Thursday, December 13, 2007

About That Sport Chek Incident...

Okay. On Tuesday, I told you about a letter that someone had written to Yahoo! Sports Mailbag (← read paragraphs 3 and 4 to get yourself up-to-speed if necessary) about Sidney not acknowledging fans waiting outside the Mississauga Sport Chek when he held a press conference for his RbK SC87 clothing line. Well, that story actually is 100% fact. I put a call out to anyone who had been there to come forward with his or her story, and I got a response from a familiar Friend. It turns out that Eric B. of The Sidney Crosby Spotlight was there, and he sent me his story and some pictures.

This is a picture Eric took during the press conference...

...and this is the picture released to the media.

Here is his account of what went down:
I wanted to let you know that the comment about Sidney ditching the fans after his press conference at Sport Chek for the SC87 line is all true. I am assuming he was in a rush or on a schedule. I waited with my daughter and wife near his SUV in the cold rain.

Fans wait for Sidney outside in the rain.

He didn't even look at anyone or wave or nothing. That was disappointing. However, I have never posted this [on The Sidney Crosby Spotlight] because I want to give him the benefit of the doubt. I really do wish he would have said hi at least. Instead he jumped into the back seat through the back of the car and we only saw him for one second.

The SUV backs up to the door...

...and Sidney gets into the SUV through the back and is whisked away.

I totally understand he may have been on a tight schedule or having a bad day. I also didn't mention there were security guards everywhere... the guys dressed in beige jackets. The seemed to be rushing him too. Maybe Reebok hired them or something and didn't want anything to happen to him while working for them, so they could of rushed him to avoid anything like that. The only thing that disappointed me was he didn't even stop for a second to wave or let us snap a picture. One nice picture that I took myself would of made my day... and of course talking to him or getting an autograph would have been the ultimate.
While I am sorry to hear that these fans were unable to see Sidney, I stand by my statements from Tuesday's post: "Where is it written in stone that athletes and other celebrities owe any one of us anything, whether it be an autograph or even just an acknowledgment? Sure, it's always nice when they do this, but it is done as a courtesy - it is not mandatory. Haven't you ever had a bad day and just wanted to do your job and then just go home and not be bothered?"

Sid's only human, and EVERYONE has his or her off days. In addition to my theory of Sid having had a bad day, Eric made a two additional suggestions, either of which would make perfect sense. Sid's pretty popular these days, so it's reasonable to assume that his schedule may not have afforded him the time to stop and chat with these fans. Perhaps he thought if he couldn't speak with and sign autographs for everyone, then he wasn't going to speak with and sign autographs for anyone. And it's equally as logical to believe that the store's security detail would not allow him to mingle with the fans.

And as I said before, according to everything else I've heard, Sid is usually quite cordial with fans. In fact, a fellow named Greg left the following comment for us on Tuesday's post:
I grew up in the same town as Sid and have had the opportunity to meet him a couple times, once at a commercial shoot and another more relaxed environment, and both times he was more than accommodating to anyone around. Despite being such a public figure he was more than willing to give what little free time he had/has to make everyone feel comfortable.
This example is more in line with other stories I've heard from fans who have met Sidney. It certainly sounds like the Sport Chek blowoff was an isolated incident. Bottom line: Despite the piles and piles of money I throw at the Penguins organization each year, not one of those players owes me anything. Yes, those dollars I spend (and the dollars of others, of course) are obviously used to pay the players' exorbitant salaries. And obviously I wouldn't mind meeting Sid, chatting with him, and getting his autograph to hang beside my husband's Mario Lemieux autographed jersey. BUT when I get my merchandise (jerseys, DVDs, etc.) or once I've watched the game, I've already received my money's worth. I get exactly what I paid for, and nothing more is owed to me.

Now I'm going to turn this discussion over to you guys. Have any of you met Sid? Has he blown anyone else off? Do you just want to give us your opinion? Leave a comment and tell us about it. I'm very interested in hearing your thoughts. :)

The Penguins take on the Senators at the Mellon Arena tonight. GO PENS!!!

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