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.Subscribe to UPROXX
(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?
While his coaching career only lasted six seasons, Cherry still showed up in 2005 to coach Team Cherry in the Top Prospects game, and this might have actually been the same suit from 1975.
A lot of people may argue, though, that Cherry’s criticism of other countries and his political beliefs have redefined him, and that’s a valid point. But he wasn’t shy about combining his strange fashion sense with politics, like when he spoke at Toronto mayor Rob Ford’s induction in 2010 while wearing a pink suit that he dedicated to the “pinko commies” of the world. That’s why it’s so ironic that he’s currently in Russia.
However, this tribute is about fashion, and I can’t help but appreciate a guy who dresses like that one guy in the Mighty Mighty Bosstones who just dances.
Or a walking, talking, puck-dropping Christmas decoration.
And Colonel Sanders if he’d been from 1920s Chicago and not the South.
WATCH IT, PAL.
This suit looks like he lost a game of chicken with a truck full of zebras.
If Morpheus from The Matrix had hidden from Agent Smith by pretending he was my aunt’s recliner.
He looks like he’s playing Steven Seagal’s dad in Fire Down Below.
“Crisis was averted when the Rose Bowl parade’s organizers forgot to put together this year’s event, and Don Cherry randomly showed up and sat in the back of a convertible.”
The world’s worst birthday party clown.
I like to think that this simple look is just his “Going to Applebee’s for takeout” suit.
If he doesn’t leave the entire top of this suit on while he has sex, Cherry will have lost at least one fan today.
Moments later, he made a suit out of the killer whale.
All I think of when I see this suit is Don Flamenco. If he made an entire line of Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out suits, I would own them all.
In case you’re wondering how he handles his suits. I was disappointed to learn that they aren’t transported on a lifesize Elton John mannequin.
HAT GAME FRED FLINTSTONE LOYAL ORDER OF WATER BUFFALOS LODGE
HAT GAME JAMIROQU-EH?
Even though Cherry misquoted Shakespeare, he still knew the subject matter, because he even put on the occasional show for fans of hard-nosed hockey and the Bard of Avon.
One of my favorite short-lived blogs was “Don We Now Our Gay Apparel,” because they always had a great collection of screencaps from Cherry’s CBC broadcasts. I call this one “The Dog Pooped On The Rug But We Can’t Tell Where.”
This one is “Baby Boy’s Nursery Of Unholy Nightmares.”
This suit is “What Would Have Happened If I Let My Grandmother Design My Prom Tux.”
I call this “Hey, I’ve Offended Most Of Europe And Russia, But I Can’t Remember If I Covered Ireland, So Just In Case.”
“We’ve gone plaid!”
This one is called “Cambodian Spring Break.”
And this one is “The Sheets After An Orgy At The Brady Bunch House.”
And finally, “The Big Bad Bruin.” Happy birthday, you crazy, old hockey legend.
(Images via Getty and Don We Now)