Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I Sid You Not

Man, it sure is tough trying to like Sidney Crosby. I mentioned a while back that the thought of seeing Sidney hoist up that beloved Stanley Cup is something of a nightmare scenario for me - and now, of course, it came true.

Why do I feel this way? I know Sid is only 21 - not the most mature age. But I hate the way the guy handles himself. Sid had an underachieving Stanley Cup finals - and was saved by the play of those around him - Malkin and Fleury to name two - and many others. So if I were Sid I wouldn't be presenting myself as the savior of the Pittsburgh Penguins. And I wouldn't be treating the Stanley Cup as some kind of personal vindication of my own greatness.

And according to several members of the Detroit Red Wings - Sidney's bad behavior as an insufferable ego-centric Stanley Cup Winner began in the first three minutes of his winning the cup.

A little background: Since the dawn of time - when the first puck was fashioned from whale bone, died black with squid ink, and dropped on the first frozen pond, the NHL has been shaking hands at the end of each playoff round.

It is one of the classiest moments in all of sports - the teams take a moment to respect and acknowledge one another - the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat - respect and tradition at center ice.

So after the wild finish - when the Penguins held a slim 2-1 lead and time expired - the Red Wings hung around - formed a line - and shook hands with most of the Champion Penguins.

But where was Sid? He did a bunch of live interviews - basking in the glow of his no goal - no assist contribution to the 2-1 victory as the Red Wings waiting for him - slowly getting angrier and angrier. Finally, Red Wings Captain Nick Lindstrom had enough. He, and several other Red Wings, feeling snubbed, left the ice and headed to the dressing room. As teammate Kris Draper told the Associated Press:

"Nick was waiting and waiting and Crosby didn't come over to shake his hand. That's ridiculous, especially as their captain, and make sure you write that I said that!"

And when reporters later asked Sidney about it, he had a few comments about it - none of which were in any way apologetic.

"I really don't need to talk to anyone from Detroit about it. I made the attempt to go shake hands.... I just won the Stanley Cup, and I think I have the right to celebrate with my teammates."

But of course all of Crosby’s teammates found the time to shake the hands of the Red Wings. And to be fair, Crosby, after the interviews were all completed did skate over looking for any Red Wings who had waited around for him. And he found several, including Osgood and the Red Wing Coach.

To my knowledge nothing like this has ever happened before - because usually the winning team has the grace to have the cameras wait a few minutes while they show some sportsmanship and sense of tradition and respect to the losing side. And most of the Penguins did show the proper amount of class.

Everyone except Sid.

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