Please bear with me slightly until I get to the point. So. . . I have been mostly lurking around this place for a month or so, and have come to appreciate the particular flavor of Avalanche fandom cultivated herein for the following reasons:
- Its relative civility. I appreciated David Driscoll-Carrignan’s gentle reminder yesterday that we should be more receptive to outside opinions. They are interesting even when they are wrong.
- Its brand of humor. I have seen the jokes range from incisive to sophomoric and while they often drift in a bawdy direction, they never seem to drift into the simply crude.
considerably more after the jump which will
- Its geeky grammaticality. I am a high school teacher (as are many others, here) and while I don’t like to spend my downtime waving noun and verbs at people, it drives me nuts when people are borderline illiterate in their posts and dont bother to notice and fix the apostrophe I just neglected. I love the spirit in which that is done here.
- Its tolerance of intellect and big words. I read intelligent, well-written posts here far more often than a simple STFU and I appreciate that. Too often sports crowds are militantly anti-intellectual.
- Its tolerance of weird tangents. Its nice to be where I can post something that refers to Sid and Gretzky by title and that blathers on about other crap for a couple hundred words while I-finally- get my point.
So-here is the simple question on which I wish to pick the MHH brain. I don’t care who is better, but I recently clicked through a collection of "rare Gretzky photos" on some site and it got me to thinking about the difference between the climate/culture he emerged in and the one in which Crosby arrives.
I am not a fan of Crosby. As I have said previously of his Edgelessness I find him too much like a loaf of white bread on which the NHL too frequently wants to spread marshallow cream. He is Manning-like in his adherence to the prototypical posterboy code. I want him to do something that cuts against type so that he seems less like a good-for-the-game windup toy and more like a real person.
I should like him, since nothing would make me happier than to have my 9-year old hockey-playing son wind up just like him, but I just can’t quite do it, and my son, perhaps sensing this, embraces Ovechkin and Kane (since the Olympics) as his idols. Never fear, he wears 26 for Stasny and loves Duchene too.
So, at long last here is the simple question: "If Wayne Gretzky arrived as the 18-year old phenom on today’s NHL doorstep, would he face the same level of unfounded dislike/ambivalence/antipathy and downright hostility? It seems that few people hated him for the decades he was the face of the NHL. Are there reasons that I just don’t understand? Educate me, please, wise writers of this enlightened blog, because I really am a little baffled on about this.