I loved reading his column when I lived in Canada. And after all these years, he's still great
A sport even Don Cherry can love
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Now that's soccer: Players falling down and feigning life-threatening injuries; a referee handing out yellow cards like junk mail; hostile fans throwing bottles at the officiating crew; hostile players battling with taser-touting Toronto police officers.
Oh, and a guy dressed in a chicken suit running onto the pitch and being tackled by security workers.
Wow, who said the beautiful game was boring?
What happened during and after Thursday's FIFA under-20 World Cup semi-final between Argentina and Chile was arguably the wildest, most memorable soccer spectacle this country has seen since ... since our men's national team played Brazil to a 1-1 draw in Edmonton in 1994, an outcome that forced one Brazilian radio announcer to lament aloud, "My God, how will we recover from this?"
For those who missed Thursday's blow-up at BMO Field, think of a South American free-for-all mismanaged by a German referee followed by a guest appearance by the Keystone Kops. Toss in the guy in the chicken suit and it could have been a Fellini film.
Chilean officials were so alarmed at what transpired that they lambasted the Toronto police for their "violence" against the Chilean players and asked that the city of Toronto, in conjunction with the Canadian government, fire all the officers involved.
Naturally, our politicians promised to get right on it, which means we should be sending an apology to Chile some time in the next 20 years.
The Chileans claim they were wronged in the worst possible way, which contributed to their 3-0 semi-final loss. Their team doctor said several of the players were beaten by the police.
Chilean striker Isaias Perralta insisted he was zapped with an electrical charge and fainted, just like the Argentines, who fell down during the match more often than Darcy Tucker on dull blades.
"When I regained consciousness," Mr. Perralta told the media, "I saw 10 police officers hitting me and throwing acid in my face."
That's pretty good. The man is getting acid thrown in his face and he can still see 10 police officers doing a drum solo on him.
All this tub-thumping and complaining aside, let's look at the positive side of things: Canada is now a global leader in soccer news. And really, what happened in Toronto was tame compared to what goes on in the world of soccer violence. Think about it: nobody was killed; nobody was showered with plastic bags filled with unmentionable contents.
Yes, the chicken suit wasn't a chicken suit at all: The guy was dressed as a cartoon character based on the Andean condor.
The condor is a revered bird in Chile, which means that tackling a guy dressed as one could be construed as a slight. But the Chileans have said nothing about that.
They're peeved about tasers and pepper spray and one of their players being beaten by 10 police officers carrying hockey sticks.
Tell you what: if that's soccer, pretty soon even Don Cherry will be watching it. Loving it, too.