Sidney Crosby is supposed to be the player you love to hate. You loathe seeing him come to town, but secretly wish he would don your team’s colors.
Not in Philadelphia.
Pittsburgh fans would tell you that Philly is simply jealous, wishing Sid the Kid played at the Wells Fargo Center. Early in his career, that may have been true.
But the truth is, Crosby epitomizes everything that Flyers fans hate about hockey. Consistently the most penalized team in hockey, the Flyers are especially put off by Crosby’s tendency to dive and the ease with which he draws penalties from the refs.
His reputation as a whiner, while exaggerated, is not unfounded. Exacerbated by intense media scrutiny, Crosby’s opinions seem to garner more attention in the NHL than most other players. His reaction to the clean hits by Dave Steckel and Victor Hedmen that sidelined him with a concussion for more than 10 months seemed to be a subtle cry for protection from the league.
Is Philadelphia’s hatred for Crosby fair? Of course not. But is it more than just jealousy? Yes.
Many Flyers fans have disliked their own players for issues with their maturity (Mike Richards) or their lack of toughness (Jeff Carter).
If Crosby ever found himself wearing orange and black, he wouldn’t receive the vile reaction he hears when he steps on Philadelphia ice today. But, he would not be worshiped in the City of Brotherly Love the way he would be elsewhere.