problem with any player expressing themselves. But hey, at least he didn’t make it explicitly about nationality here, the way he did when he bashed Kuznetsov back in January, saying “You do not make fun of a team when you score. You play the game. That’s the Canadian way. You listen to me. Don’t listen to anybody else.” Anyone who listens only to Cherry is going to have a very deluded perspective on life.

And sure, the Lightning went on to win, but the Capitals got a point thanks to Kuznetsov’s goal. And it’s not exactly proven that the Tampa Bay goal came from anything Kuznetsov did, and particularly not his celebration. But Kuznetsov had a good response to Cherry later this week:

“If he want to say something, he can call me or he can meet me, but to call me jerk on TV doesn’t make him look good, you know? But whatever he said, my parents teach me a lot of good things when I’m young, and I’m not going to say anything bad about a guy who’s much older than me.”

…You know, that’s what hockey should be for, for fun. Fans like it, and you know, the way [Cherry] talk, it doesn’t make him look good, right? If he thinks he’s good, he should check his record when he was coaching in the CHL and that’s it, he should shut his mouth.”

For the record, Cherry’s CHL record was 11-47-10 in one season as the Mississauga Ice Dogs’ head coach in 2001-02. Oh, and he refused to draft European players during his first couple years as part owner and general manager there (before his coaching role), eventually reversing that after his team only won three games in 2000-01. Oh, and his NHL coaching record (from 1974-80) is better at 250-153-77, but his tenure in Boston infamously ended with a too many men penalty, so he’s got that going for him. And since then, he’s been loud and obnoxious on TV, ranting about players he doesn’t like. Who’s the real jerk here?

Rating: 🔥🔥🔥

4. Brian Burke calls Hurricanes’ celebrations “embarrassing”: Speaking of bad takes on the Hurricanes’ celebrations, former NHL executive and current Sportsnet pundit Brian Burke blasted those this week as well, in an interview with Sean Fitz-Gerald of The Athletic:

You and Don Cherry have both criticized the Hurricanes’ postgame celebration — he called them a “bunch of jerks” and you called it “peewee garbage stuff” — but has any of it started to grow on you?

No. No. I think it’s embarrassing. I’m not going to change my view on it. I think it’s getting worse. The more choreographed and elaborate it is, the more embarrassing it is to me. The first couple were kind of spontaneous and I let it go. Now? I think it’s absurd. And by the way, I think Don and I speak for 85 percent of the fan base in Canada. I think the average Canadian can’t stand it.

Yes, the 63-year-old American Burke truly speaks for “the average Canadian,” and not all the Canadians who have praised and enjoyed that celebration and criticized Cherry for bashing it. Burke and Cherry do maybe speak for the average old, white Sportsnet analyst, but that’s about it.

Rating: 🔥🔥🔥

3.  John Kincade asks “What moved them to the head of the line?” about Buccaneers’ female coaching hires: There have been more women getting chances to work as NFL coaches recently, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the latest on that front, announcing the hires of assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust and assistant strength and conditioning coach Maral Javadifar this week. Naturally, some media members had to bang the “How dare you hire some different!” drum, including Atlanta radio host John Kincade of 680 The Fan:

First off, low-level NFL coaching hires have traditionally not been all about merit (if a true meritocracy is even possible, which it probably isn’t; it’s tough if not impossible to remove bias entirely), but have often included coaches’ sons, friends of friends and so on. In subsequent replies to this, Kincade said he’s criticized coaches’ sons’ hires too, which, fine, but that doesn’t make it any less of a bad take to be bashing these hires this way.

And both Locust and Javadifar absolutely have experience comparable to many hires at this level. Locust played semipro women’s football for four years, was the defensive line coach for the AAF’s Birmingham Iron, and served as a defensive coaching intern with the Baltimore Ravens last spring, while Javadifar has a doctorate in physical therapy from New York Medical College, completed a sports physical therapy residency at VCU, and has previously worked as a physical therapist and performance trainer.

Those are qualifications that wouldn’t raise many eyebrows if the hires in question happened to be men. And hires at this level wouldn’t have drawn any comment if they happened to be men; few people notice hires of assistant DL coaches or assistant strength coaches. But because they’re women, the bad-take brigade had to weigh in. To answer Arians’ question of “their gender’s different — who gives a shit?”, the answer is pundits like Kincade.

Rating: 🔥🔥🔥

2. Mike Bell says Tom Izzo critics don’t know how “to make eye contact” or “shake hands like a man,” “I weep for our future”: Speaking of Atlanta radio hosts, there’s another one with a hot take this week. The world saw a whole lot of back and forth on Michigan State coach Tom Izzo’s on-court confrontation with freshman Aaron Henry, which Izzo defended by saying Henry wasn’t doing his job; critics pointed out that the NCAA insists it isn’t a job and that there’s a huge power imbalance between Izzo and Henry, while some players said it wasn’t a big deal and some media members argued that too much was made of it. But the real hot take came from 92.9 The Game’s Mike Bell, who decided to use this…to lob a bunch of general shots at young people?

That’s just absurd.

Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

1. Dean Blevins says “Unless I missed it and somebody died, there is no such thing as a ‘tragic start’ for LSU,” ignoring that someone did die: Moving over to Oklahoma City, CBS affiliate KWTV sports director Dean Blevins proved why you should read an article before sending a snarky tweet about it:

Uh, yeah, the “tragic start” there was referencing the September death of junior forward Wayde Sims in a shooting outside a party. As the article pointed out. But no, Blevins couldn’t be bothered to read that before getting in his two cents about the supposed misuse of “tragic.” (And the bringing up of gun violence in Chicago is such a terrible trope at this point.) To his credit, Blevins did later apologize:

But he still provided our hottest take of the week.

Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Hot Take Standings:

Jason Whitlock – Hall of Fame
Stephen A. Smith – 239
Skip Bayless – 200
Phil Mushnick – 177
Colin Cowherd – 79
Rob Parker – 59
Doug Gottlieb – 53
Shannon Sharpe – 35
Don Cherry – 30
Albert Breer – 29
Dan Shaughnessy – 26
Ray Lewis – 25
Charles Barkley – 24
Darren Rovell – 20
Danny Kanell – 20
Britt McHenry – 20
JT The Brick – 20
Dan Dakich – 18
Michael DeCourcy – 16
Jason McIntyre – 16
Andy Benoit – 15
Tony Massarotti – 15
Ben Maller – 15
Mike Francesa – 14
Bill Plaschke – 14
Jason Smith – 13
Kirk Herbstreit – 13
Mike Felger – 13
The Sporting News – 13
Chris Broussard – 13
Rick Morrissey – 13
Michael Wilbon – 12
John Middlekauff – 11
Keith Olbermann – 11
Greg Gabriel – 10
Rob Rossi – 10
Bill James – 10
Joe Simpson – 10
Bob Brookover – 10
Jeremy Roenick – 10
Berry Tramel – 10
Kristine Leahy – 10
Graham Couch – 9
Chris “Mad Dog” Russo – 9
Ross Tucker – 9
Ryen Russillo – 9
Garth Crooks – 9
C.J. Nitkowski – 9
Bob Ford – 8
John Feinstein – 8
Steve Simmons – 8
Frank Isola – 8
Michael Rapaport – 8
Bart Hubbuch – 8
Howard Eskin – 7
Trent Dilfer – 7
Damien Cox – 7
Mike Bianchi – 7
Cris Carter – 7
Pat Forde – 7
Charley Casserly – 6
The Wall Street Journal – 6
Pat Leonard – 6
Luke Kerr-Dineen – 6
Terry Bradshaw – 6
Greg A. Bedard – 6
Dean Blevins – 5
Tony Rizzo – 5
Jeff Schultz – 5
Paul Sullivan – 5
Dan Wolken – 5
Dan Clark  – 5
Paul Daugherty  – 5
Michael Kay – 5
Tom Jones – 5
Max Kellerman – 5
Mark Readings – 5
Neil Warnock – 5
Patrick Bet-David – 5
Jared Stillman – 5
Jen Rainwater – 5
Matt Walsh – 5
Jon Steinberg – 5
Bill Welt – 5
Jack Todd – 5
Aaron Murray – 5
Chris Childers – 5
Mark Knight – 5
The Herald Sun – 5
David Booth – 5
Tom Nichols – 5
Keith Hernandez – 5
Bill O’Reilly – 5
Brandel Chamblee – 5
Michael McCarthy – 5
Mike “The Reputation Doctor®” Paul – 5
Dennis Dodd – 5
Rich Lowry – 5
Chris Reed – 5
The San Diego Union-Tribune – 5
David Hookstead – 5
Tomm Looney – 5
Alex Shaw – 5
Rick Reilly – 5
Randall Mell – 5
Ian O’Connor – 5
Michael Bamberger – 5
Bob Bubka – 5
Cathal Kelly – 5
Pete Prisco – 5
Bill Simons – 5
Christine Flowers – 5
Jason Lieser – 5
John Steigerwald – 5
Josh Peter – 5
Alexi Lalas – 5
John Moody – 5
Marni Soupcoff – 5
Ryan Rishaug – 5
Kurtis Larson – 5
Rod Watson – 5
Chuck Modiano – 5
Joel Klatt – 5
Steve Buffery – 5
Joe Morgan – 5
Nancy Armour – 5
Richard Justice – 5
Ameer Hasan Loggins – 5
Jesse Watters – 5
John McGrath – 5
Mike Sielski – 5
Gordon Monson – 5
Scott Fowler – 5
Terry Frei – 5
David Jones – 5
Sabrina Parr – 5
Abbey Mastracco – 5
Terry Cushman – 5
Rick Bozich – 5
Michael O’Doherty – 5
Simon Briggs – 5
Dan Wetzel – 5
Mike Parry – 5
Bob Ryan – 5
Robert Reed – 5
Pete Dougherty – 5
Dan Le Batard – 5
Marcus Hayes – 5
Kyle Turley – 5
Mike Ditka – 5
Erril Laborde – 5
Lowell Cohn – 5
Rosie DiManno – 5
Mike Bell – 4
Cody McDavis – 4
The New York Times – 4
Dan Crenshaw – 4
Mike Vaccaro – 4
Mike Klis – 4
Richard Keys – 4
Peter King – 4
Bruce Levine – 4
Malcolm Gladwell – 4
That’s Kappy – 4
Mitchell Nathanson – 4
The New York Daily News – 4
“Big” Jim Murray – 4
Jeff Diamond – 4
Marc Berman – 4
Evan Roberts – 4
Corbin Smith – 4
DJ Siddiqi – 4
The Express – 4
Mark Kiszla – 4
Greg Witter – 4
Myron Medcalf – 4
Bill Polian – 4
MJ Franklin – 4
Alex Reimer – 4
Joan Vennochi – 4
Matt Yglesias – 4
Bill Livingston – 4
Michael Irvin – 4
Shawn Windsor – 4
Brock Huard – 4
Byron Tau – 4
Maggie Gray – 4
Michael Powell – 4
Mark Spector – 4
Chad Forbes – 4
Gary Myers – 4
Mark Schlereth – 4
Andy Gray – 4
David Fleming – 4
Jeff Pearlman – 4
Tony Grossi – 4
FanSided – 4
Tony Kornheiser – 4
USA Today – 4
Nathan Ruiz – 4
John Kincade – 3
Brian Burke – 3
Doug Russell  – 3
Carl Steward  – 3
Jerry Coleman – 3
Jon Johnson  – 3
Trey Wingo – 3
Lance Zierlein – 3
Michael Salfino – 3
Tom Van Riper – 3
Andy Katz – 3
Tony La Russa  – 3
Jim Brady – 3
Bill Simmons – 3
Mark Teixeira – 3
Wally Hall – 3
Damien Woody – 3
Victor Cruz – 3
Andrew Walker – 3
Jim Kaat – 3
Jason Gay – 3
Steven J. Brams – 3
Aaron Isaksen – 3
Will Muschamp – 3
Buck Lanford – 3
Stan Fischler – 3
Sonnie Wooden – 3
Chris Jones – 3
Kelly Smith – 3
Reggie Miller – 3
Mark Madden – 3
Larry Brooks – 3
Dan Canova – 3
Steve Rosenbloom – 3
Stephen Jackson – 3
Mike Sando – 3
Walt Borla – 3
Nick Cafardo – 3
Ice Cube – 3
Justin Peters – 3
Elise Finch – 3
Kevin Skiver – 3
David Bahnsen – 3
Harold Reynolds – 3
Kevin Reynolds – 3
Mike Sheahan – 3
Steve Greenberg – 3
Matt Burke – 3
Malcolm Gladwell – 3
Mike Milbury – 3
Mac Engel – 3
Nick Kypreos – 3
Caron Butler – 3
Don Brennan – 3
Robert Tychkowski – 3
Mike Johnston – 3
Jeff Mans – 3
Joe Browne – 3
Mike Harrington – 3
Greg Mitchell – 3
The Palm Beach Post – 2
Karl Ravech – 2
Mike Florio – 2
Dari Nowkah – 2
Ella Dorsey – 2
The Hill – 2
John Kindt – 2
Bill Madden – 2
Tony Gonzalez – 2
Mike Greenberg – 2
Grant Paulsen – 2
Jeff Ermann – 2
Ed Werder – 2
Ben Mulroney – 2
Ron Cook – 2
Brian Kenny – 2
Barrett Sallee – 2
Craig Calcaterra – 2
Gareth Wheeler – 2
John Cornyn – 2
Tony Dungy – 2
Bruce Jenkins – 2
Chris Wesseling – 2
Seth Greenberg – 2
Doug Smith – 2
Newsweek – 2
Teddy Cutler – 2
Will Cain – 2
Bill Cowher – 2
Paul Finebaum – 2
Amin Elhassan – 2
Jim Henneman – 2
Mitch Lawrence – 2
Nick Wright – 2
Domonique Foxworth – 2
Gary Parrish – 2
Michael Farber – 2
Andy Furman – 2
Donovan McNabb – 2
Seth Davis – 2
Jon Heyman – 2
Jason La Canfora – 2
Booger McFarland – 2
Joe Schad – 2
Cork Gaines – 2

Thanks for reading! Tune in next week for more This Week In Hot Takes. As always, you can send submissions to me via e-mail or on Twitter.

 

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing.