Really, was there any question about how much Don Cherry is beloved in this country?
OK, Cherry haters, I hear you. Put away your pitchforks and douse the torches.
But, sheesh, if there’s further proof needed that Cherry is indeed a national icon, look no further than the Lloydminster Bobcats of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
A whole gaggle of self-conscious teenage boys will wear probably the most hideously ugly jerseys in the history of hockey to honour the Coach’s Corner star during a game Saturday — Hockey Day in Canada — against the Sherwood Park Crusaders.
The picture says it all, really.
But for my two cents, the whole tartan-dinner-jacket-with-faux-tie doesn’t work as a hockey sweater (or a real-life ensemble, for that matter). And I’ve got about as much fashion sense as a blind hobo.
Of course, it’s all in good fun. It’s a different way to make light of Grapes’ over-the-top attire while showing respect.
It’s not the first time it’s been done and it likely won’t be the last. The OHL’s Kingston Fronenacs did it in 2009, which is the first time I can remember it happening.
And the Camrose Kodiaks of the same AJHL did it in 2012. It’s possible there have been others but this old guy’s memory isn’t what it used to be.
As part of the, uh, Hockey Day festivities, Cherry and his partner in crime, Ron MacLean, will broadcast Coach’s Corner from the Centennial Civic Centre in Lloydminster. And you can be sure ol’ Don will be mighty proud of the Bobcats’ new, albeit temporary, look.