Fusspot rants, embarrassing photos of yourself and general correspondence go here: universalnicks@gmail.com

W, placing his vote for the Calder. Being a Washington boy, you can probably guess who he favours.

Methinks the myopic fans of Pittsburgh and specifically Sidney Crosby, are overdue for a good torching -- especially when they're responding to columns I wrote over two months ago. I'm going to leave this unedited, so you can view Penguin Fan in all of his uneducated and delusional* glory:

To bad you take a biased opinion on Sidney Crosby and use it to try and get yourself noticed by saying you hate Crosby. I, as a huge fan of his, don't care if you dislike him it's actually expected. I know your living in Canada most would expect you to like the man who's supposed to be the face of hockey for the next 20, but we both live in great countries with the freedom of speech and your entitled to your opinion.

Your and idiot because you use examples of other people being stupid as reasons to hate Sidney. Sure he whines, at times too much, but a few greats have Gretzky, Lemieux and Jagr have all been known to gripe at the refs for not getting calls and what not. They do something called mature after their rookie seasons, IE Crosby will mature.

As for the examples you provided, allow me to say as someone who lives in Pittsburgh and has watched/listened/attended every game this year that Bob Errey who while I liked as a player is a bit of a dolt in the commentators box. He's a homer, said of those who favor only home teams and are greatly biased towards them. I've heard him make several comments about the refs and Sidney along with the rest of the team, sorry we'll try to control Bob more next year.

As for what the sports writers are saying about the Calder trophy race, yes it's completly stupid for anyone to say it's unfair because Ovechkin is older. If Ovechkin wins the rookie points race, which it seems he will, then he deserves the Calder trophy easily. Again these are Canadian sports writers, along with American ones, who want the North American boy to win it and not a Russian who plays a different game.

You want to be angry he has an 'A', well if your on the Penguins team and I don't know about you I'm sorry for not noticing you sooner, but in this day and age I do believe the team has a say in who has that honor and who does not. LeClair, whom most of us here were extremly happy to get, started the season with an 'A' but that changed around the time Michelle Terrian came in. Reasons are known that John isn't a locker room leader, which I debate with proof of his success in Philly but hey I'm not in there either. Sure his 'A' may have been a way to help him get on the Canadian team, but he has earned it by leading the team in points and keeping us in just about every game this season.

With our king of kings Lemieux gone (Ed. Note: Seriously? Bwah!) someone had to fill the role which Recchi did nicely for the time being, and now Sidney is expected to do just that, which he IS doing. The kid is a great player and will be a great player, if you don't want to like him that's ok. For years I hated Gretzky for mutlipe reasons, again Pittsburgh, but I know he's a great player and now like him that he's retired. Not the same reasons but I'm saying everyone hates a great player for some reason or another, but don't hate Sidney because of others being stupid or making idiotic comments.

Good article otherwise, the Sunday Febuary 5th 2006 one that is, sorry just found it on the internet now.

The reply:

If I'm an idiot, then you're late to the party. But let's not argue over semantics.

You call me an idiot for not acknowledging that Crosby hasn't fully matured -- where did I say that? Did I call him a dwarf? Did I challenge his mental capacity? He will mature, and he's more mature off the ice than on -- I know, because I interviewed him at the draft. He possesses the ability to become an intelligent, well-balanced player. But he isn't yet. And when the spotlight of the hockey world is on you, any negative behaviour is going to be exacerbated ten-fold -- as it should be. The media finds fault with his pouting and temper tantrums, as have other players in the league, and for good reason. He obviously wants to be the face of the league. He can't be acting like that if he is. You reference Gretzky, Jagr et al -- news flash: A multitude of sins will always be forgiven if you are the best in the league. Crosby isn't yet.

What "sports writer" has a problem with Ovechkin winning the Calder, as opposed to Crosby, based on nationality? Don Cherry isn't a sportswriter. Let me let you in on a little secret: The media (Canadian and American) LOVES Ovechkin. With both teams out of the playoffs (Pittsburgh and Washington), there's only one reason to come and see either team down the stretch. That would be Crosby and Ovechkin respectively. A funny phenomenon has been occurring within Ottawa, however -- people aren't showing up to see Pittsburgh anymore. But they'll pack the place for Washington. For the record, that behaviour extends to the press box as well.

As for the assistant captain situation, I don't really care if you deemed John LeClair to be an insufficient leader in Philly. That still doesn't justify placing a rookie player in a position of power, on a team that was having issues accepting him receiving preferential treatment beyond the award of assistant captain. It was highly inappropriate (and I wasn't the only writer to say so), and the timing couldn't have been worse. I even would've been okay with it if they had given it to Crosby in his sophomore year. But not now.

Crosby is no longer the story of the year: Deal with it. And mark my words -- he's not getting the Calder. Penguin fans need to wake up: Ovechkin is the media's darling now. Not Crosby. But NHL careers are marathons, not sprints. There's still hope for your boy yet.

Thanks for your kind words.

Erin Nicks


* Not all Penguins fans are uneducated and delusional, I'm sure. Hopefully that strokes the hypersensitive egos that all Pittsburgh fans truly do possess.

P.S. The attendance for the last Penguins game was announced as 19,360, but I can tell you that from my vantage point that many seats were empty.

0 responses to "Middle finger response"