I guess in terms of Pittsburgh news unrelated to the “disruption of suspicious packages,” this would be categorized as “explosive.”
The Trib’s Dejan Kovacevic’s article today on Crosby includes:
- Crosby is still experiencing dizziness and he doesn’t know why, or whether or not it is a symptom of the concussion or something else.
- He wants to play, despite the growing flame of whispers that he doesn’t.
- He loves us:
Loves the people, the city, the team and its fans. And he would dearly love to spend his whole career with the Penguins. I’m not guessing at this. I’ve heard it from his mouth again very recently.
- And perhaps the most WHOA:
A few, certainly not all, of Crosby’s teammates are of the mind that he’s been symptom-free for a while, though they have no medical basis for that. Some think he should be playing. Some simply think he should be doing more to communicate, or at least be as visible as concussed defenseman Kris Letang.
Last week in Pittsburgh, according to three sources, a group of players held a 45-minute meeting to discuss a temporary captaincy. Another source disputed that any such meeting occurred.
Keep in mind that there is a lot of generalization happening in this article. “A few.” “Certainly not all.” “Some.” “Three sources.” “A group.” “Another source.”
Who are the three sources? A source who heard it from a source who heard it from a source? Good sources? Or a friend of a friend of a Pens locker room attendant? Knowing Dejan, though, which actually, I don’t know him, but I’m guessing he had pretty good sources before he would print this and risk alienating all of his Pens sources and contacts in the future. [Update: From Dejan: “Not one of my sources was second-hand.”]
How many is a “few?” Two? Ten? How many are “some?” More than a few but less than all? How big was the group? A duo? A trio? A rock band? A choir?
What that means is this all needs to be taken with a grain of salt, so to speak.
However, my personal observation is that the tides have been turning against Crosby on Twitter for a week or so now.
“The Pens are bigger than Crosby,” I’ve seen tweeted and blogged by some who I’d never expect it from.
That’s true. The Pens ARE bigger than Crosby, but in a way, he IS the Pens. He saved the Pens. That has to continue to count for something.
But that first whisper has grown now to a larger number of fans beginning to question Crosby’s absence as it relates to a true medical condition. That whisper then kept growing into a much larger, louder murmuring about whether or not the Pens should renew his contract in 2013. Formerly diehard fans of his and well-known Pens bloggers, are doing the numbers and seeing how Crosby’s salary could be spread around if he wasn’t re-signed. Barring that, he better take a hefty hometown pay-cut to stay a Penguin, they say.
That those murmurings have been also coming from his teammates, if Dejan has good sources, is shocking. Go back to HBO’s 24/7. Go back to the Stanley Cup. Go back, even, to Sid’s magical return against the Islanders. Go back to his 60+ games gone because of the original concussion. No fan or blogger that I saw was murmuring anywhere near loud enough to make any kind of noise. We just wanted him to get better.
But now his teammates question the jersey number of the C? What changes if the C is on Malkin, perhaps? Does Malkin suddenly become inspired to lead the team better than with the A? Does he give incredible pre-game speeches that result in more wins after he shouts, “MAKE MORE BIG SCORE GOALS! ))))))))”? Or is even talking about moving the C simply a middle finger to the Captain, My Captain who would wear it if he was healthy enough to take the ice? A captain, I remind you, who takes the wearing of the C so seriously that he originally turned it down in 2006 explaining:
“I just thought it wasn’t right for me. As a team, we were playing great and you don’t want to disrupt things like that. Individually, I was not ready to accept that responsibility quite yet.”
What changed since all of that?
I’ll tell you. LOSING. LOSING happened. Six games of losing. And like Big Bob said on twitter today, “Winning cures all.”
This conversation wouldn’t be happening if the Pens were winning. The loss after loss, not only of games, but of other important players to injuries, has taken a toll on some fans, and, it seems, some Pens, and they spun the Bottle of Blame and I guess it landed on Sid.
Be reminded of this article by Sean Conboy at Pittsburgh Magazine.
Yes, the communication among Sid, the team, and fans could be better, but this desperate flailing that some fans and apparently, teammates, are doing is going to accomplish absolutely nothing but creating distraction and divisiveness. If you think a fractured fan base is bad, it’s nothing compared to a fractured team.
Dejan is right. Stop kicking Sid when he’s down because knowing Sid, when he finally does come back for good, God willing, he’s going to show us he was worth the wait. Just like he did against the Islanders.
We have won the Stanley Cup on Sid’s young shoulders; Now is not the time to pull our shoulders away from him.