Sunday, October 08, 2006

"I'm thankful for Don Cherry, eh?"

Fosco loves Canada and he's not ashamed to admit it. Five years ago, he and his good buddy Liz went to a conference in Toronto and fell in love with the country: so friendly, so progressive, so calm. Canadians just don't seem to get worked-up over things that Americans do (homosexuals, evolution, etc.) We made a pact then that we would try to get jobs in Canada, a pact on which Liz has made good and Fosco is violating--at least for the next 6-7 years.

Now although Fosco loves Canada, he hasn't always loved Canadians--at least not as friends. Fosco had a Canadian friend once and things ended very badly.

But this time, it's going to be different, because Fosco has met Michael and Laurel and they are absolutely cool and funny and smart and the best couple EVER. And yesterday, Fosco went to their house for his first ever Canadian Thanksgiving!

Michael and Laurel are absolutely wonderful hosts and they put together a truly remarkable spread for the occasion--all vegetarian, even! (Recall that Fosco does enjoy vegetarian food if it's the right kind). I was even a bit surprised to find myself enjoying, of all things, the Tofurky. And have I mentioned that Laurel makes the most remarkable homemade cup of coffee ever? You think she's fetching you an ordinary cup of coffee, but then she returns with something creamy with a head of foam--it's the most luxurious surprise and I recommend it (I wish that I, like my pal John Mackey, remembered to take pictures of the things that I eat and drink...)

Of course, it wouldn't be right to celebrate a holiday from another culture without learning a bit more about that culture and Michael and Laurel were happy to oblige with some interesting Canadiana. I think that the most fascinating thing I learned is that there exists a hockey announcer named Don Cherry. Apparently, he's 1) a Canadian national treasure and 2) totally insane.

You can get a sense of him from this brief commercial for Quiznos:

As you can see, he has this thing for high collars and pimp suits. If you really want to see what kind of suit this guy is capable of wearing, you should check out this clip (Don appears at approx. 2:30).

And it's not just his sartorial sense that is problematic. Apparently, Hockey Night in Canada (for which he announces) had to be put on a seven second tape delay because of his penchant for saying borderline offensive things. Like what? Well, how about this (during the 2002 Winter Olympics):

I've been trying to tell you people for so long about the Russians, what kind of people they are, and you just love them in Canada with your multiculturalism. They're quitters and evidently they take a lot of drugs, too.
I wish I could disagree with Don, but I've been trying to tell American people about the Russians as well--but you love them in American with your multiculturalism.

I'm trying to think of an American equivalent for Don Cherry, but I'm not sure he translates. Sure, John Madden continues his rapid spiral into madness, but, as any close listener can tell, the redneck conservative in the booth is his partner Al Michaels. There was that whole Jimmy the Greek thing, but nobody thought of him as a national treasure. Probably the closest we get is Lee Corso, and that, my friends, is a goddamn shame.

Which reminds me: someday ESPN is going to have to stop having students in the background of their "College Gameday Live" broadcasts...
Unless, of course, ESPN is tacitly agreeing that Lee Corso loves cock.

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