While Crosby was forced to wear a white helmet signifying his inability to take contact, it did not diminish the excitement of the Saturday and Sunday practice crowds when his group took to the ice. Most NHL fans may root against Crosby, but obviously there are few that do that here in Pittsburgh.
This brings me to the reason for writing this article, supporting Sidney Crosby. After an entire summer of endless speculation, Crosby is back on the ice and seemingly making progress in his comeback bid.
I do not consider myself a Crosby fanboy by any stretch, but I do think the injured captain could use some support from fans. There seems to be a sizable portion of people/haters that want Sid to retire.
As someone who has no connection to the team beyond being a fan, I believe those people are wrong, but I understand the anti-Crosby backlash.
He whines on the ice. Yeah, I said it. I told you I was not a fanboy.
Before he played a game in the NHL he was anointed as the "face of the NHL". For fans of other great players and teams, this too would probably be very annoying.
It probably was not a good move to have the handshake line drama after winning the Stanley Cup in Detroit. I do think that made him look bad since you should win with class and respect against a team that has more than paid their dues to leave a mark on the league.
More than anything else though, Sid gets a lot of hate because he is an excellent player, rich, successful, and maybe a little too clean-cut for a lot of people to stomach. Unless his life takes some Tiger Woods-esque turn for the worse, he will likely go down as one of the most boring athletes to play in Pittsburgh.
Not boring on the ice, mind you. Just very "PC" in his answers, probably the last person you would ever expect to be in any kind of trouble. Things like that.
That is not to say that I think the last part should be seen as bad qualities. But as I brace for the backlash that goes along with publicly saying something kind about Sidney Crosby, I feel the need to acknowledge the things that fans do not seem to like about him.
Having said all of that, despite any flaws he has (perceived or real), the NHL is not a better league when he is out. But that is not Sid's concern.
There are three reasons why I think that Sidney Crosby should not (and will not) retire, no matter where this current concussion saga takes him. Hit the slides to find them out.