Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Crosby awarded the 2007 Lou Marsh Award

Sidney Crosby can ask Mom to make some room on the mantle, there’s a new award coming her way in the near future.

Crosby was named as Canada’s Sportsman of the year, and will be awarded the Lou Marsh Award, the first hockey player to receive the accolades of the nation’s sports press since Mario Lemieux back in 1993.

The announcement comes in the wake of his recent tour of Western Canada, where the Pens played in front of sold out crowds in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, commanding scalpers prices and providing a sense of event that few NHL regular season games seem capable of doing anymore.

It was like a scene out of Spinal Tap, as Crosby and his team mates wandered from city to city, through the inside of the arenas to the ice surface and the electric buzz that would greet them on each occasion.

For Crosby receiving the Marsh trophy is one of the final steps in conquering the Canadian sports establishment, which in recent years has tripped over itself to avoid hockey players.

Speed skater Cindy Klassen was last year’s recipient, narrowly beating out Victoria’s Steve Nash, who once again was a runner up, this time just edged out by Crosby.

It's perhaps a bit unfortunate that Crosby's success came at the expense of Nash, who has single handedly done more to put Canadian basketball into the international arena over his many years. His has been a most remarkable career and won the Marsh award back in 2005, and it's doubtful that anyone would have argued had his name been selected as the recipient for this year. In fact, a passionate defence for Nash was made in the National Post which certainly made the case for Canada's best known ever basketball player.

But, the brighter star in the Canadian sky at the moment seems to be emanating out of Pittsburgh and not Phoenix, as Crosby has become the topic of seemingly every sports cast, every news paper article and every sports talk show.

Crosby at 20 and just beginning to dominate the game like the icons of the past, will most likely have more opportunities to collect the Marsh trophy, then again maybe not, the sports press of the nation is a fickle lot, just as willing to have you take a few steps back as they are to propel you a few steps up.

In the end, the talent will win out, but not before a little politics gets in the way.

On Tuesday, Talent triumphed over politics for one year. Making for just another accolade in what is quickly shaping up to be Sidney Crosby’s coming out party.

The Toronto Star-Cox: A Crowded Field

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