B E AU T I F U L M I N D S

National Post (Latest Edition) - - Editorials -

“ Half of Canada dis­misses Don Cherry as an anachro­nism,” Tony Keller wrote last month about hockey’s most fa­mous com­men­ta­tor. “For the other half, that’s ex­actly why he makes sense.”

Mr. Keller was ev­i­dently right: Mr. Cherry makes sense to an aw­ful lot of peo­ple. Up against 22 other prom­i­nent Cana­di­ans — among them Mark Steyn, Pre­ston Man­ning, Naomi Klein, Ir­shad Manji, Con­rad Black and Mar­garet Atwood — in the Na­tional Post’s search for Canada’s lead­ing pub­lic in­tel­lec­tual, the Coach’s Cor­ner

host was voted to the top spot by Na­tional Post read­ers.

This will come as con­sid­er­able sur­prise to those who mis­took Mr. Cherry’s in­clu­sion in our “Beau­ti­ful Minds” se­ries as a joke. But the case for him was an en­tirely se­ri­ous one. As Mr. Keller ar­gued, Mr. Cherry’s views on hockey tran­scend the game it­self — the “ rules of hon­our” that guide his anal­y­sis of the game mak­ing him one of the coun­try’s lead­ing moral­ists, and one of the few pro­po­nents of old- fash­ioned val­ues that have widely been aban­doned.

“ The rules of hon­our, which Cherry will also re­fer to as the ‘war­rior's code’ or sim­ply ‘ the code,’ re­flect what a po­lit­i­cal sci­en­tist would call ‘nat­u­ral law,’ Mr. Keller wrote. But if it were ex­pressed in a po­lit­i­cal sci­en­tist’s jar­gon, Cana­di­ans would pay scant at­ten­tion. It is by putting it into terms ev­ery­day folks can re­late to that Mr. Cherry has gained such a pro­found in­flu­ence.

Our search over the past month was about find­ing “a thinker who has shown dis­tinc­tion in his or her own field and can com­mu­ni­cate ideas and in­flu­ence de­bate out­side of it.” Other can­di­dates put for­ward over the past month are more ar­tic­u­late, boast stronger aca­demic cre­den­tials and are taken more se­ri­ously among the chat­ter­ing classes. But our read­ers de­cided Mr. Cherry fit the def­i­ni­tion of “pub­lic in­tel­lec­tual” per­fectly. Here are the top 15 Beau­ti­ful Minds, ac­cord­ing to vot­ers: 1 Don Cherry 2Mark Steyn 3 Naomi Klein 4 Pre­ston Man­ning 5 Sky Gil­bert 6 Ir­shad Manji 7Mar­garet Atwood 8Michael Bliss 9 Peter C. New­man 10 Charles Krautham­mer 11Mar­garet MacMil­lan 12 Fa­ther Richard John Neuhaus 13 Tom Flana­gan 14Michael Walker 15Michael Ig­nati­eff

TYLER AN­DER­SON / NA­TIONAL POST

Don Cherry

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