Straight Talk
JOE WARMINGTON - Coach is in Ford's corner

Don Cherry and Rob Ford pose for a picture

Credits: DAVE ABEL/QMI AGENCY

JOE WARMINGTON | QMI AGENCY

If anybody knows about "lefty, pinko" commies trying to take his job, its Don Cherry.

So with that in mind, Grapes dropped the gloves for his old pal Mayor Rob Ford Wednesday and let it be known the Coach is in his Corner.

"It's unbelievable how they have nailed him to the cross and only because of who he is," Cherry said. "I feel for him because I have been there."

More than once.

"You are in a maelstrom and you don't know what to do," Cherry said. "He did right by apologizing."

Cherry did that himself last hockey season for emotional comments about three former NHL enforcers and never looked back.

He said now that Ford has done that, there needs to be some compassion and let him get back to doing his job.

"Here's a guy that has dedicated his life to helping under-privileged kids and this is what happens to him?" Cherry said. "The guy made a mistake with the letterhead (and voting) no doubt. But he didn't waste or lose billions of dollars like so many other governments have. His was a minor mistake. A human mistake."

The Hockey Night in Canada legend made headlines two years ago at Ford's swearing-in by telling Ford's enemies to "put that in your pipe, you left-wing kooks."

So he's not surprised by what's happening now.

"Let's lay the cards on the table. The only reason this happened, the only reason, was because of the left-wingers out to get him," Cherry said.

It has been difficult for him to watch.

"They had an opening and you can't give the left an opening like that," he said of Ford's missteps. "I laughed seeing them on TV looking so sad when everybody knows they were just in the hallway doing handstands."

He wonders what and how much the complainants do for under-privileged kids?

"How much is this by-election going to cost?" he said. "How much money has Rob saved the taxpayers?"

A short benching is all Cherry said Ford deserves.

"It's war and his enemies showed no mercy," he said, adding that "it was a hard-hearted judge who wouldn't cut the guy a break."

But taking in the greater good of "all that he has done," it only seems fair that common sense prevails. Much of the public feels this way.

Taking his job definitely feels "anti-democratic" and just too much hard time for not enough crime.

I understand how Ford and Grapes feel about tough foes from the left, but I also think that the architect of Ford's troubles is Ford himself.

"The guy was trying to help kids," said Cherry, who thinks he should be cut some slack. "It wasn't like he wasted or stole $500 million. He was trying to raise three grand for kids to play football."

And because of that the mayor, Cherry said, deserves the same kind of second chance the left has offered to people who have done far worse.

"I hope he gets it and, if he does, he has got to learn how to dance," because the left "are either at your feet or at your throat."

This is why he has advised Ford to develop some more moves to sidestep their sucker punches.

"You have to know when to fight and when to back off," he said of when it comes to the left. "I think Rob has learned a big lesson and next time he will be Fred Astaire."

Either way, Cherry said, Ford will be back as mayor.

"He will win in a landslide, I guarantee you."

The moral of the story is that the left can try for a right-winger's job, but, as Cherry has proven, it doesn't mean they'll be successful.

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