'Bunch of Jerks': NHL's Hurricanes Turn Dumb Controversy Into Awesome T-shirt
Anyone who is immersed in coverage of the NHL knows that Don Cherry will never earn distinction as a wallflower. The 85-year-old announcer has gained notoriety for his outspoken nature, most recently on Saturday when he dubbed the Carolina Hurricanes as a “bunch of jerks” for their on-ice celebrations following each victory. In response to the commentator’s critique, the Hurricanes added a bit of micro-moment comeuppance by issuing “Bunch of Jerks” T-shirts the day after his rebuke.
Life for fans of the Raleigh-situated franchise has not yielded much joy in seasons past, as the Hurricanes have not qualified for the playoffs since 2009. As of today, the club finds itself one point out of the postseason hunt, and while that has spurred excitement among the players, Cherry has not joined the throng of those who find their celebratory acts a way to add enthusiasm to the sport.
His condemnation came the day after the Hurricanes defeated the Edmonton Oilers, a contest in which the victors orchestrated a baseball-inspired home run celebration, with a stick substituting for a bat. While the NFL has cornered the market on in-game commemorations of scores, it appears the Hurricanes want to help the NHL to be the poster organization for post-contest antics, as the team has been doing similar choreographed win celebrations since the start of the season.
It took them until only the next day to take up the mantle as blowback specialists, as their Twitter account gave a nod to “Seinfeld” in announcing the T-shirt’s release. For $32, fans can show that Cherry is the pits for having bashed their squad’s efforts to show that scoring goals, making great saves and producing awesome hits are not the players’ only talents.
The jerk store called...we are now taking orders!
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) February 17, 2019
Cherry has long held sway as a bit of a loudmouth, so his assertion that “you never do anything like that” with respect to the athletes’ celebrations certainly was not going to avoid the attention of Carolina’s brass. He does have one point in that no matter how elaborate the frolicking has become, it has not generated mind-blowing attendance figures, as the Hurricanes rank 28th out of 31 NHL teams with an average of 13,950 fans per home contest. Since tonight will mark their first local matchup since Cherry’s declaration and the franchise’s response, perhaps supporters will flock to PNC Arena to purchase the shirts and root for the club to down the New York Rangers.
As for Cherry, one can safely assume that he will continue to find fault with other matters across the league and that he will not keep that disdain to himself. In other words, as teams are always in the business of building their brands, perhaps another club might find itself the victim of his tongue and decide to put Cherry on top of their list of motivating factors to unveil new promo items.
The more bitter he grows, therefore, the more lucrative the merchandise market could become for one fortunate franchise. We here at Promo Marketing wonder what he thinks of Gritty, the beloved mascot of our Philadelphia Flyers. We dare him to say something about our hero, who has gained tons of attention since his September debut. Come on, Don, we need that extra bit of motivation to make the playoffs, too!