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American Grapes

GrapeapeDon Cherry almost seemed to beg NBC for another invite to their on-site set for the Stanley Cup Finals during the second intermission of Monday's game.

'Grapes' suggested to NBC sports honcho Dick Ebersol that he needs to pressure the NHL to let some more fighting in the game if he wants ratings in the states to improve.

Truth is, Ebersol might just try to get Cherry on a little more to boost what have been anemic ratings.

As far as Cherry goes, sounds like some Canadian fans are tired of his rants, but here, he's a breath of fresh air. I mean, very few fans aside from those who watch Canadian T.V. on cable (or Detroit) get to see Cherry and his suits. They sure don't get to hear his rants which really haven't changed much in 30 or so years.

Monday, Cherry went off on fighting (he's for it and talks about it all the time) but spoke his mind. Cherry makes his money on Canadian T.V., so he didn't worry about stepping on some toes in the states. It was refreshing to hear, especially when he brought up the low ratings south of the border.

I thought Cherry, Brett Hull and Bill Clement were a good mix -- and yes it was fun watching Cherry rap Hull for game-winning goal against Buffalo that won Dallas the '99 Cup (sorry Joe and Eddie).

Doncherry_2 And I agree with much of what Don and Brett spoke of. Fighting is part of hockey (I thought Brett going on and on about it being the only pure part of the game or whatever was a bit much) and should be allowed to remain so. Sometimes you gots to fight, and if tonight wasn't an all-important fourth game of the Finals, methinks you would have seen a lot more of it in the third period in response to what the Senators were pulling.

Karma's a witch, and I think Ottawa got what it deserved tonight. The Sens now need to win three straight to bring Stanley home. Don't think the Ducks are going to let that happen.

The Cup gets another summer in the sun. Hope Stanley likes Disneyland. You think hockey purists didn't like seeing the Cup paraded around Raleigh or Tampa? Wait until it hits the O.C. At least in L.A., it'll get the star treatment.

-- Hey NBC: Bring Don Cherry back for the rest of the series!

-- Billy Donovan told me Thursday he thought Ottawa was going to come back and win the Stanley Cup. Tonight he called me from Gainesville and told me he changed his mind and now he's all about Anaheim. I'm shocked he reversed field so quickly. Stanvan_2 Usually when Billy D. gives you his word, that's it. Not in this case though. Oh well.

-- Yes, I picked Ottawa to win the Cup in six. THAT ain't happening.

-- Could NBC have left Monday's game any quicker? Maybe if another horse racing pre-race show had been scheduled. Maybe.

-- Gotta run. Hear I may have antifreeze in my toothpaste. That's what I get for buying dental products at the flea market.Austin

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