Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Don Cherry Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Volume VI

My curiosity is now satisfied.

This is one of a long-running annual series by Canadian commentary Don Cherry. Think of him as the Donald Trump of professional hockey.

I found Rock' Em Sock' Em 6 [VHS] in the used bookstore operated at a public library in my Northern Ontario city. The price - a very reasonable dime.

A few things stand out from watching this hour-long video.

1. The production values are cheap. Great gobs of money were definitely not spent constructing the set where Cherry introduces the different chapters of his video. They include not very funny bloopers, some very entertaining excerpts from his Coaches Cornere segments from CBC Television's Hockey Night in Canada and great saves by goalies.

2. There's no context for what audiences are watching. I didn't know until the end credits that this video came out in the mid-19990s. I could have guessed that based on some of the players I saw - such as Sault Ste. Marie native Paul DiPietro playing for the Montreal Canadiens. But why doesn't Cherry talk about the season and show how teams fared to set up what audiences are going to watch.

3. Rock 'Em Sock 'Em didn't feature many fights. Cherry loves when players drop the gloves. I expected more fights to be featured. I'm not complaining about the lack of fisticuffs, but I was surprised at how few bouts were showcased.

4. Cherry does offer some tips to young players at the end of the video. Thanks, Coach. Good idea.

5. The constant throbbing instrumental music accompanying mostly slo-mo images gets old fast. How about hearing sounds from the actual games?

6. Players featured in Rock' Em Sock' Em 6 [VHS] include Curtis Joseph, Kirk McLean, Andy Moog, Jeremy Roenick, Claude Lemieux, Adam Graves and the still active Jaromir Jagr.

7. Cherry's commentary is often tiresome. "He's a beauty." Blecch. "I tell ya." Please. Cherry does work in a "left wing pinkos" reference. Oh, Don. Such the card.

RATING: 6/10