In case “Bunch of Jerks” had gotten stale, Don Cherry came back at the Hurricanes and their fans Saturday night to inadvertently offer up a new rallying cry.
Nearly three months after Cherry ripped the Hurricanes for their postgame celebrations, the old-school CBC analyst told them to get off his lawn again.
While wondering how word of him calling them “a bunch of jerks” in Canada got down to Carolina, he called the growing crowds at Hurricanes games “front-running fans.”
“These people that are here now, now they’re winning, [are] front-running fans as far as I’m concerned,” Cherry said in a “Coach’s Corner” segment Saturday on Hockey Night in Canada. “That’s what they are, front-running fans, as far as I’m concerned.
“… The fans there now, the 17 and 18,000, they’re front-runners. They’re there because they win, not because they act like fish. OK? That’s it.”
As the Hurricanes await their opponent in the Eastern Conference finals, after sweeping the Islanders in the second round, their marketing department is only getting more creative. During the last series, they spelled out “Jerks” in the stands on seats that didn’t have white “Bunch of Jerks” towels on them.
By Sunday night, the team’s Twitter account had caught wind of Cherry’s latest comments and had another comeback.
“New fans. Old fans. We don’t care. Every jerk is welcome to join the #Canes family,” they wrote in a tweet while posting a new T-shirt that updated their slogan to “Bunch of ‘^front running’ Jerks.”
Cherry meanwhile, was left talking himself into anger Saturday night, his voice raising after partner Ron MacLean said the Hurricanes’ rallying cry was hard not to embrace.
“I don’t embrace nothing!” Cherry, also confused as to how something he said in Canada made its way to North Carolina, said. “I said they look like a bunch of jerks being a fish on the water, a bowling ball, when it’s professional hockey. No sport in the world does it except them. It came down from the top, [the owner said,] ‘I want to entertain the fans.’
“They know it’s the wrong thing to do or they’d do it in the playoffs.”
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