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The RAT came back! Ron MacLean tries to ‘rebrand’ himself—at Don Cherry’s expense!

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Our feelings toward Ron MacLean have gone from rage… to pity.

MacLean used to play the second banana role on the hugely popular Coach’s Corner, a Hockey Night In Canada first period intermission fixture. It ran for decades, and then the beloved Don Cherry called out those who disrespected Remembrance Day by not wearing a poppy.

Cue the outrage from the usual suspects who comprise the liberal progressive left. But Don Cherry said absolutely nothing that was inaccurate.

We even obtained video evidence in subsequent Remembrance Days. We wanted to do a poppy-count. The tally was appalling, and it made a mockery of the slogan, “Lest we forget.”

In downtown Toronto in the MINUTES leading up to the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, easily more than 95% of passers-by were not wearing a poppy.

Of course, the loony left would no doubt dismiss such reporting as “poppy-shaming”. Even so, the visuals, like Cherry himself, do not lie.

But that’s the crux of the matter when it comes to the very definition of political correctness: if the truth hurts, you dare not speak it. Rather, you embrace self-censorship.

In the days after “PoppyGate” Cherry was shockingly fired. That termination actually took place on Remembrance Day! That’s oh-so-fitting given that millions and millions of Cherry fans will never forget.

Whether or not you’re a Don Cherry fan or even a hockey fan is beside the point. The axing of Cherry was truly a benchmark moment vis-a-vis Canadian cancel culture. Coach’s Corner, after all, was the most popular eight minutes of TV on Canadian television week after week. Isn’t that the name of the game in broadcasting? You know, to harness eyeballs?

And Don Cherry was #1 in that department every Saturday night. But the woke wimps responsible for Hockey Night In Canada were perfectly OK in jettisoning Cherry for the crime of wrong-speak. And if the woke mob can do that to a superstar like Don Cherry, well then, they can do it to anyone.

And going back some five years ago, where was Ron MacLean on this file? He was AWOL. Even though Cherry in the past had gone to bat TWICE for MacLean when Ron’s job was on the line, MacLean put his head down, kept his mouth shut, continued to collect his pay cheque, and did nothing to help his old friend.

Actually, we stand corrected: Ron didn’t do ‘nothing.’ Nothing would be an upgrade. Rather, Ron MacLean gleefully joined the mob. He called Cherry’s remarks “hurtful” and “discriminatory.” Even though you watch that infamous episode of Coach’s Corner, MacLean nods in agreement as Cherry says his piece. Unbelievable.

In any event, Hockey Night In Canada has never been the same. The few times we tuned-in post-Cherry, not a broadcast aired without some woke sermon being shoved down viewers’ throats. The segments were sanctimonious and condescending. Even worse, the vignettes were brutally boring. That is the cardinal sin in broadcasting.

We don’t know what kind of rancid woke tripe is airing on Hockey Night In Canada these days. We stopped tuning in years ago. We suspect so many other viewers also have better things to do on a Saturday night.

And get this: it has recently been reported that Rogers is suffering from buyer’s remorse, big time, from that massive contract it signed with the NHL given the lackluster return on its investment. Rogers shocked the hockey world in November 2013 when the telecom titan signed a 12-year, $5.2 billion rights deal. The contract kicked in the following year and runs until 2026. But sources have called the deal “money hemorrhaging” for Rogers. And if Rogers could get out of that NHL deal the company would do so in a heartbeat.

Simply put, Rogers vastly overpaid for those NHL rights, and programs like Hockey Night In Canada are under-delivering. Now, we’re not sports broadcasting experts. But it would seem to us that if a TV show is all about ratings, then the higher the ratings the more the broadcaster can charge for advertisements. So, then why in the world would you axe your number one ratings generator, in this case, Don Cherry?

Good golly, maybe there is something to that old chestnut, you know: “Go woke, go broke.” Now Robbers – er, we mean, Rogers – won’t go broke anytime soon. They’ll just cover their losses by marking up your cell phone and cable bills. It’s a joke lacking a punchline.

MacLean, in the meantime, has reinvented himself as some sort of civil rights crusader. Nothing wrong with that, except that his cause du jour lately has been advocating for more… pride nights at NHL games and for players to use rainbow-hued tape on their sticks.

Check out this ludicrous essay he penned last October, just a week after Israel endured a massacre by Hamas terrorists, not that this was on MacLean’s social justice radar.

Rather, MacLean was on a rampage vis-à-vis denouncing the NHL’s pride tape ban (which has since been rescinded, of course.) Astonishingly, MacLean actually compared the NHL ban on rainbow-hued hockey tape to the suffragette movement of the 1860s! We’re not making this up.

Check out this pithy prose: “The leaders ought to hear what the 2SLGBTQ+ and allies are saying. In our deepest reflexes and emotions, we feel we are being pushed away by a rule we cannot obey.”

Oh, shut up already and play hockey!

In any event, a photo recently emerged depicting Ron and Don at Casa Cherry, sitting together with thumbs up. That’s interesting.

But as the saying goes, appearances can be deceiving. The backstory was this: Don’s son, Tim, arranged for Ron to drop by Don’s 90th birthday party to drop off a birthday card. At some point, Ron asked if he could get a photo taken of him and Don together. It was the first time they occupied the same piece of real estate in almost half a decade. Permission was granted.

But the Cherry family thought this pic was only for MacLean’s personal use. They were shocked to discover that MacLean went on to post the image on social media. And they were doubly shocked by the accompanying pathetic prose: “Us, when Grapes hit a Milestone and I was chasing one, so, recently. Canadians. Us like us – forever.”

Now, some media outlets fell for this delusional bull shite hook, line, and stinker; you know, this idea that Ron and Don had buried the hatchet and were once again buddy-buddy.

Alas, nothing could be further from the truth.

Our friend at the Toronto Sun, the superb Joe Warmington, recently delivered the real story.

Basically, this pic being posted on social media was all about a gross rebranding effort on the behalf of MacLean. As such, it’s a rebranding effort that ranks right up there with the New Coke fiasco circa 1985.

Indeed, the headline on Warmington’s column was “Ron MacLean deserves game misconduct for misleading Don Cherry post.”

Indeed, Cherry has remarked that when it comes to him and Ron, they can never be friends again. And really, with “friends” like Ron MacLean, who needs enemies?

In fact, this misleading posting by MacLean would appear to be the second time Cherry’s former sidekick has stabbed Don in the back.

And at this point, MacLean’s juvenile behaviour is getting downright pathetic. Sure, Ron MacLean is the proverbial nice guy – we don’t dispute that. But when Ron MacLean himself threw the star of Coach’s Corner under the bus back in 2019, MacLean mortgaged his reputation in exchange for a nice paying gig. He could’ve done the right thing morally. But doing the right thing might’ve resulted in Ron enduring career repercussions via his woefully woke puppet-masters, so never mind…

In the final analysis, Don Cherry’s nickname is “Grapes.” When Don is gone, the vast majority of Canadians will speak of him in glowing terms. Don Cherry is a rarefied commodity: he says what he means and he means what he says. He’s sincere, he’s genuine, and most importantly of all when it comes to the TV business, he’s enormously entertaining.

But when Ron MacLean shrugs off his mortal coil, he will exist as a footnote to a footnote. Aside from his immediate family members, who will mourn him?

We honestly don’t know if MacLean has a nickname. But as a free service, allow us to suggest a few: Weasel. Rat. Judas. Backstabber. Traitor. Two-Face. Canada’s Worst Friend Ever.

And the list goes on. Hey, Ron, feel free to choose any of those aforementioned nicknames. It’s called truth in advertising…



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