Straight Talk
JOE WARMINGTON - Cherry not too worried about Order of Canada snub

DON CHERRY

Credits: Al Charest/Calgary Sun/QMI Agency

JOE WARMINGTON | TORONTO SUN

TORONTO - He may not have been awarded the Order of Canada once again but imagine how he would dress up for the occasion if he ever did.

On this Canada Day, Don Cherry went as Captain Canada.

The coach dressed up in his Canuck Super Hero garb to celebrate Canada's 147th birthday at the Rogers Centre, greeted by smiles and applause from many in the capacity crowd on hand to see the Toronto Blue Jays score a 4-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

"I love Canada and Canadians," Grapes said in an interview. "It's a great country."

He wasn't too worried about being snubbed again for the Order of Canada.

I was more upset than he was.

"I think reading the Toronto Sun today was better than getting the medal," he said laughing.

In the Canada Day edition of the Toronto Sun ran a column about how Cherry deserves the honour as much as any of the previous recipients.

Many readers agree.

"I really appreciated all of the support," he said.

Cherry congratulated the others that were bestowed this year and thanked those who nominated him.

He is Canadian through and through - with or without a formal declaration. I submit he's more worthy and certainly does as much for charity and nation building than many of the included members combined.

But he wasn't going to let it ruin his Canada Day.

And he wanted to show entertaining California-born Rogers Sportsnet Broadcaster and former Jay Gregg Zaun how a good Canadian dresses.

Cherry showcased a white-and-red suit, a Canada flag tie and a white fedora with a maple leaf trim.

Zaun dressed similar in a red jacket, Canada tie and red fedora.

"Gregg wanted me to show him how it works," said Cherry with a chuckle. "So I said, ‘Why not?'"

The best thing about the broadcasters is they don't hold back when it comes to showing what they really think.

While Cherry talked baseball, he also talked hockey. He was invited to join the Rogers Broadcaster primarily because this upcoming NHL season will be the first in the new deal that will see Rogers essentially own Canadian NHL broadcasting.

Cherry now works for Rogers.

He may wear the Maple Leaf on his heart, suits and sleeves but it does not mean the Toronto Maple Leafs team will be spared the wrath of Grapes.

He was telling me he's already miffed that the team - now led by new President of Hockey Operations Brendan Shanahan - didn't select any local players in last week's amateur draft.

"Why couldn't they take one guy from Ontario?" said Cherry. "I mean, he's from Mimico of all places. He knows how good our kids are."

Cherry watches Ontario kids in the rinks almost every night in the winter. He wanted the Toronto Maple Leafs to start doing the same.

The Rogers brain trust is already smiling, knowing how important Cherry is going to be as the company corners the market on hockey.

On the subject of Mayor Rob Ford returning to the city after spending time in rehab, Grapes said "good for him" and "tell him I said ‘hello' and am hoping the best for him."

He doesn't care about who is offended by what he says. Free speech is Canadian and won by warriors who died to ensure it.
Cherry does not hold back on exercising that freedom.
He long ago came to the conclusion that the Order of Canada will probably not he coming his way but I teased him we are still going to try next time.
Mainly because we wanted him included in the same club as esteemed members David Suzuki, Margaret Atwood and Henry Morgantaler just to see him wear that Captain Canada outfit to the investiture at Rideau Hall.

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