My favorite Don Cherry moment? It was at the grand opening of his bar in Windsor, Ontario, back in the early ’80s. The man was standing at the back of the room holding court when he saw me walking up looking like a David St. Hubbins starter kit. He stopped, stared and let me have it. “Whaddaya doin’ with that hair?” he said. “You look like a sheepdog! Get a haircut, fer cryin’ out loud!”
That’s Grapes, right? The man has never shied away from sharing his honest opinion, and whether you love him or hate him, you know he’s not going to pull his punches. He always gives it to you straight.
And, truth be told, I probably could have used a trim.
Our interaction came to mind with the news that the ageless wonder is celebrating his 80th birthday today. And since we can’t get him what he really deserves — a spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame — let’s honor his first day as an octogenarian with a look back at eight memorable Don Cherry moments — for better or worse — that we’ve all shared: