Bloggers and the media learned a long time ago that a great way to get attention is to mention Sidney Crosby. This works because Crosby is a pretty polarizing figure: Either you love him or you hate him. If you say something that is pro-Crosby, you'll get a bunch of people jumping all over you for supporting him and if you say something negative about him you'll find that a different group of people is attacking you. Sidney Crosby is also a pretty big name in the sports world, so you'll increase your audience just by mentioning him since almost everyone knows who he is.
Someone who has learned this method of trolling for attention is Greg Brady of Rogers Sportsnet and the Fan 590 in Toronto. You may remember Brady as one of the people who were upset that Sidney Crosby didn't mention the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl during his press conference in September. If you spend ten minutes looking at his Twitter feed, you'll see that he likes to take shots at Sidney Crosby often. Of course, anyone who follows the NHL is used to people taking shots at Sidney Crosby for everything he does. We're fine with that. As we said, he's a polarizing figure so we can understand why someone would criticize him. We're not upset with Greg Brady for criticizing Sidney Crosby. We're just drawing attention to the fact that he's a huge troll who probably doesn't actually believe half of the things he's saying.
We knew that as soon as Sidney Crosby went a few games without scoring a goal this would happen. Some people were just waiting to jump at the chance to point out that Crosby hasn't scored recently and mention how this shows that he isn't the same anymore. We just didn't know that this would lead to someone seemingly advocating that all goals scored against the New York Islanders be removed from NHL records.
We also aren't familiar with the world where 11 points in five games is considered struggling, but we'll let Brady live in whatever world he chooses to live in. This is apparently the same world where Crosby is "benefitting (sic) from playing with very good players" and racking up secondary assists because of this. We could have sworn that Crosby's linemates were Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis this year, just like they have been for the last couple of years, but we could be wrong. Maybe this year the scorekeepers are helping Crosby out too.
But it gets better. Brady then jumps on an old standby of Internet trolls when he brings back the old "Crosby isn't that good because Malkin is good" argument from a few years back.
We're actually kind of glad to hear this one again, since it means Malkin is playing well. We also love how he added in "sadly" to one of his Tweets, just so you know that he isn't taking any glee out of Crosby's injury, even though he is seemingly taking glee out of pointing out how Crosby isn't the same since the injury.
It's been a couple of years since we've heard the "Crosby isn't the best player in the league. He's not even the best player on his team" argument. Our favorite part of this argument is that people somehow see Crosby succeeding and Malkin succeeding as mutually exclusive.
The good news is that Brady also reassures all of his readers who are now scared for Crosby's future that "Crosby will be fine." Thanks Greg. We were really scared their for a second, but you made it better. We couldn't tell that Crosby was fine by the way he was playing at all.
It's in the "Crosby will be fine" statement that Brady reveals that he is nothing but a troll.
As we mentioned earlier, when you attack Crosby make a bunch of people who support Crosby pay attention and when you defend him, you get noticed by those who dislike him. Brady tries to get the attention of both of these groups at the same time.
He started off his rant yesterday by noting that Crosby hasn't scored in 11 periods and that he hasn't scored against a team other than the Islanders. If Crosby continues to "struggle" (and we use that word very, VERY loosely) Brady can wait a few months and then remind everyone how he was right and how Sidney Crosby isn't that great anymore. However, if Sidney Crosby continues to play well and competes for any major trophy this season, Brady can remind everyone how he said Crosby would "be fine." It's a win-win situation for him. He'll get to say that he was right no matter what happens.
This is also a situation where he gets almost everyone upset with him and therefore gets noticed by a very large group of people.
Brady continues to walk the line between "Crosby isn't the same" and "Crosby will be fine" in an attempt to not only be right no matter what happens but also in order to simultaneously offend and attract both Crosby haters and Crosby fans:
In the span of a few Tweets, Brady noted that Crosby is both "the best player in sport" and "another hockey player." Sure, making seemingly contradictory statements like that draws attention to yourself, but it certainly doesn't do much for your argument or your credibility. But that doesn't matter when you're a troll. You just want to get noticed.
If you're going to take the path that Sidney Crosby isn't the same player as he was before the injury, stick with that path. Saying things like he's not the best player every night just undermines whatever argument you are trying to form. Obviously he's not the best player every single night. No one in the NHL is the best player every single night. Even during his long scoring streak from last season, there were nights when other players scored more points or played better games. Greg Brady knows this and he knows that no one is seriously saying that any one player is the best player in the world every single night. Brady is ignoring this so that he can seem like a big shot on the Internet and rile up everyone.
No, these five games may not be the greatest five games that Sidney Crosby has ever played and will ever play in his entire hockey career, but they're very, very good games. It's ridiculous to look at a five game sample for any player in the league and know that without a shadow of a doubt that this is the best this player has ever been and will ever be. But that's what Brady wants to see from Crosby when he says things like "So u think he's playing at peak? He won't be BETTER in March or April? Sure, I'm being sarcastic, but let's be realistic."
You can look at any player in the NHL and say "Don't you think he'll be better in March or April?" You'll never know the answer to that question until March or April and then what if that player is even better in May? Or next October? Or in 2013? Brady is creating a problem that doesn't exist and then arguing against it. It's a classic straw man.
If you want to say that Sidney Crosby isn't the same anymore and that the media hype surrounding him is too much, that's fine with us. We know that the media hype is ridiculous, but that's not exclusively a Sidney Crosby issue. Almost every story is blown out of proportion these days. That's how we get "BREAKING NEWS" splashed on the screen almost constantly. Hype isn't just a Sidney Crosby problem. However, when you start saying that someone who has 11 points in five games is "struggling" and using the idea that because he may possibly play better at some point in time as the basis of your argument, you're just trolling for attention and trying to get people to notice you.
We can almost guarantee that no matter what happens this season Greg Brady will be there to say "I told you so." It will either be "I told you Crosby would be fine and that he'd play better" or "I told you he wasn't the same anymore." You set yourself up for future trolling quite nicely there Greg Brady. Why would you bother actually covering the sport when you can just troll for attention instead?