Very often in professional sports it is the iconic athletes that are adored the most by fans around the globe. However, these same superstars are usually the most hated members of their respective league as well.
Being a life-long and hardcore Pittsburgh Penguins fan, one of my favorite players in the NHL today is Sidney Crosby.
Why wouldn’t he be? He is a terrific all-around player who is often entrancing to watch while bringing the energy and work ethic of your favorite fourth-line plugger.
He is a major reason why the Penguins still reside in the Steel City, are getting a brand new, state-of-the-art facility for the 2010-11 NHL season and he has brought the franchise its third Stanley Cup at the ripe old age of 21.
“Sid The Kid” is a relatively humble athlete who handles his on-ice and off-ice responsibilities with dignity, class, and an immensely laid-back attitude for someone who has been placed in the hockey pressure cooker shortly after he was potty trained.
Still, every time you read, watch or hear about him your disdain for him continues to grow...and I completely understand.
I’ve felt that same contempt towards athletes myself. It is all a part of being a fan.
At least one of the following themes is probably why you hate Sidney Crosby.
Crosby is a Pittsburgh Penguin and whether or not you despise them or are indifferent towards the Pittsburgh hockey club, he is not one of your team’s players and you secretly wish he was.
When someone mentions that they can’t stand Crosby and they would never want to see him in their respective favorite organization’s sweater, they are full of that good stuff that ends up in my son’s diapers. Those people are simply envious.
If you are a true fan of a team you would be ecstatic to have one of the game's best players skating for your squad of choice.
If Sid was originally a member of the Washington Capitals or Philadelphia Flyers (probably the two NHL cities where he is loathed more then any NHLer) he would be one of the most, if not the most, adored sports figures about town.
I’m sure if the Penguins would have won the draft lottery in 2004 and scored my current least favorite player, Alexander Ovechkin, I’d be singing a different tune when it comes to “The Great Eight.”
Boy, does the NHL love to promote Sidney Crosby!
Just when you feel like the marketing minds for the league have rammed “The Kid” so far down your throat that the mere mention of his name will cause you to break out in hives, they decide that you need a little more Sid.
You want to see and hear more about other teams and players in the league, preferably some of your team’s best and brightest. I don’t blame you and frankly, I’m with you. I’d love to see a bit less Sid and a bit more...well a bit more anyone (other than Ovechkin).
That being said, I can’t blame the NHL for pumping us full of Crosby.
The NHL’s main marketing goal is not about appealing to us hockey-crazed fanatics. Their target is the non-hockey or casual hockey fan and Crosby is the NHL’s marketing dream.
Not only is Sid a fantastic player, but he also gives off that “wholesome boy next door” image. Not to mention the fact he is a proven winner.
Crosby is also one of the few NHLers who is known throughout North America by people who do not follow hockey. You mention Crosby, it at least rings a bell. You bring up Ryan Getzlaf or Henrik Sedin...nothing.
Quite simply, you hate the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Maybe they are a direct rival of your favorite hockey club, a division foe, or just seem to have your team’s number.
Whatever the reason is for your dislike of the black and gold, Crosby is their center piece and since you hate the team you have grown to hate their best player.
It is a common theme among fans no matter what team sport happens to be the topic of discussion.
Washington Redskin fans hate Tony Romo and the Cowboys, Boston backers can’t stand Derek Jeter and the pin-stripped Yanks, and the Flyers' faithful (among others) despise the Pens and their captain.
When a player is said to be arguably the best in the world, he is expected to live up to extremely lofty expectations while constantly having his critics desperately trying to poke holes in his game.
There are a lot of hockey fans out there that believe Crosby is overrated and feel that he gets undeserved praise and adulation heaped upon him that could just as easily go to several other players in the league, preferably one on their favorite team.
I can understand the bitterness, but not the logic.
Many refuse to acknowledge his greatness simply because they do not like him. They knit pick at parts of his game trying to convince themselves and others that he isn’t as good as he is often made out to be.
I guess a Stanley Cup, a Hart Trophy, an Art Ross Trophy, a Pearson Award, an Olympic gold medal, four 100-plus point seasons, etc., by the age of 22 is good reason to doubt his abilities...huh Alex?
No matter how you feel about Sidney Crosby he is a terrific hockey player and has proven himself time and time again in the best league in the world.
Players like Crosby don't come around every draft, so even if you hate him, at least enjoy watching him play the game that he and you both love.