SUN Hockey Pool

Toe to Toe column

Mike Zeisberger -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:29 AM ET

THE SUN LOBS A FEW QUESTIONS AT ... THE CBC'S RON MACLEAN

ONCE UPON a time Ron MacLean's primary gig in life was to keep Don Cherry in line and chip in with a few quips of his own during CBC's Saturday night NHL broadcasts.

Remember Coach's Corner? Seems like a long time ago, thanks to the NHL lockout.

These days MacLean spends his Saturdays focussing on the likes of Julia Roberts rather than Gary Roberts in his position as host of the network's Movie Night in Canada programming.

Given the uncertain future of the NHL, The Sun took time out to pick MacLean's brain about the big screen.

SUN: Who knows more about movies you or Grapes?

MACLEAN: Don wins that one by a country mile. Here's an example. After Don and his teammates would return from the local beverage hall during his 16 years of riding the buses down in the minors, he would bet his teammates a sandwich that he could name all the actresses and actors in whatever movie was on the TV. In 16 years, Don says he only had to buy once.

SUN: Your top three movies of all time?

MACLEAN: Casablanca, Reds and Scarface. Casablanca is just such a classic. I've always said that if I wasn't a broadcaster I always wanted to own a restaurant. That's why I can relate so much to Rick's Cafe. It was the place to be. And Bogey ran the place quite well, didn't he? Reds intrigued me because I was fascinated with the concept of a journalist going right in there to cover a revolution. (By the way, don't tell Grapes I said that.) As for Scarface, Al Pacino's performance was outstanding. In a way it parallels what is going on in the lockout ... Power corrupts, no matter which side you are for.

SUN: How about your favourite sports flicks?

MACLEAN: Slapshot has to top the list. I still laugh when I watch that movie. In fact, I wear No. 7 in my beer league in honour of Reggie Dunlap. I enjoyed The Legend of Bagger Vance. Just the concept that three competitors, when out on the course, could get along so well. It's one of the aspects that makes golf so unique. Finally, there's Bull Durham. What can I say? It's a classic.

SUN: Let's turn from the positive to the negative. Which film irritates you the most?

MACLEAN: Terms of Endearment. There are just too many twists, too many attempts to pull at one's heartstrings.

SUN: What have been your favourite moments as host of Movie Night?

MACLEAN: There have been some neat ones. (Argos coach) Mike (Pinball) Clemons came down to do an interview despite the fact his team was preparing for the Eastern final. When he was done, he stuck around and coached our beer league team. That was tremendous. On another Saturday the theme was golf and we ran three golf-related movies. We filmed the intro in Sarnia where we interviewed Mike Weir's father.

SUN: Handicap your performance thus far.

MACLEAN: Ill-informed. Hurry up and bring back hockey. I'm definitely out of my league for sure. I'm certainly not Roger Ebert.

SUN: Why not bring Grapes in to help out?

MACLEAN: I'm sure he'll try to horn in eventually, especially if the season is scuttled. Actually I hope they do include him in the show. Maybe we could call it "Director's Corner."


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