Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Sidney Crosby = Jesus
What is the definition of a hero?
So, is Sidney Crosby a hero? Maybe under the 4th definition...but he's really just a very good hockey player.
Reuters, on the other hand, can't stop gushing over Kid Crosby...
With its bone-crunching violence, bulky armor and head-to-toe uniforms, ice hockey is an unlikely setting for a teen idol.Gretzky, Lemieux, and Peter Forsberg, yes... Bobby Orr? Since when did Sidney switch to defenseman and start making end to end rushes? Since when did Crosby revolutionize the way the game has been played?
Sidney Crosby is shattering that stereotype. The 18-year-old is the hottest thing on ice since Wayne Gretzky, generating a Beatles-like reception at appearances in his native Canada. Now, the buzz is spreading to the United States.
Just two months into his first National Hockey League (NHL) season, the rookie leads the Pittsburgh Penguins in points, drawing comparisons to Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Bobby Orr.
It is not just his swift, goal-scoring plays nor his ability to withstand punishing body checks that excite fans, managers and sponsors. It is also a potentially powerful commercial appeal at a time when the NHL is desperate for a hero.Is the NHL desperate for a hero? Does the NHL need to be saved?
If Crosby was a real hero, he'd find a way to get Gary Bettman replaced with a chimpanzee or someone with a higher IQ.
With heartthrob looks, his own brand of sports clothing and a contract worth $2.5 million with footwear manufacturers Reebok, Crosby is the sport's biggest goldmine in more than a decade.Heartthrob looks? Crosby isn't an ugly kid, but he is (and the ladies will agree) no Jiri Slegr in the looks department.
Inside Hockey editor-in-chief Kevin Greenstein compares Crosby to basketball prodigy LeBron James, who went from high school to the National Basketball Association (NBA) two seasons ago, displaying spectacular dunks, deft passes and a veteran's savvy on the court.
Please do not compare basketball to hockey. Ever!
The NBA and basketball in general is a very individualistic game where the roster depth doesn't mean nearly as much as in hockey. In hockey, you need a strong 15-22 players to be a contender. In basketball, you need basically 2 (Jordan and Pippen, Stockton and Malone, Magic and Abdul-Jabbar) awesome talents and a bunch of warm bodies. We have seen that one lone player cannot guarantee success in the NHL unless their name is Dominik Hasek. Basketball also does not have a real minor league system and it's either NCAA or NBA for any young and talented players. Sidney Crosby played against a much higher level of talent than LeBron James did before entering the big leagues.
"He's down to earth. He's mature for his young age. He comes across as someone people can relate to," said Reebok marketing executive Len Rhodes.
Oh yes, I can perfectly relate to a multi-millionaire hockey player who has more hockey talent in his pinky finger than I do in my whole body. I can perfectly relate to a kid who has been a huge media sensation for almost a third of his life. Yeah...he's just like one of us, eh!
The 30-team NHL desperately needs a new face to attract talent to the junior leagues, sell jerseys, pack stadiums and market goods.
How the hell does the NHL need a new face to attract talent to the junior leagues? The CHL has been expanding long before Sidney Crosby ever played in the QMJHL and it's not as if he'll suddenly cause an explosion anywhere outside of Pittsburgh.
Let's get a little perspective, people!
I had a discussion about this with a friend last night. Ask any TV executive whether they would want Chicago White Sox and Anaheim Angels in the ALCS with both teams having 10 superstars or whether having the Yankees and the Red Sox in the ALCS with a bunch of good players but no superstars, they will take the Red Sox and Yankees anyday. It's not individuals that sell the game, its the teams and the rivalries. Putting all your bets on Sidney Crosby will not only fail, but will fail miserably. The one smart thing that the NHL did this year was have more within-division games to promote rivalries. This is a good thing. Unfortunately they screwed that up too and front-loading the rivalries way too much. Vancouver and Colorado will have played 6 of their 8 games against each other by the end of November. Vancouver has also already played Minnesota 4 times. Detroit and Chicago played each other 3 times in a row. I can see January and February being filled with non-rivalry games that won't have a lot of 'meaning'. One has to wonder how the league will fare then. The scheduling has been horrible this year.
But there were also the dives, feigning a bad injury and the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for yelling at the ref.
Unfortunately the Flyers will face him again Saturday so I get to hear all about how he just turned 18 ten or so more times this week.
The NHL does have a vested interest in gushing about him, its all about getting more people interested in the game here in the US. Personally I’m sick of it.
Well, then, I'm out. Where do I go to get my money back?
Let's hope Crosby keeps a level head and controls his vices (like Rothlesberger).
Prognostication time: By his eighth season, Ovechkin will be focusing on winning the Selke.
and there is already a movement ot knight sir k and he hasnt even been DRAFTED yet. crosby simplyplaying well with no contract issues.. yet.
and crosby has a little more cult of personality than pat falloon, buthey todays best becomes tomorrows waiver wire rejects
Anyway. Ovechkin > Crosby as far as I'm concerned right now. If his English was better (and, for that matter, if the Crapitals were doing better), Alex would be a media darling because he really is a smart and witty fellow.
And for me to say that about somebody who plays for one of my least favorite teams? That's saying something, right there.
But because Crosby's a Canadian and Ovechkin's a Russkie and half of Canada is apparently still fighting the Cold War, Crosby will continue to get fawned over even though Ovechkin is doing miles better.
Barry Melrose is right. The NHL will never regain it's place in the US until it does a much better job at exposing its stars to the public at large.
I think he's got personality. He's a pretty cocky kid if you've listened to him on the wires during games, and there's that picture going around of him baring his fangs, snarling at something. The scariest Mr. OvenChicken's done is that headshot of him with the unibrown.