When it comes to professional sports announcers and commentators that dress like they were shopping in a Goodwill that just exploded, most Americans will probably point at TNT’s Craig Sager as the poster boy. But Canadians and most hockey fans in general know the truth. They know that the real fashion icon behind the microphone is former hockey player and NHL coach and current CBC analyst Don Cherry, who turns the ripe, young age of 80 today.
Cherry isn’t exactly the most beloved character in hockey or sports in general. The very opinionated and brash commentator has never ever been one to pull punches, and he often makes bombastic statements that make him the target of great fury from fans and even other countries. Hell, even as I write this, Cherry is just getting settled into his half-ready hotel room in Sochi, which is amazing considering how much he has openly loathed Russia and its hockey players in the past.
But I don’t care about how much the guy pisses people off today because of his old-fashioned, reckless approach to everything. It’s the guy’s birthday and he’s had a hell of a career, so I wanted to pay tribute to the first thing that comes to mind of most hockey fans when they hear the name Don Cherry – those f*cking suits. Most of them look like they were made from the couches of our grandmothers, while others look like they were purchased right off of the mannequins at an outlet store called “1920s Gangsters R Us.” Very few men have the balls to wear suits like these, though, and that’s why Cherry is a man among boys.
Before we get started, here’s a very important video clip of Cherry discussing the relationship between professional hockey players and fashion. As he incorrectly quotes Shakespeare, “Apparel oft makes the man,” and that’s a pretty bold statement for a man wearing whatever the hell it is that he’s wearing.
(For ideal reading purposes, I encourage you to open this music video in another window.)
We start this journey by traveling back to the 1970s, when Cherry was the coach of the Boston Bruins from 1974 to 1979. Despite leading the Bruins to two Stanley Cup Finals in five seasons, Cherry got the boot, because the pencil-pushers in the front office just didn’t like his coaching style. His actual style? How could anyone not love this?
Let’s add a little color to that, shall we?