New Puck Daddy: What it feels like to get absolutely rocked on the ice. (I rarely like my own stuff, but think this one’s kinda good.)
New USA Today: Full power rankings
On Monday, Ryan Lambert wrote a few words on Sidney Crosby (“Cindy Crysby,” as his detractors like to call him), so some people started the standard PD commenting procedure of setting fire to their hair, mashing the keyboard, and hitting post.
I get it, some people don’t like him.
But goddamn do I want that superstar to succeed, for the same reason I want Steven Stamkos to never stop his scoring rampage and the same reason I want Alex Ovechkin to bury so many pucks goalies start looking like the girl in The Exorcist from checking their net so much.
That reason is greatness.
It’s the same reason I still root for Tiger Woods - I was never rooting for his fidelity or his parenting, I was rooting to be awed by the true mastery of a sport that regularly leaves me flummoxed. It’s an honor to feel the type of thrill like the one he provided with the chip in on 16 in the 2005 Masters. In your LIFE have you ever seen anything like that?
It’s a gift to see greatness, and every time a superstar comes along I want to say I got to watch the best of all-time in his prime. I want to see records come tumbling down.
How fun is it to sit on your couch with crumbs on your shirt and watch someone who has taken an inhuman amount of god-given talent and worked with a singular focus to become that much better than the rest of the best in the world at something?
To make the top ranks of a pro sport is impressive, let alone to own it. It’s humbling knowing I could devote the rest of my existence to that same game and never get to that level.
It’s mind-blowing for me that someone can watch Sidney Crosby (or Stamkos, or Ovechkin) play and think “man, what a whiner.”
You’re doing it wrong.
Nobody’s perfect - Gretzky had the same rep, but I think it’s safe to say he’s become universally respected as one of the top few players to ever play the game. His name is revered. People who saw him in his prime were treated to watching one of the best at something in all of history, and I think we’re in those years with Crysby.
When it comes to the best of the best of the best, I don’t need them to be flawless all over, I just want my jaw to drop in awe a couple times a game, pour a drink in my open mouth, close it manually, and wait for it to happen again.
You hope they’re good people, it’d be nice. But I still love watching Michael Vick play football, despite his tattered soul.
From basically everything I’ve heard, Michael Jordan was a complete jackwagon. But there’s nobody I’d rather watch play basketball to this day. I could care less if he wants to funnel away shmillions on a bad double down in Vegas.
If Ovy wants to push the camera out of someone’s hands at the airport, do you not still want to watch him uncork a slapbomb on a 5-on-3?
People with a grasp of a sports’ big picture know that Crosby isn’t just competing with his opponents for scoring titles, he’s competing with history, the way Tiger makes Jack Nicklaus his primary opponent.
As I said before, we want them to be good people, to be honourable and noble and without weakness.
But they’re human.
Humans with flaws who make some very poor decisions, who just happen to be very very very good at something and work very hard at becoming better at it. And it’s a treat to watch, the same way that someone can put in time writing a book and you can enjoy it; they’re getting paid to entertain, so hell yes, enjoy it.
I know I am.