The Crosby Demand: Giving the People What They Want

hockeyDid you catch the game last night? Sidney Crosby returned after battling post-concussion syndrome for 11 months and played like the best player in the world. Two goals and two assists later, it was the water cooler topic of choice for millions in this country.

My buddy Pete is completely disinterested in the Sidney Crosby story, and he doesn't understand why it's getting so much coverage. Here's our Twitter debate on the subject:

kic

This coverage doesn't surprise me in the least. Generally speaking, Canadians love hockey, and Crosby isn't just any run-of-the-mill NHLer. He's our best, a national hero and the biggest name playing the game today, and in this country, that's going to create humongous demand.

And not just from puck heads like me. I've had a few conversations with casual fans who usually don't clue in until the Stanley Cup finals, and they were all about Crosby's comeback and 4-point effort. I believe the coverage is warranted, and media outlets are merely giving the people what they want.

What do you think? Is this too much Crosby?


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Comments (14 - click here to join in!)

JP

Yeah, I'm with your friend. The coverage was way too much.

If Peyton Manning returned to the NFL it wouldn't have been a lead story on the news in the States.

I'm happy he's back, but I'm not a Penguins fan, and I don't have anything more than a passing interest. Treating it like Stanley Cup Game 7 - major overkill.

November 22, 2011 @ 12:12 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@JP

The strange thing is, I watched the game and then the story on The National afterwards, and I was still left wanting more.

I started reading just about everything I could find on the story, like this nice piece by Bruce Arthur: http://sports.nationalpost.com/2011/11/21/the-first-day-of-the-rest-of-sidney-crosbys-life/

The first goal will get a lot of the attention, and that’s fine, because when he scored it Sidney Crosby took 10 and a half months of fear and doubt and frustration and bellowed, expelling it all into the air. He watched his celebration on the bench afterwards, and laughed. “I couldn’t hold that in,” he said afterwards. “I hoped nobody was reading lips at home.”

He can be forgiven. Maybe we shouldn’t have been surprised by Sidney Crosby’s return to hockey, given what he has already done. That Winter Classic in Buffalo with the snow falling in the darkness, and the game on his stick. The can-you-top this playoff series with Alexander Ovechkin, his former rival who has receded into the distance. The Olympic final, in Vancouver. As Ryan Getzlaf said after Crosby’s golden goal, “That’s Sid.”

But we could not know whether he was still Sid, the breathless reports from Penguins practice notwithstanding, until he stepped on the ice and delivered a four-point night in a 5-0 win over the New York Islanders. In his return, he was Sid again. And that was all that hockey could really ask for.

An entire nation collectively breathed a sigh of relief after this game. And when Peyton Manning comes back, and excels in his first game, it will get supreme coverage in the USA. Trust me on that one.

November 22, 2011 @ 12:36 PM

CQ

Put a million typewriters in front of a monkey and you'll get Shakespeare.
Like former 76 goals in season & first 100 points all-star Phil Esposito, Crosby gets a lot of his by shoving in the rebounds from off the side of the net and just being on the ice (and in front) more than others.
He's very good, but I would rather cheer for teammate Malkin 1,000 times over. That kind of guy hustles in across the blue line - and always makes the play happen.

November 22, 2011 @ 12:40 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@CQ

I respectfully disagree with you re: Malkin. Regardless of nationality, I'd take Crosby over Malkin every day of the week.

November 22, 2011 @ 12:42 PM

Anon&on

I don't quite agree media outlets are giving the people what they want as much as media outlets are giving themselves what they want. They feed themselves. It's the total lack of creativity and effort, and navelgazing that makes the story the only story.

November 22, 2011 @ 1:33 PM

Jamie

I'd hate to get picky here Mike but Sid is actually only 24 not 25.

November 22, 2011 @ 2:45 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Jamie

You're right. He was born on August 7, 1987. That makes him 24 for a while yet.

Damn... I had just become a teenager by August 7, 1987.

November 22, 2011 @ 2:48 PM

The_Voice

I haven't noticed anything outside of facebook / twitter, but then I don't watch any of the channels / programming that would promote it.

November 22, 2011 @ 3:51 PM

Mike Kic

I agree with both of you....let me explain.

Firstly, not a big fan of Crosby, never really was, great player, but don't really care too much about him....I've always been an Ovie fan (just saying).

I agree with Pete that this is getting ALOT of coverage, but I also agree with Boon that it needs to. Crosby is the biggest deal in hockey and Canada loves their hockey.

As a hockey fan, I'm thrilled to see him back, he sells tickets and it's fun to watch him make play....and this is coming from someone who really doesn't like the "Kid."

After a week of the hype, it will die down. In all seriousness, don't Canadians miss their Raptors? I sure as hell do!!

November 22, 2011 @ 4:07 PM

Rob

Why do Canadians hate Sidney Crosby?
Seriously?

The kid was thrust into the national spotlight at an early age. His parents have never seemed like the 'Carl and Bonnie' Lindros type.

He took an average Rimouski team to a Memorial Cup final (quick...name ANYONE else off of that Rimouski team). For contrast, there are atleast 5 guys from the London Knights team who won the Mem cup that are in the NHL today.

He (along with Mario) saved the Pens.

He has 2 cup finals, with one win.

He has the golden goal.

He was criticized for his ability to win face offs. So what did he do? He worked his ass off, and now is one of the best in the league at it (he was 66% last night on the draw)

He was told he needed to score more. So he scored 51 (I think) 2 seasons ago, and then had 32 or so when he stopped playing in January last year.

He has never been caught doing drugs.
He has been an exceptional role model for kids.

OK, so he swears a bit on the ice. Who cares? He is THAT passionate.

So, why do so many Canadians hate the Kid?
Are we jealous? Resentful?

He is easily one of my favourite players to watch. I am very glad he is back.

November 22, 2011 @ 4:54 PM

JP

"An entire nation collectively breathed a sigh of relief after this game."

I love sports, and I like hockey, but I respectfully disagree with you on this.

A nation breathed a sigh of relief? That's pretty dramatic, Mike!

I'm glad he's back, but to me, this is a player on the Pittsburgh Penguins. He doesn't play for a team I root for. I definitely don't know anyone who breathed a sigh of relief at his return last night.

Having said all that I genuinely think it's nice that you view hockey through such a romantic lens. I just don't look at it that way (plus I'm more of a baseball guy anyway.)

November 22, 2011 @ 5:32 PM

JP

I'll put it this way - if an equivalent player came back from injury and played on the Jays, Leafs or Raptors - then yeah, I would have been on pins and needles.

November 22, 2011 @ 5:33 PM

David

I think it's the NHL, more than anyone, that is breathing the sigh of relief.

As for Crosby himself, he seems like a good kid. Athletes and entertainers should NEVER, EVER be viewed as role models. But Sid carries himself well and sets a high standard both on and off the ice.

As for the media coverage, tv generally irritates me, so I tend to catch snippets off the internet and leave it at that.

November 22, 2011 @ 10:09 PM

Matthew

Disinterested = unbiased. Uninterested = not interested. I, however, am very interested in Crosby coming back.

November 23, 2011 @ 1:39 PM

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