Whether you wanted him to be or not, Don Cherry is officially back in the game. The polarizing Canadian icon launched his new podcast, The Grapevine, on Tuesday, November 19, 2019, and it's already getting quite the reaction online. It was confirmed over the weekend that Coach's Corner, the decade-spanning Hockey Night In Canada staple, would not be continuing. Cherry’s former co-host Ron MacLean appeared on the program solo on Saturday night to offer up a thoughtful response to the controversy.
“You know the story, that Coach’s Corner is no more,” MacLean stated at the start of his monologue, before referring to the show’s close as the “end of an era.”
MacLean also opened up on his decision to not stand by his former colleague after his remarks caused him to get fired.
“I thought a lot about falling on my sword, too, and then I thought, no, but if I do that, I infer what happened was right somehow, or that I’m going along to get along, or that I’m just going to sit silently by or be a bystander again in a situation. And that, it just took the courage,” he said.
“Don taught me to stand, right? So I had to have the courage of my convictions.”
Cherry’s podcast is garnering a pretty mixed reaction online, with many Canadians scratching their heads as to how exactly The Grapevine's core audience is going to access his new talk show.
In fact, it seems as if many Twitter users are poking fun at the fact that the hockey commentator does have some fans from older generations.
“Right now, 1000's of Don Cherry fans are spinning through their radio dial trying to find his podcast because they have no idea what a podcast is,” wrote one user.
And he wasn’t exactly alone in his thinking, one user even stating, "Who's going to teach his demographic how to download the apps to listen to his ramblings?"
Thoughts going out to all the people whose tech-illiterate relatives will require help, sometimes on a regular basi… https://t.co/YnGu0fRNzi— Carol Channing Tatum (@Carol Channing Tatum)1574174616.0
Don Cherry fans divided over new podcast: Half: Grapes will never give in to PC culture! Other Half: What’s a podcast?— John St. Godard (@John St. Godard)1574170610.0
Anyone who still wants to hear Don Cherry doesn’t know how to use a podcast so https://t.co/q58k6WOuM6— aids (@aids)1574169816.0
While some Twitter users seem to be poking fun at Cherry's audience base, it looks like others just want to see him go. One user even stating, "Wish you would have went out in style. Maybe it time to let go and enjoy the rest of your life."
Yet, others were just happy to see Grapes back in action.
@CoachsCornerDC Awesome! And he gets more than 5 minutes now, too!— Maple (@Maple)1574177474.0
The Toronto Sun reported that the new podcast would allow Cherry to talk freely about the NHL, the history of hockey, and whatever else he wants without censorship.
At the moment, The Grapevine is being run exclusively on Spotify and is co-hosted and operated by the 85-year-old's son and grandson.