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Morning Line- Joe O’Connor On Sidney Crosby

One of hockey’s dark secrets is that the player known as the Kid is a hated man, in some corners. One of life’s dark truths is that the Twitter-verse is one of those corners. Twitter is our Roman Coliseum, a place where we, the palookas of sport, drinking beer and watching the game at home, get to be participants in the action, and where the sight of blood elicits cries for more blood — and where the image of the best hockey player on the planet lying face down on the ice is met with snickering Tweets, and worse.

-Joe O'Connor of the National Post.  Read more on this topic.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sidney+crosby

Comments

ilovehomers's avatar

Well, one, it’s Twitter. Nothing new there. Facebook is also a breeding ground for stupidity.

Example:

An Islanders fan claimed that the Capitals are out to

end carrers

and

kill

people all because of the Tom Wilson/Lubomir Visnovsky incident.

Same person also claimed that the Islanders would have eliminated the Caps from the playoffs, even without John Tavares.

Posted by ilovehomers on 05/03/17 at 09:59 AM ET

Avatar

One of hockey’s dark secrets is that the player known as the Kid is a hated man, in some corners.

One of hockey’s dark secrets is that its fans are exactly the same as fans of every of popular form of entertainment?

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 05/03/17 at 10:43 AM ET

Primis's avatar

One of hockey’s dark secrets is that the player known as the Kid is a hated man, in some corners.

That’s not at all true.

There are 29, soon to be 30, other hockey markets that kinda’ can’t stand him anymore.

This maybe was true in his early years (that he was hated in only some dark corners), but at this point fans in every other market except PIT are so completely tired of the guy, the special treatment he gets from the league/refs, the whining he does on the ice, and that nobody else in the league can seem to get any attention for anything ever because it all has to revolve around Crosby.

This latest incident is only another example of this, and it never occurs to anyone that it only makes it worse, and makes fans dislike him and everything that comes with him even more.

And it’s ridiculous in a way.  Because there are so many other people/players in the NHL that people should hate the guts of.  There are dirty pieces of s*^% who deserve to have their careers ended on the ice by someone.  There are unlikable players who transcend the sport in that they are also lousy human beings *off* the ice.  There are players who just can’t keep their mouths shut and really need someone to shut it for them, preferably with fists.

But we can’t ever really amass the hate for them like we maybe should/could, because only one player is ever shoved down our throat repeatedly, and that’s Sidney Crosby.

Even ESPN, who basically ignores hockey, still somehow shoves him down everyone’s throats at every opportunity.

Should people celebrate Sidney’s injury?  No.  He has not earned *anything near that* level of animosity (and yes, a few players *DO* deserve that).  I wish he didn’t have ongoing concussion problems because it’s incredibly crappy, and a crappy way for most any player to potentially have to end their career over, to say nothing of then potentially have to live with for years after.  DON’T CELEBRATE HIM BEING HURT AND HIS CAREER BEING IN JEOPARDY AGAIN.

You’ll have to forgive people though if they’re not falling all over themselves on this.  A few are going to snicker and mock, and so many of the rest at this point aren’t going to care enough to speak up/out.  The Crosby Fatigue is real, just like how the Lebron Fatigue is a real thing in the NBA (and why so many were quick to jump to Steph Curry, or now Kawhi Leonard or Russell Westbrook to an extent).

Posted by Primis on 05/03/17 at 10:46 AM ET

Avatar

There are 29, soon to be 30, other hockey markets that kinda’ can’t stand him anymore.

True, there are whiny crybabies in all 30 markets.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 05/03/17 at 10:59 AM ET

Guilherme's avatar

First of all, twitter has great people and awful people, just like literally everything else in life.

Second, poor millionaire Crosby. Newsflash, being a superstar, specially in sports, attracts hatred (or “hatred”).

Crosby? Yeah. Also Jordan, Lebron, Kobe, Tom Brady, Randy Moss, every single boxer ever, Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar, the Yankees/Cardinals/Cowboys/Red Wings/Canadiens in general, damn, even Senna isn’t an unanmity down here.

Get used to 30% of your field loving you, 65,5% hating you respectfully, and a really freaking loud half percent wanting you dead at any point.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 05/03/17 at 11:08 AM ET

Guilherme's avatar

This maybe was true in his early years (that he was hated in only some dark corners), but at this point fans in every other market except PIT are so completely tired of the guy, the special treatment he gets from the league/refs, the whining he does on the ice, and that nobody else in the league can seem to get any attention for anything ever because it all has to revolve around Crosby.

Completely agree, and exactly what I meant with the list of overexposed superstars.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 05/03/17 at 11:09 AM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

First let me say that I’m not on either Twitter or Facebook exactly because of the type of stuff this guy describes. Its tough enough sometimes with the back and forth that takes place (very infrequently..Thank you Paul) on this site.

However, it’s my opinion that the league sort of brings about this sort of hatred of some players by continuously putting 87 on every commercial and constantly making him the face of the league.

He’s a great player (I threw up a bit typing that)... I get it!!

There are a ton of great players and alternative storylines that the league/broadcasters could focus on. I think back to the offseason between 2008/2009. The wings had beaten the penguins, but every commercial for the Center Ice package would have had you believe otherwise with Crosby Crosby Crosby. So much in fact, that Babcock said he wasn’t sure who had win the Cup????

Also, 87 has “gotten away” with some nasty stickwork , not even bringing up the Mathoth incident.

Guys in the heat of battle sometimes slash another guy….I get it, but Crosby has never been suspended or fined for stuff he’s​ done. Neither has Malkin, but that’s another story.

I’m not defending idiot trolls who take pleasure from this incident. There are unfortunately idiots everywhere, and now they have a voice.

However, if sid, or mcdavid , or ....Name your star…Commits a flagrant stick foul (or spear to the nuts) he should get suspended. Even if he is the face of the league’s marketing campaign. That however is not how this league operates, and this double standard , I believe, creates some of this backlash toward Crosby.

 

Posted by Down River Dan on 05/03/17 at 11:12 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Crosby would have been fine, and was growing on me as someone more mature until he speared O’Rielly in the man parts.

So yeah, the preferential treatment irks me. Maybe that’s because I have been so infatuated with players that did it the right way - like Datsyuk - that I expect the shining star of the league to not be a little piss ant himself.

I don’t see McDavid pulling the stunts Crosby did, maybe we’ll give it some time? Either way, he is the next guy in line for the “the NHL shoves him down our throats” and he gets next to no hate from my little view of the world.

So that’s the difference. When you’re a punk bitch, you’re a punk bitch.

Of course, he’s still top 2 or 3, if not, best player in the game. So respect for that, and I never want to see him injured.

Posted by ilovehomers on 05/03/17 at 11:18 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

The NHL goes out of its way to try and make Crosby the next Gretzky, they market the hell out of him, and play favorites, whatever it takes to try and make Sid the face of the NHL. But, he comes off as a whiny little bitch, and the fans react accordingly.

No one wants to see the guy hurt. He’s a very talented player, and this concussion crap has got to stop, but is it really surprising the guy comes off as unlikable??

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 05/03/17 at 11:37 AM ET

Avatar

How are groin spears and finger slashes self defense?

Posted by SlimChance on 05/03/17 at 12:03 PM ET

duhduhduh's avatar

The NHL goes out of its way to try and make Crosby the next Gretzky, they market the hell out of him, and play favorites, whatever it takes to try and make Sid the face of the NHL

... in a way they would never shower, or even lightly praise, someone like Filip Forsberg, even a little.  And it’s too bad, cuz he’s been incredible during this playoff season

Posted by duhduhduh on 05/03/17 at 12:34 PM ET

Tripwire32's avatar

Posted by Primis on 05/03/17 at 10:46 AM ET

I came here to post generally the same thing. Maybe I would have worded some of it differently, but it wouldn’t really change the point.

Posted by Tripwire32 from Kay He Mar Heart on 05/03/17 at 12:45 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Is the NHL a business or not? I don’t get this knock on the NHL for promoting him. Why wouldn’t the NHL market its best and most marketable players, and yes, he is one of them if not the best. 

Aside from Roger and his self inflicted tussle with Brady, EVERY sport markets their best and most marketable players. Does the NBA hide Lebron and Steph in corners? I’m not sure I’ve seen a commercial for baseball this year without Mike Trout? Miggy is a great MLB player, interacts with fans, etc. etc. but can’t speak great English, so he doesn’t do national ads, and is lost in the shuffle.

Crosby is Canada’s boy, he grew up and lives in North America, its a name people have heard about for years, he speaks English, he’ll give interviews the North American TV audience can understand,  he’s a winner, he’s won championships, he produces every season for many sustained seasons, he doesn’t tell his GM what to do, he doesn’t get wasted and slap cab drivers or have issues with skirts, he’s the ideal promotional figure for any sport, hate him or not, he’s a poster boy.

The NHL is a business, and I would do that exact same thing.  There’s a reason only hot women are draped on cars at the auto show, and are cast to devour 1/2lb fat dripping burgers on TV, they sell the product

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerGod's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 05/03/17 at 01:05 PM ET

Avatar

The NHL goes out of its way to try and make Crosby the next Gretzky, they market the hell out of him, and play favorites, whatever it takes to try and make Sid the face of the NHL

... in a way they would never shower, or even lightly praise, someone like Filip Forsberg, even a little.  And it’s too bad, cuz he’s been incredible during this playoff season

Posted by MoreShoot on 05/03/17 at 12:34 PM ET

Well, Filip Forsberg is good and all but he’s got quite a bit to prove.  A lot of players have good playoff runs. 

 

The main thing to me about crosby is that the hockey doesn’t have much to compare him to, and as a superstar, he’s hard to untangle.  He’s a lot like Floyd Mayweather in that he’s definitely without a doubt the best of his generation and belongs in the top all time discussions, but his style is infuriating on a broad scale.  After Ali and Tyson, people just expected to keep seeing huge sweeping hooks for knockouts, get thrashing opponents.  Instead, you got 15-20 years of technical dominance, just a clinical undressing of the challenger every time Mayweather stepped in the ring.  Mayweather’s true superiority was so nuanced, that by the time you knew what you were watchign for the fight was over and he’d won on the cards or a late round KO with a short, powerful punch you almost didnt even see.  And that was immensely frustrating to the boxing world on so many levels.  It was hard for even the best boxing analysts to really break down what he was doing. It was beyond just running around.  It was technical.  Plus, he acted like he was going to win, he was obnoxious, and then he won.  Every time. 

That’s a lot like Crosby.  Ovechkin has the huge shot and plays big.  Datsyuk had the dangles.  Kane has all the smooth moves.  Tailor made for highlight reels.  But Crosby not so much.  His best attributes are an absurdity of fundamental ability.  He’s almost never out of control or out of position at either end of the ice.  He wins every single battle on the boards.  His hands are second to none - he receives passes better than anyone and carries the puck with great efficiency.  His shot is simple but decieving unlike ovechkin or kessell, its has none of the glamour but all of the effect in placement and pace.  He can play in tight or far out, on the boards or in the slot.  And he’ll block a pass below his own redline and he somehow takes less strides to get up to the attacking blueline than any of theother guys on the ice.  He has no moves though.  He brings it into the zone and stops and cuts to the middle.  Every time and it somehow fools the D every time.  The combination of his speed and strength just make extremely difficult plays look routine.  His movements are always forward.  Always.  Its like he’s executing drills while the game is going on.  His highlight plays are barely highlights by comparison.

And he plays with that edge that drives you insane.  He does stuff some guy pumping gas in flin flon would do to try to make the cut out of camp in 1989.  And he wins.  And he wins some more.  Before the hit last game, look at the playoffs he was putting together.  End to end dominance, doing every little detail.  That’s just frustrating to teams, and to fans, its not exactly exhilarating.  If he was out there scoring magical goals on end to end rushes, with huge sweeping dekes, and undressing keepers, people would feel differently.  But he’s so worth hating.  Because you can’t quantify or compare his game and he’s unapologetic about it. 

Furthermore, Ovie had him lined up in Game 1 and let up on him.  Do you think he didnt hear about that after being down 2-0 at home?  Intentional or not, punishment or no punishment aside, its literally going to take a potentially career ending injury to Crosby for the Caps to turn themselves around and Ovechkin to get on that level.  That is the sad part about the NHL.  Forget special treatment and the face of the league and all that.  The best a professional sports league has to offer is its two superstars knocking themselves out of the spotlight and everyone believing someone “deserves it”.

Posted by PMP5030 on 05/03/17 at 01:11 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by Primis on 05/03/17 at 10:46 AM ET

Good post.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerGod's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 05/03/17 at 01:12 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Posted by PMP5030 on 05/03/17 at 01:11 PM ET

Well said.

I just don’t like how smug he is.  Or whiny.  And the special treatment.

After he removed a guys finger, I said, “someday this stuff’s going to catch up to him”.

Posted by TreKronor on 05/03/17 at 01:42 PM ET

duhduhduh's avatar

Is the NHL a business or not? I don’t get this knock on the NHL for promoting him

I think the problem is the ‘winner take all’ approach to branding, where the marketing minds don’t want to risk trying to make the broader, only slightly interested, semi-fan base (or the potential fan base) have to remember more than 3 names.  It’s a condescension to viewers that they only think we need to know 2 or 3 names, and it leads to the fatigue we are talking about.  Every sport does it.

Posted by duhduhduh on 05/03/17 at 02:11 PM ET

Avatar

Is the NHL a business or not? I don’t get this knock on the NHL for promoting him

I think the problem is the ‘winner take all’ approach to branding, where the marketing minds don’t want to risk trying to make the broader, only slightly interested, semi-fan base (or the potential fan base) have to remember more than 3 names.  It’s a condescension to viewers that they only think we need to know 2 or 3 names, and it leads to the fatigue we are talking about.  Every sport does it.

Posted by MoreShoot on 05/03/17 at 02:11 PM ET

I see what you’re saying, but its a useless thing to grip about, and really, be fair - Crosby is the best player and he has all the stats and hardware to back it up whether you like him as a player or not.  You can spread the marketing out, but I’m not sure how much anyone regardless of current fandom level is going be to like “wow johnny gudreau! what a talented player on a meddling team!”  i mean, joe thornton has put up a lot of numbers for a lot of years, nobody cares.  You’re right every sport does it and you know how the machine works, so who cares really?  Crosby vs Ovechkin is the matchup. The NBA has a lot of great players but Lebron vs Curry is the matchup you tune in for.  Brady vs Manning.  Its great that we’re all “true fans” and can sit here and appreciate Mark Schiefele, but even I am bored when I hear “Rivalry Wednesday watch Ryan McDonagh and the rangers take on Claude Giroux and the Flyers”.  Wow.  Gonna be a barn burner boys! I was gonna watch Teen Mom 2 but i better tune in for this battle of the ages!

Posted by PMP5030 on 05/03/17 at 03:02 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

The other thing to consider is that the “NHL” itself does very little in terms of promotion of a player by himself. I think when many consider the NHL, they’re consider all the media around it, each with its own management that does not answer to bettman.

NBC is not the NHL despite covering it, Gatorade is not the NHL despite running ads, EA Sports, who uses different cover players, is not the NHL, Barry Melrose on ESPN, and the Don Cherry types out there, they don’t work for the NHL. 

But they all operate under the same premise that we’ve all been talking about, who is easier to sell, or sell your product when covering a fringe sport to an audience, the North American with the known name, or a guy whose name is difficult to say, isn’t as popular, and can’t be easily understood in an interview.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerGod's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 05/03/17 at 03:33 PM ET

WingsFanInBeanLand's avatar

Posted by Primis on 05/03/17 at 10:46 AM ET

Bravo.

Posted by WingsFanInBeanLand from where free agents no longer dare. on 05/03/17 at 03:39 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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