Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Sidney Crosby = Jesus

Even though I run the Sidney Crosby Show Blog, even I get tired of all of the 'hero' worship that goes on with Sidney Crosby. Reading and listening to some pundits, you'd think Crosby could turn water into wine, iron into gold, and solve world hunger.

What is the definition of a hero?

  • In mythology and legend, a man, often of divine ancestry, who is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his bold exploits, and favored by the gods.
  • A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life: soldiers and nurses who were heroes in an unpopular war.
  • A person noted for special achievement in a particular field: the heroes of medicine.
  • The principal male character in a novel, poem, or dramatic presentation

    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.

    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.
    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?

    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!


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    Ovechkin is the NHL's Michael Jordan.
    How much marketing appeal does a RUSSIAN player have in North America? Probably not that much. Ovechkin is very exciting to watch, but I doubt he'll rake in the endorsements and off-ice popularity that Crosby will enjoy and Jordan enjoyed.
    I'm tired of all the Crosby hype. He's only one player out of, what, 600+? And nope, he definitely is no Jiri Slegr in the looks dept! :)
    The Crosby hype comes with the territory, considering where the NHL's at right now. But geez, what a crap story! and it's going out on the wires, across the world, that reaching, then with that breathtakingly self-serving quote from the shoe company executive, it completely blows.
    The real sad thing is that there are people in the NHL that do think Crosby can be the saviour of the NHL in the United States. Well let me say that if Gretzky and Lemieux can't do it in the late 80's and early 90's Crosby ain't going to be able to do it now.

    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.
    If Crosby was European and not Canadian, the press wouldn’t make such a big deal about him. He is a great player, but being a great Canadian player is the reason for all the gushing. He has great skills, scored two goals including the game winner to beat the Flyers last night.
    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.
    Wait... Sidney CAN'T turn water to wine or iron to gold?!

    Well, then, I'm out. Where do I go to get my money back?
    The pendulum almost always swings the other way with over-hyped celebrities. The quicker the media builds them up the quicker they love to knock them down. Pittsburgh fans remember how beloved Rothlesberger was until the playoffs last year. He went into this season already destined for the sophomore slump. Jordan ruled until the gambling and womanizing thing got out-and the media loved to chase that story.
    Let's hope Crosby keeps a level head and controls his vices (like Rothlesberger).
    RE: endorsements - I'm in full agreement. I suppose when I make a one sentence statement with zero qualifications, clarification is inevitable. I meant more along the lines of revolutionizing the game. The Jordan comparison is more of a question than a statement at this point. But its definitely in the realm of possibility. When was the last time someone with his offensive gifts entered the league that also crunched the opposition at every opportunity?

    Prognostication time: By his eighth season, Ovechkin will be focusing on winning the Selke.
    That helmet does scary things to the looks of some otherwise reasonably handsome guys. The helmet makes Crosby look like he's all nostril. Jeremy Roenick actually looks Roman-god like in a helmet (until you see his teeth). Roddy Brind 'Amour...bad example.
    pah old hat. i think your all noobs if youdont remember the twice a decade or so mania that flys around. lindros, stefan, nolan, heatly, and even pitts other greatpick, fluery.

    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
    Penguin? Is that you?

    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.
    we'll see how exaggerated the enthusiasm is at the end of the year.

    noob....good one.
    It doesn't really matter who the Canadian media falls in love with, or even if either one becomes the next incarantion of Gretzky or Orr. It won't matter because the NHL does such a piss poor job of marketing it's stars. The NHL is loaded with exciting young stars. Not just Crosby or Ovechkin. Nash in Columbus, Staal in Carolina, Datsyuk and Zetterberg in Motown, Kovalchuk in Atlanta. But outside their playing towns, nobody know about these guys except the diehard fans.

    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.
    and crosby has a little more cult of personality than pat falloon

    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.
    * unibrow ...brow!
    I honnestly think Sidney is gorgeous, and I'm a little bit older. Also, I've been noticing, a year into their careers, he and Ovechkin are chaning the face of hockey a bit, and Ovechkin IS getting alot of media hype because he is soo damned good. As for Staal, a game was just released with his face all over it, so that will help. A year after the lockout I've seen some postive changes. So lets stop dumping on a kid who is damned good, and good looking.
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