As a hockey fan, I try not to have any bias. I try to look at the game from an objective point of view, criticizing things that need to be criticized and giving credit where credit is due. Unfortunately, doing that is frowned upon by my fellow New York Rangers fans.
I am sick and tired of our fan base being represented by immature and jealous fans who have an irrational hatred of a guy they should be looking at with awe. The player I'm speaking of is, of course, Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. Everywhere I turn, there are chants of "Crosby sucks," signs with "No Diving" and pictures of Crosby wearing womens' underwear. Can these fans get over their jealousy already? I KNOW it's frustrating being a Rangers fan. I KNOW Crosby is over-marketed by the NHL. But can we just take a step back and admire just how great this player is? Barring injury, we are watching a future LEGEND, folks! This is a guy who when all is said and done, will likely be one of the top ten scorers of all time and a first ballot Hall of Famer. Let's take a look at the "reasons" why he is so hated.
He plays for a rival team: Perfectly understandable. There's nothing wrong with hating a rival player, but to say he sucks is just idiotic. He is arguably one of the two best players in the league, if not the best.
He's a diver: This is just asinine. Did he have a reputation as a diver in his rookie season? Absolutely. Any die hard Pittsburgh Penguins fan will tell you that. Has he fixed said problem now entering his sixth NHL season? Absolutely, and any rational hockey fan would agree on that point. The fans that focus on his diving are just latching onto something from when he was 18 years old, for the sole purpose of trying to belittle his accomplishments. Oh, and might I remind my fellow fans of a player on our beloved team named Sean Avery? Mr. Avery happens to be one of the most notorious divers in the NHL.
The lottery was fixed: Many fans believe that Gary Bettman fixed the 2005 draft lottery to ensure that Crosby went to the Penguins, as the team was on the verge of relocation. Really? You don't think that coming out of a lockout, when the league was at it's all time low in popularity, Gary Bettman wouldn't want to place Crosby in the biggest market in the NHL and be selling Sidney Crosby Rangers jerseys?
The handshake incident: After the Penguins won the 2009 Stanley Cup, Crosby received tons of criticism from bitter Red Wings fans about not shaking the hand of legendary captain Nicklas Lidstrom. Put yourself in Sidney Crosby's skates. You're 22. You just captained your team to the Stanley Cup in an epic seven game showdown. Don't you want to celebrate a little?
He's overhyped: OK, maybe this one is true. The NHL does tend to shove Sid the Kid down our throats, when there are plenty of players who deserve just as much notoriety. But the kicker is when fans go to the side of Alexander Ovechkin because Crosby is overhyped. Really? Ovechkin, the guy who gets JUST AS MUCH publicity as Crosby in the hockey world? Go to any NHL website or get any NHL magazine. It's plastered with pictures of Ovechkin. The argument that he doesn't get as much notoriety as Crosby no longer holds water.
These are most of the arguments used by my fellow fans. I'm tired of seeing us made fun of by the NHL world. I'm tired of the bitterness just because the Rangers squandered away their high draft picks. I'm tired of the fan base of an original six team, possibly the most known worldwide, being represented by jealousy and irrationality. I'll be ostracized by the Rangers community for this, but please, just take off your bias blinders and appreciate the greatness that we're witnessing.
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