It is good to be young. Scratch that…..it is good to be young and be Sidney Crosby. The kid just turned 20 years old on August 7, but he is hardly a kid anymore! By age 20, most of us have managed to graduate from high school and find our way into a college, or a good entry level job somewhere. That is not the case for the youngster from Cole Harbor, Nova Scotia. Sidney Crosby has done more by age 20 than most of us will accomplish in a lifetime. If you are like me, you doubted the hype surrounding “Sid the Kid” (aka the Next One) before his NHL debut. However, like me, you are probably now starting to take notice.
First, there are the on-ice accomplishments. He became the youngest player in NHL history to record 200 career points (at 19 years and 207 days), scoring over 100 points in each of his first two seasons. In his second season, he won the Art Ross Trophy by scoring the most points of any NHL player during the season (120 points, including 84 assists), the youngest player (and only teenager) to win the award in NHL history. In fact, he is the youngest player in the history of any major professional sport to win a scoring title. A fan favorite, he led all vote-getters in the NHL All-Star game balloting (825,783), the youngest player to be voted into the starting line-up since fan balloting began. At the end of the season, he also netted the Lester B. Pearson Trophy as the league’s Most Valuable Player in a vote by the NHL Players Association, again as the youngest player in NHL history to do so. He also collected the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP as voted by the Professional Hockey Writer’s Association. Over the summer, he was officially named the Captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins, and signed a $43.5M, five-year contract, signing up for the long haul at what could be argued is a very reasonable rate. Did I mention that he just turned 20?
But his accomplishments on ice are apparently not enough. Sidney Crosby just furthered his Reebok endorsement deal by launching a new clothing line, dubbed RBK SC87 (a nod to Reebok, his initials and his number/birth date –8/7/87). He reportedly had some input on the clothing’s design, working with Reebok’s fashion designers in Montreal. It is no surprise that Reebok is seeking to exploit his squeeky clean image, his tremendous accomplishments, and his youth for a slice of the retail clothing market; he is at an age where young consumers can still relate to him.
So, I conclude that life at 20 is…….well, for Sidney Crosby, quite good! Despite all of the pressures of great expectations laid at his doorstep, he has delivered magnificently. I await the coming season with much anticipation of another year of hockey maturity and seasoned skill from the Next One. For me, the excitement of hockey has returned!