So, me and fellow Pensburgher Alighieri (welcome home, by the way!) were direct messaging on Twitter before the season started. Somehow, the conversation took a turn towards Sidney Crosby and the way he handles the media. I offered my opinion and wondered if I should just post a FanPost about it since it got pretty long. He told me to wait for the inevitable "contorversy" where Sid's words are taken out of context. Well, that didn't take long did it?
Basically, this is just a rant so interpret it as such.
Note: I'm not saying that I don't like the way Sid handles the media (I don't have a problem with it, for the record). I'm merely trying to explain why I think he handles the media the way he does.
When El Sid was about 15, he took a class about how to handle the media. It seems like he's pretty much followed that class to the letter ever since then. I think there's a reason for that - he has to. I believe he's afraid he won't be able to control himself and that he'll say something that would be controversial. Look how he is on the ice, especially at the beginning of the career; he was always chirping at opponents and then the referee. Now, of course, he’s much more subdued and has matured, but that’s not the point. I’m sure that he wouldn’t talk to the media in the same tone that he would talk to a ref and certainly an opponent, but imagine if even half of the emotion that he shows on the ice would be transferred into his post-game comments. We've seen how mundane things that he’s said have somehow turned into "controversies" in the past for Sid. There are a bunch of examples of that, including the quote he gave to Rossi yesterday. Hell, even the fact that he gives robot answers is controversial. So think of what would happen if Sid would start to say what he actually feels and thinks. What I'm trying to say is, hockey is Sid's passion, obviously. I just think that he thinks if he’s asked the wrong question, he'll get too emotional and say something that could be taken the wrong way. I mean, most of the questions wouldn’t hit that nerve, but it’s not like he can discriminate either. Say Shelly Anderson asked him a question about something (for lack of a better explanation) that he didn’t have an emotional attachment to and Sid gave her his honest opinion. Then, Rob Rossi follows that question up by asking about an issue that irked Sid and he gives Rossi a robot answer. Most reporters wouldn’t take that difference in tone to heart, but we all know that Rossi would. And what’s not to say that others wouldn’t take offense to it as well if Sid continued to answer separate questions in a different manner? The point I’m trying to make here is that Sid can’t discriminate because these people (especially the Pittsburgh reporters) paint a picture of him through the media and they vote on the NHL awards.
Basically, the conclusion I’ve come to is that Sid is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. Give honest answers the media and you’ll get scrutinized. Give robot answers to the media and you’ll get scrutinized, as the face and voice of the NHL, for not being charismatic enough. Give honest answers to some questions and robot answers to others, and you’ll get scrutinized.
Honestly, I just love watching Sidney Crosby play. He’s going to go down as one of the top players ever and I feel extremely blessed to be able to watch him work night in and night out. To put it frankly, I don’t give a youknowwhat that he gives robot answers to the media. As long as he’s racking up points and Cups, I’m a happy camper. However, in the media age, where even his most mundane answers are picked apart, it’s difficult to ignore.