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JetBlue pilot compares Sidney Crosby to crying baby

REUTERS
The Boston Bruins celebrate a goal by David Krejci as Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby reacts during the third period of Game 1 of their NHL Eastern Conference finals hockey series on Saturday, June 1, 2013, in Consol Energy Center.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013, 5:09 p.m.
 

The wrong way to ingratiate your company with Pittsburghers: make fun of one of the city's star athletes.

A JetBlue Airways pilot likened Penguins star Sidney Crosby to a crying baby during a Pittsburgh-to-Boston flight on Tuesday, Boston sports reporters tweeted.

The Penguins are trailing the Boston Bruins, 2-0, in the Eastern Conference championship series.

“Baby crying in back of JetBlue flight packed w/Boston media. Pilot just got on intercom and asked if ‘Sidney Crosby was in the back crying,' ” Joe Haggerty of Comcast SportsNet New England posted on his Twitter account.

Added WBZ-TV sports anchor and reporter Dan Roche: “Pilot hearing baby crying on our #JetBlue flight from Pitt to Boston: ‘Is that Sidney Crosby in back of our plane!' ”

JetBlue didn't apologize.

“Fun is a core value at JetBlue, and we love when our pilots get to address customers and show off their passion,” spokesman Morgan Johnston said. “Our Boston-based pilot was clearly as excited by the game as many of our Boston customers.”

JetBlue, Boston's largest carrier, is “the official airline of Boston's TD Garden,” and its crews include passionate Boston fans, Johnston said. “Don't worry about spotting them — they'll look for the opportunity to tell you.”

Crosby, a former National Hockey League most valuable player, can be a polarizing figure outside Pittsburgh. Critics say he complains too much to referees. Hecklers call him “Cindy” Crosby.

NHL Network analyst Craig Button dismissed such talk: “Crosby's reputation is stellar. I have never seen a superstar player in any sport that did a good job of hiding their feelings about losing.”

Pittsburgh International Airport spokeswoman JoAnn Jenny said she hopes Pens fans don't boycott JetBlue, as some suggested on social media.

“It was a wisecrack that the pilot probably thought would stay within the cabin,” she said. “Everything grows legs and takes off these days.”

JetBlue has struggled against competition in the Pittsburgh market since arriving seven years ago. It eliminated flights to New York in February, but last month it added a fourth daily flight to Boston, the only city it serves directly from Pittsburgh.

Tom Fontaine is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7847 or tfontaine@tribweb.com.

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