When you really think about it, boy have we been taking Sidney Crosby for granted.
Come to think of it, just about everyone's been taking Sidney Crosby for granted.
For six years now, we've seen Crosby face the cameras at nearly every conceivable media opportunity.
Off-day? There's Sid. Practice Day? There's Sid. Game-day skate? There's Sid. You get the idea.
Even when you would've thought that there was absolutely no need to have Sid available, there he is.
It's not like Crosby's a camera hound like, say, Talbot was. If Sid never did another interview again until he retires, I'm sure he'd modestly say "OK".
And on the road? Geez, the media availability has rarely eased up. As a matter of fact, far from it.
In some Canadian cites, it's damn near looked like The Beatles came back into town. Dozens, if not near one hundred journalists and photographers following Sid's every move.
Away from the rink, it's not much easier either.
Maybe he needs to go to Giant Eagle for some snacks. Hounded.
At the hotel lounge? Forget about it, home city hockey fans and transplanted yinzers galore.
Entering and leaving the arena? Hundreds more waiting outside for hours.
Want to go down to the Strip for some clubbing? Yeah, right.
But you know the best thing about that entire diatribe I just spewed?
Sid has done those hundreds of interviews, scrums and various other media appearances without bitching a word.
Not once have you seen Sid storm away from a press conference.
Not once have you seen Sid get pissed off during a scrum.
For Christ's sake, you've never even seen him give a smart-ass answer to a question!
That's class, folks. Nothing but class.
That's why it's come as a bit of a surprise when Crosby has now declined to address the media for a few days straight now, and especially coming so close to his long-awaited return.
Let's be clear, this isn't, say, March, when Crosby was still deep into recovery from his concussion(s). There was no benefit in having Crosby address the media at that time, that's understood.
In Sid's defense, I can see his reasoning. How many times should he have to repeat the same information if there has been no change in his status? I can also see it as an attempt to avoid being a distraction to his teammates. That might be a futile effort, but I give Sid props to at least quell the increased excitement.
You can understand his frustration. Put yourself in his shoes. Think about it. National hockey journalists from both the U.S. and Canada descended into Pittsburgh this week on nothing more than rumors, mostly fueled by a prediction from a certain morbidly-obese loud-mouthed sports radio host. But the fact of the matter is that neither Sid nor the Penguins have ever given anything close to a timeframe to his return, even now when it appears we're within weeks and possibly days of Sid's anticipated return.
And just think. This is nothing compared to when he actually returns. Just think about the unnecessary scrutiny that he's gonna face literally with every shift. But we'll save that for when the time comes. And hopefully, that time is coming very soon.
Finally, my latest musical interlude. This time out we're gonna go with the great Iron Maiden. Led by their dynamic frontman Bruce Dickinson (as well as their pilot, he's flies their charter jet), Maiden has been continually one of the world's best live bands for 30 years now. Even today, they can do a world tour and easily sell out arenas. Overseas, it's even easier, stadiums are no problem for Iron Maiden. Anyway, here's most likely Maiden's most popular song, The Number of the Beast, from 1982's album of the same name. (Note: Maiden's management doesn't appear to like embedding videos, so I had to go back a bit to find one to post)