To preface all of this, here was Letterman's "coverage" of the Olympic hockey.
He couldn't lose ratings to Leno right now if he tried.
Damned if you do, damned if you don't, though, if you're Sidney Crosby.
If he goes on, people complain that he's being shoved down their throat.
But he decides not to go on, and he gets blasted regardless.
Crosby was in town to play the Rangers shortly after the Olympics were over.
Seemed like the perfect storm for a Crosby appearance on Letterman's show.
He was invited to go read the Top Ten List.
We personally have no idea why he didn't go on.
And guess what.
Reputable media outlets reporting on the Crosby "snub" didn't know, either.
Because it didn't occur to them to even put in a request to the Penguins or Letterman's show to ask why.
Or if they did, they didn't acknowledge the fact in their write-ups.
So, either the Penguins, the PG, or Crosby's agent decided to take the initiative.
"His schedule was full," Crosby's agent, Pat Brisson, said Monday night.
The New York Post this week reported that NHL officials were "miffed" at the missed opportunity to have Crosby -- considered the face of the league -- make such an appearance on the heels of his winning goal for Canada in the Olympic gold-medal game.
"I talk to the league on a regular basis, and the league couldn't be more thrilled having Sidney Crosby do all the stuff he does," Brisson said.
NHL spokesman Frank Brown said the league is thrilled with Crosby's promotional efforts. " ... Sidney has been exceptional in giving his time," Brown said.
As Big Daddy Brooks points out, it's not the first time Sid snubbed Letterman.
And as mentioned in the PG above, even Crosby's agent doesn't recall this phantom "Today" request.
Gotta give Big Daddy Brooks a break, though.
His vaj was still hurting from the Pens beating the Rangers.
Had to direct that angst somewhere.
After the jump, we break down some things about this Letterman crap.
1. In recent years, the Penguins organization has completely shut down nefarious media appearances after the All-Star Break or Olympic Break. Case closed. They even shut down the taping of "Inside Penguins Hockey." Fact. Media members outside of Pittsburgh just aren't privy to knowing this kind of stuff. But it doesn't matter, because they really don't care.
2. Crosby doesn't dance and juggle bowling pins for people. The only "goofy" things Crosby has ever done is his Leno appearance before he had even put on an NHL uniform, that commercial with Ovechkin about the hotel room service, and that interview (above) with Cabbie in the locker room last year, which is hardly goofy. The rest of the time, you see Crosby in dimly lit arenas stickhandling while wearing a Reebok shirt or taking part in homoerotic sequences with Max Talbot in his childhood basement.
Maybe this wasn't a good experience for Crosby. Who knows.
Sorry. Crosby isn't missing practice or junking up his pre-game shit just to, as PUCK THE MEDIA
put it, read some cue cards for 2 minutes. To have the already-bland Crosby stand there awkwardly while reading a Top Ten list, the contents of which would probably piss on Canada at some point or another, just doesn't make sense and would do absolutely nothing to make a potential crossover hockey fan to start watching the NHL. Not to mention that Crosby wouldn't do that shit anyway.
4. People are griping about this?
Griping for a Canadian player to market the game to an American audience?
Yes, the NHL uses Crosby in 95% of their marketing.
But there's a difference between the weekly game on NBC and a spot on David Letterman.
This Top Ten List had Ryan Miller written all over it. Bizarre.
People should be angry at CBS, as if they had the responsibility to peg the right player to pimp on the show.
5. We touched upon Crosby's public persona. He's a shy guy. He doesn't get himself in trouble and has never said anything that has raised eyebrows. So how exactly is this the kind of guy to captivate people falling asleep to Letterman's show?
6. We aren't missing the big picture here, though.
Over the course of 5 days, Crosby was the most talked-about athlete in the world.
Too bad that, for 4 of those days, Crosby was already back in the black-and-gold with a "C" on his sweater.
Not whoring himself out to Letterman showed his team where his focus was. Leadership.
And the focus was not on reading a joke on Letterman's show about how cold it is in Canada or something.
Remind us again how reading these jokes would captivate non-hockey fans?
7. So, hell. We would have loved seeing Crosby with an interview segment on Letterman.
Letterman's band guy, Paul Shaffer, is from Canada. Would have been funny.
But reading a Top Ten list? meh.
Sean Avery reads Top Ten lists. Sidney Crosby doesn't.
Here's how the Top Ten List would've played out.
It would have been Top Ten Things Canadians Said After The Gold Medal Game.
These aren't tongue-in-cheek. This is stuff the writers would actually come up with.
10. "Man, it's cold." (Received by raucous laughter)
9. "Hey, what's our capital city again?" (Letterman giggles like a bitch)
8. "Hey, now we get to watch Canadian football!"
7. "Wow. It is cold." (Laughter)
6. "What's the exchange rate for Gold?"
5. "Can Sarah Palin see us celebrating from her house?"
4. "We won, and we didn't even have to admit we slept with another woman to get ratings."
3. "Do we still have to take credit for Avril Lavigne?"
2. "Wish our military could have done a flyover."
1. "We won, and our healthcare is still free." (High-five with Shaffer and a fist-pump.)
See what we mean?
A.) We hate jobbing Canada in any way, shape, or form, though. They've given us hockey.
B.) Would Crosby subject himself to this? His agent knew what was gonna be coming.
8. And then we get to the topic that may trump all of this.
That the Penguins flight to New York was late on arrival, thwarting the Letterman appearance.
The only way to clear this up is taking it to a court of law.
Your Honor, these are the Tower Chief's Logs for both Pittsburgh International Aiport and LaGuardia Aiport. The Pittsburgh lists a flight that left at 11:00 a.m., and the LaGuardia log lists a flight that landed at 2:00 P.M. I'd like to admit them as Defense Exhibits "A" and "B".
I don't understand.
You're admitting evidence of a flight that got Crosby to New York in time for the appearance?
We don't believe it did, sir. Defense will be calling Airman Cecil O'Malley and Airman Anthony Rodriguez. They were working the ground crew at LaGuardia at 2:00 P.M. on the 4th.
These men weren't on the list.
Rebuttal witnesses, Your Honor.
Called specifically to refute testimony offered under direct examination.
I'll allow it.
This is ridiculous. and soff.
A moment ago, we mentioned --
Check the Tower logs, for Christ's sake.
No, Coach. You doctored the log books.
But you forgot about the airmen's Twitter accounts.
It's not officially March until we do a Few Good Men.