Consider the golden child of the red-haired stepchild of the Big Four professional sports:
Although Crosby is still clumsily referred to as "Sid the Kid" -- he turned 20 last August -- he is a man well equipped to handle anything, legally, except a wine list. And the gross revenues of the NHL (a league that used to be considered the NASCAR of the North and now can only dream about having NASCAR's clout) are within a billion dollars of the NBA, which is not bad considering that hockey's principle cable carrier in the United States (Versus) is as easy to locate as
Anyway, the futures of Crosby and the NHL are inextricably linked. If the league is going to muscle its way back to the NHL-Is-Hot/NBA-Is-Not days, it will be on the muscular shoulders of the third-year star of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Crosby certainly is holding up his end of the deal.
Let me bore you with some statistics. In compiling an NHL-best 120 points last season, Crosby became the youngest scoring champion (19 years, 244 days) in league history. He became the youngest Hart Trophy (MVP) winner since
He is not
OK, so Crosby probably won't win the award this year. (For one thing, that would mean having a hockey player who isn't a Hanson Brother on the SI cover -- and what are those odds?) But now is the time to get his name out there. Like his quick-release wrist shots, think of this as a preemptive strike.