The Silence of Sidney Crosby
By Launy "The" Schwartz
First, I must apologize for my long hiatus from the keyboard.
So who could bring me back to the word processor? Sidney Crosby, that’s who.
No, he’s not sitting beside me. It’s the fact that he may not be sitting beside his teammates on the bench that has evoked my index fingers to get some exercise.
For anyone coming out of a coma, Sid The Kid, is still suffering from concussion symptoms as a result of the David Steckel blindside hit during the 2011 Winter Classic. Sure Sid finished the game, but little did we know that this collision would signal the end of his 2010/2011 season.
While the Cole Harbour phenom did manage to play a couple more games “Post Steckel” – PS for short – Crosby could not ignore the trauma his grey matter took was as clear as black and white.
Now the waiting begins. Everyone is anxious for answers, and the questions keep flying around like vultures on a dead zebra after a lion decided it was tired of chewing.
One could not turn on a Canadian sports talk station without someone demanding that Sid come out and say something about his condition, and if it wasn’t Sid, Pittsburgh Penguins General Manager Ray Shero had some esplainin’ to do.
Let’s be clear: the only people Sidney Crosby has to answer to are the Penguins organization and Sidney Crosby.
Keep in mind that from the beginning, #87 has been somewhat reclusive.
He speaks to the media when necessary, appears at charity and community events when called upon … but when do we hear from him outside of these circumstances?
The public and media alike, feel like all athletes have a contract with the public-at-large.
Some pros thrive in this atmosphere, others often enjoy the taste of the shoes they endorse, and some are like Sid. This is something the fans and media should have expected during the PS era.
Is Sidney Crosby the best player in the league? It’s tough to argue that he isn’t.
That said, we are spoiled with riches right now.
Steve Stamkos is looking like Zeus with a hockey stick. Come to think of it, how fitting that a player of Macedonian decent plays on the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The twins of the twine, Henrik and Daniel Sedin, decided to flip a coin last year to see who would claim the Art Ross. The league won as a whole because they both had an incredible year.
And there’s the man who would challenge Crosby for the crown of the game’s ultimate elite player: Alex Ovechkin. Even with an “off” year last season, his 85 points still placed him seventh overall in league scoring. For a frame of reference, look up what Michael Ryder did in 79 games.
Before anyone gets their jocks in a twist, I kept it to four names on purpose. Attention spans only last so long in print.
What I am getting at is that no one individual is bigger than the league itself.
With so many players who have emerged as poster-friendly faces, the NHL marketing machine can always find someone new to turn in to a glossy piece of paper that kids will hang on their wall.
There’s no doubt that thousands of fans will miss Sidney Crosby if he were to take more time off. Lest we forget that his roommate, Mario Lemieux (yes, he still lives with The Magnificent One) missed a huge chunk of ice time while he was battling cancer.
Soon enough we’ll find out more about what’s going on with Crosby. It’s as inevitable as time moving forward.
Fans and the media just have to wait.
PS – The show will still go on.