French dislike perception of using defensive measures

By Adam McArthur

I don’t care that there will be a tape delay. I don’t care that time and tax dollars have been used to debate the issue. I don’t even care that this is the second time in a week that the public has been deemed too immature to watch television and make their own decisions. But its bothering me something fierce that nobody cares whether he was right or not.

Don Cherry has caused such a ruckus you would have thought the country was running out of poutine. Next to Boob-gate, no story has garnered more attention across Canada the past 10 days. Everyone from Bonhomme Carnivale to Rene Levesque has chipped in their deux cents. The issue revolves around Cherry’s remarks about visors, eye injuries and high sticking culprits in the National Hockey League.

For the record, Grapes remarked on Coach’s Corner that "most of the guys that wear em are European and French guys." This was coupled with a fictitious story of Tie Domi’s son calling his father a "suck" for wearing a visor.

It should have ended there.

Being on the CBC, and having a history of not loving every Jean, Yvan and Maurice, Cherry found himself in some hot pea soup and the topic of discussion on Parliament Hill. Two sides emerged. It was racism, accepting our diverse country and tolerance on the left, with free speech, censorship and grand frere stepping into your living room on the right. Perfect. Makes for good debate.

Nobody seemed to care, though, if Cherry was right.

Hours upon hours of fact finding, and as muh as a week later nobody had the info about who wore the visors. By a stroke of luck, the Calgary Sun gave me a little help.

Of the six Canadian teams, 76 percent of the players wearing visors are European or "French" guys. It’s a safe bet–one I’ll keep compiling stats about–that those numbers extend to the other NHL teams. This is hardly a shock.

The European professional leagues wear visors, the QMJHL kids who turn pro often keep their visors. Watch an NHL game, and count the visors. Do their names often end in "-ov" or do they call La Belle Province home? The debate about visors is a moot point. Don is cleared on those charges.

However, it was also a common belief that Don also said that players who wear visors "suck," and that got spun into his supposed belief that French players are wimps, sucks and sissies. Not just the players though, apparenly it applied to every Quebecois this side of Mount Royal.

Although it is nearly impossible to measure, let’s look at a few indicators. The most obvious: fighting majors. Looking at the last four seasons, to pick an arbitrary number, of the 15 players most often penalized for fighting, only three hail from Quebec. This also makes sense.

The three junior leagues which feed the NHL most of its Canadian talent: the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League and Quebec-Montreal Junior Hockey League, are not carbon copies of one another. The ‘Dub is by far the most brutal. Most of Canada’s rugged blue liners are bread in the West. The "Q" on the other hand, is a lot of flash and showboating, but outside of a hell of a bus schedule, it’s not the most physically demanding league.

Is this the first time that you have read anything in regards to perhaps Don being correct? Forget all the English/French relations bull plop and look at what is in front of you. People are so swept up in what they think someone said but didn’t that they are oblivious to the evidence that Don’s correct. Not only about what he said, but what he didn’t say. That’s amazing.

In a race for political correctness the truth is not a casualty, but doesn’t appear to be a frontrunner. Maybe if those folks would look in the mirror, they would see who is truly full of merde.

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