Posted by: emmaharger | September 7, 2011

The Crosby Problem

Hey Krista, the post you wrote earlier was brilliantly-written. Even brought a tear to my eyes. I want to talk about some of the same concepts you wrote about, but ever so slightly different.

I’m here to talk about Sidney Crosby and how it seems like the man can’t do anything right in the eyes of some fans.

He can't catch a break.

Today he held a press conference, one that the press and the general public was made aware of at least one day beforehand (because #crosbyannouncement was a trending topic on Twitter yesterday), to update concerned fans and otherwise about his post-concussive symptoms and his ability to play.

I don’t know if people are aware of this, but press conferences are not generally thrown together in a matter of minutes. They require some preparation. For example, you have to secure the location, clear a time and alert the media. Journalists and camera crews from all over, not just in the Pittsburgh area, may have an interest in covering this story, so consider the fact that they’ll need to carve time out of their schedules and travel to the presser’s venue in order to cover it. Then of course everyone who is going to speak at the presser needs to be able to get to it, so they have to clear their schedules too.

To put it simply, it’s pretty difficult and a humongous hassle to all involved to cancel a press conference after it’s been scheduled.

Yet some fans today have complained that it was distasteful for Crosby to go ahead with his presser after the terrible tragedy in Russia. Perhaps I have just become jaded because this is how journalism works, but that’s not feasible. The world still must turn, the news must be made and reported and media practitioners know that we cannot hyper-focus on just one story at a time. (If that’s how the media worked, news publications and websites would be terribly boring!)

Yawn.

Placing blame at Crosby’s feet, though, is the wrong way to go. The man might not have much say-so in the presser’s proceeding anyway. It’s not his fault. He just wanted to go officially on the record and tell people the straight dope on how he’s doing. To me it feels like some fans just want to dump on him and criticize everything he does because they seem to conflate the media-created hype around him with his actual personality. From all accounts, including one we reported on here, Crosby is a nice guy, the kind of guy who’d help you move or look after your pets or help you co-sign on a loan. He’s the kind of guy you’d bring home to your parents. He’s good folks, as we say here in the South. It’s media hype that has turned him into The Kid, the next Great One, the king of the sport. Yes, he’s talented. He lets that talent show on the ice. But do you see him walking around being a total egotistical jerk about it? No.

This same “perception/photos does not equal reality” logic applies to how many fans have turned against Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin for having the sheer audacity to have a good time after winning the Stanley Cup. To them, shirtless party photos equal irrevocable proof that Marchand and Seguin, both of whom also come off as nice guys, are, in their words and not mine, “douchebags.”

HEATHENS! To the stocks with them! (Sarcasm, of course.)

But in the end, Crosby’s just trying to do what he loves. He loves the sport, he’s having difficulty returning to it because of a concussion, he wants to tell his fans and other concerned parties what’s going on and he should be able to do so without being unfairly judged for doing so. It’s as simple as that. Fans who criticize him for every teeny tiny thing he does remind me of Republican types who criticize everything President Obama does, right down to where he chooses to eat ice cream while on vacation.

Just wish Crosby a speedy recovery and let the man do his thing, for heaven’s sake.

-Emma


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