Who is the greatest diver of all-time? Greg Louganis? Any member of Italy’s last World Cup soccer team? My vote goes to Sidney Crosby, the young superstar of the Pittsburgh Penguins who has tallied 294 points in his first 213 National Hockey League games. He flops, he falls, he scores! Crosby, who is an awesome skater, playmaker and shooter, might be the most complete player in the league. But, amazingly, the 21 year old loses all sense of coordination any time an opposing player gets within five feet of him.
Crosby’s dive in game one of the Eastern Conference semifinal series against the New York Rangers when Martin Straka barely touched him would have him a unanimous 10 in the Olympics. It had great timing (only minutes remained in regulation) and was choreographed beautifully (eloquent head first slide). On television the hockey pundits were quick to point out that, technically, Straka did interfere with Crosby. PLEASE! I know the NHL is desperately seeking its next Gretzkey. But does the Versus network actually believe its coverage does not lose credibility when former hockey players Brian Engblom and Keith Jones ignore reality? Since when are playoff games decided by acting ability?
The only analyst who got this call right was MSG analyst Stan Fischler, who has never been one to be intimidated by the league’s political correctness squad. Fischler correctly pointed out that for greatly embellishing the supposed foul Crosby should have been giving two minutes for diving—even if Straka did commit interference.
When the referees do not call the other team for being in the same area of the ice as Crosby, Mr. Penguin whines like a 12 year girl old shut out of a Hannah Montana concert. Up next: a guest appearance on Oprah. Shame on NHL commissioner Gary Bettman for allowing this sham to ruin the game and, if the center iceman’s academy award winning performances continue, Crosby’s legacy.