I never knew hockey heaven on earth until I stumbled across my old pile of “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em” VHS tapes. For those who are yet unfamiliar, “Don Cherry’s Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Hockey” is a series of epic hockey highlights all loaded onto VHS tapes. Although the average person may not be aware of this series, it just might be impossible to be a hockey fan if you haven’t watched it. The following is a closer look at this notorious compilation, as well as the reasons I consider it to be so epic.
Begun in 1989, the “Don Cherry’s Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Hockey” episodes range from 30-90 minutes in length and have been created every year since the very beginning. The show was created by, and starred, the legendary Canadian hockey commentator, Don Cherry. Many people enjoyed supporting this series — including me — because it was a family affair run by Cherry along with his son, Tim. Given its huge and immediate success, this series has come to be known as the best-selling sports video franchise in Canadian history.
Although peddling hockey highlights to huge hockey fans is not an arduous task, one of the main reasons I love this series so much is because of all the creativity of the videos. For instance, Volume 2 features Coach’s Corner highlights as well as an obscure rap song, “Grapejam.” On the flip side, the 1994 series features a bonus segment in which Don Cherry gives exclusive tips to younger hockey players. Similarly, the 1996 installment features a bonus segment in which Don Cherry gives his advice on how to successfully run a hockey practice. Therefore, in addition to the highlights, diehard fans of this video series (such as myself) have remained loyal to it because of the many extras, bonuses and behind-the-scenes information it provides. Either way, by simply checking out this video of excerpts from this series, you will see first hand why we are all are so hooked on Don Cherry’s version of hockey history.
Overall, there are many ways to view highlights, low-lights, fights and the like in regard to professional hockey. However, personally speaking, Don Cherry’s series remains a staple within the NHL community for many reasons. His voice has become synonymous with hockey nostalgia, due to the fact that he is such a beloved personality with a true passion for highlighting the best moments in professional hockey. That said, my family and I look forward to watching and re-watching the tapes in this series for many years to come!
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