Sunday, March 22, 2009

The true north strong and free

Dear Don Cherry,

I used to be a fan.

A long time ago, I read and enjoyed your autobiography, no matter how poorly it was written at times ... misspellings, grammar issues, sentence structure ... the whole nine yards.

As I've grown up, however, I've realized you're the blustering fool about whom Shakespeare so often wrote.

Yours is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.

You grandstand the notion Canadians are the best and the toughest hockey players in the world. Certainly, our great nation produces many of the best and most of the toughest.

Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin may prove otherwise, however.

But that is not my argument. Tonight, I watched Fifth Estate, our Canadian news magazine.

On this night, CBC looked into fighting the game -- is it a source of entertainment? or is a potentially fatal spectacle the game we both love is better off to leave behind?

Don Sanderson, of course, erased the notion of 'potential' earlier this season when he died during a rec-league scrap in Ontario.

But that is not my argument.

Through the course of the show, you said, 'hockey is the only thing Canada is known for in the world.'

This is my argument.

For someone who claims to be so incredibly proud of his country, you forget - in one simple sentence - all of the wonderful things this country has been, has done, is, does, will be, and will do.

As one friend said: We're also known for maple syrup, beavers, curling, good beer, ketchup chips and for supplying the toughest shock troops on the side of the Allies in WWI and WWII."

Lest we forget the wonderful work our troops are doing in Afghanistan, to ensure the American mess is cleaned up. What are up to in casualties now? 110?

Lest we forget the wonderful work being done in medicine, the arts, scientific research.

Lest we forget the Tragically Hip, Bif Naked, Finger Eleven ... all internationally acclaimed recording artists.

Lest we forget the hospitality for which we are known, our people opening their doors to strangers for several days in September of 2001, when they needed safe haven because planes around the world were grounded.

But even the fools in Shakespearean works were respected as subtle teachers, their true message hidden in their words.

My fear, however, lies more in your desire to garner ratings than it is to truly teach.

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