leave sid’s concussion alone

That’s right, you heard me.
Speculating about when Sid’s concussion occurred is indeed perfectly acceptable among the fans and media, don’t get me wrong. Hell, even yell at David Steckel and Victor Hedman–we’re fans, we don’t have to necessarily be professional; as long as we keep our comments harmless and try to keep it classy, there’s no harm no foul.
Unfortunately, the shitstorm surrounding Sidney Crosby’s mild concussion, folks, is coming from people who do have a professional obligation: that is, members of the media. And any fan who would consider himself or herself able to speak knowledgeably about the circumstances surrounding the concussion isn’t helping.
First off, you’re going to get a more severe head injury than Sid’s when you slip and fall on an ice patch on the way to your car tomorrow morning. This is by no means a big deal, and you kind of have to be surprised that it took Sid this long in the NHL to get concussed. He has a target on his back on a nightly basis. The Steckel hit looks different depending on camera angle and the Hedman hit is your usual boarding call any day of the week, perhaps more, but whatev, what’s done is done, and what’s important is that the Penguins have given us a diagnosis and a timetable for Crosby’s return, and we should be hoping that he gets better soon. (Never mind the legions of assholes in the world who would have preferred that either the Steckel or Hedman hit took Crosby out of the game for good–we at PH don’t wish that on anyone, not even Tomas Holmstrom.)

But, like many things involving our beloved game’s star players, everything seems to be taken a bit too far. The speculation has turned into a half-assed, ill-informed media witch hunt against the Penguins training staff and team doctors. This is just a continuation of a situation we’ve been dealing with for awhile, i.e. the hockey media is largely an unbelievable wreck, bereft of quality writing, responsible reporting, and an appreciation of the game that does itself justice beyond garnering website hits, selling papers/magazines, and causing ruckus on Twitter. I mean, we all love being retweeted.

The Pensblog has comments and screenshots of tweets from the usually-solid Darren Dreger and some dude named John Shannon, both of whom seem to have placed this pervasive notion in everyone’s heads that Crosby was injured by Steckel.

And this leads to the circus. Courtesy of Mike Colligan at The Hockey Writers and his Twitter account, we have this egregiously stupid article by Cam Cole at the Vancouver Sun which takes us into some kind of ethical mire. No, Cam Cole, we will never know what exactly caused Crosby’s concussion, or when it happened, because we are not Sidney Crosby’s head. It is, in fact, we’ll remind you yet again, a mild concussion which likely had mild symptoms. If Sid didn’t feel okay to play at any point, he wouldn’t have played, regardless of when this injury was actually sustained. It is motherfucking January, people. And anyone who has watched Sid’s career day in and day out for years knows that he has no history of trying to play when he’s not physically ready to play. He sat out almost an entire period in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final because he knew he was hurt. He is a responsible player who clearly has some of the best people in sports medicine looking after him on a daily basis.

If you believe Cam Cole, not only are viewers at home apparently more qualified to diagnose this ~*~*~HORRIBLE INJURY~*~*~, but the medical staff who tends to him has some kind of motive, conscious or otherwise, to overlook his symptoms and keep him playing in the middle of the regular season?
What Cam Cole has suggested is irresponsible, more irresponsible journalistically than Sidney Crosby’s trainers and doctors will likely ever be medically.
The utmost concern must be given to the safety of our game’s players. But crying conspiracy and trying to act like the Penguins are muddying the truth to the detriment of all goes beyond that concern for safety. No idea what Cam Cole is trying to do here. Whatever it is, it’s heinous from a writing perspective.

Hats off to Greg Wyshynski, who handled this situation with journalistic responsibility.

Official word from the Pens on Crosby’s injury.

Anyone who is going to sensationalize this injury needs to get their priorities straightened out.

And yet another round of applause for Megan for blogging through a loss to the Canadiens. Seriously, standing ovation.

And let’s hope that Matt Cooke’s “personal reasons” weren’t screwing another referee’s wife. Har har. Hugs, Mattie.

Go Pens. And get well, Sid.


About Zoë

from Fayette County, living in Boston, chronically fussy. Writing about the Penguins, the CWHL/women's hockey, and hockey/sports media criticism.