Mclean, Ron

Sports journalist, straight man for Don Cherry on Hockey Night in Canada, amateur referee and maybe the nicest person in Canadian media. He has intelligence, civility and he can see outside and beyond the tunnel vision of sports. If Canada survives-and we’re assuming that McLean can continue to survive working with Don Cherry–it will be because quietly intelligent people like Ron McLean help us to define ourselves as meaningfully not-American. His interview-or attempted interview-with Donovan Bailey after the Olympic 100 metres race in 1996 was an unintentional lesson in Canadian forebearance, and as revealing as (and infinitely more charming than) the blowhard national self-aggrandizement that has scarred nearly ever American telecast of the last two Olympics.

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