CROW WORTHY

Reinventing Sports Culture. For the fans, by the fans.

From Getty Images

Sidney Crosby: An Underappreciated Superstar

They say that nobody is perfect, but Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is pretty close. Crosby recently played in his 1,000th game (all with the Penguins) which made me want to do this piece to show my appreciation for the player on the ice (a little bit), but more so the person off of it.

“The Next One”

Dubbed “The Next One,” it was always expected that Sid would quickly be part of that upper echelon of players. When you have that much pressure on your shoulders to succeed, it’s hard to ever reach that pedestal or surpass it but Crosby has managed to do so. His career is that of a top 5 player in league history and at 33 years old, he can still rise in those ranks.

MVPs? Yes! Stanley Cups? Yep! Olympic Gold? You bet. He also holds numerous records for the Penguins and for the NHL in general. I could get into all of that, but it’s such a long list that you can do that on your own time. All the stats are kept track of, those will last forever. We will always be able to go back and appreciate the player he is on the ice. What I think is most important is to appreciate Sid for everything he’s been off the ice.

Hockey Ambassador

Since becoming the face of the Pittsburgh Penguins and face of the NHL, there hasn’t been a better ambassador for the city or the sport. He’s quite far away from his birthplace of Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada but he acclimated quickly and turned Pittsburgh into his home. Any person who has come into contact with Sidney will tell you firsthand the type of person he is. Sure he likes to keep a low profile. Most people had never seen his girlfriend/knew he had one until his 1,000th game celebration. But don’t mistake that for him not caring about his fans, and people in general.

There are countless stories of him reaching out to media members amidst the loss of a loved one or without hesitation sending autographed memorabilia to young fans battling illness. He never turns down anyone seeking an autograph or picture. In 2009, he launched the Sidney Crosby foundation with a mission of providing support to charities benefiting children. In 2015, he launched a hockey school in Cole Harbour and his “Little Penguins” program has provided over 10,000 local youngsters with hockey equipment.

One of my favorite stories about him is how he didn’t wear his Olympic Gold after scoring the game winning goal in the 2010 Olympics because he was on a flight with Penguins teammate Brooks Orpik, who had just lost that same game. He has always put people above everything else and there isn’t a better moment to highlight to showcase that.

Big Star. Low Profile.

The fact somebody as accomplished as Sid has managed to keep such a low profile throughout his entire career is almost as impressive as what he has accomplished on the ice. His demeanor and personality is that of any average person and for that reason, gets treated that way. Even though he doesn’t seek it, I will never pass up the opportunity to shed a light on one of my childhood heroes.

That saying has always made me laugh by the way. Athletes being a hero for some never really made sense to me. It’s not his play that makes him one of my heroes though, it’s how he carries himself off the ice. “Sid the Kid” is the ultimate gentleman. Long after his playing days are over, we can debate where 87 stands amongst the greatest players of all-time, but now and forever we need to talk about just how good of a person Sidney Patrick Crosby is off the ice.