Wednesday, November 16, 2005

League sees a new hero in teen idol Crosby

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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