I have always respected butchers. Maintaining your humanity on the job while slaughtering and processing animals must require an enormous balance of emotional strength and emotional detachment. Where I lose respect for butchers is when they earn their living not at the abattoir but instead in front of a microphone. We’ve all seen U.S. media butchers carving up the language on the 24-hour news channels, but we’re not exempt from similar examples in the Great White North. Case in point: Canada’s favourite meathead, Mr. Donald S. Cherry. Let me say I am no Cherry hater. I have been and will always remain a huge fan of Grapes for multiple reasons: his unwavering support of our troops, his “Canada-first” loyalty, his encyclopedic knowledge of hockey history and for providing the only three minutes of content I watch on CBC besides a Leaf game. What I can’t stomach from Don’s deli is his constant butchering of player names in the sport that earns him a very comfortable living. Hearing him mutter “Lulongo” in reference to Canadian goalie Roberto Luongo during the Olympic edition of Coach’s Corner is both unprofessional and insulting. It’s easy to cut Don a swath of forgiveness as wide as his signature lapels for his politically incorrect comments — he’s happy to be the lightning rod for criticism of the things we all think but don’t say. But there’s no forgiving Don for the disrespect he shows our players by not taking the time to pronounce their names correctly. On this issue, Cherry’s performance is the pits.
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