Penguins' Crosby ticketed for normality at delivery
By Rob Rossi
Published: Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, 10:37 p.m.
Sidney Crosby is not too big for any room — even a basement.
A public figure most of his life, Crosby remains polite, easily amused and humble. He also is still unwilling to acknowledge the obvious.
“I don't think Sid thinks of himself as an idol,” said Jimmy Cohen. “ We all think of him that way.”
Cohen, 56, was one of several members of Sandy Darling's family that greeted Crosby at Darling's Squirrel Hill residence Monday. They had never met before, but Cohen had an accurate read on Crosby.
“To sit here and say I do things without thinking, I'd be lying,” Crosby said. “But I do normal things. I don't think I'm a celebrity. I play hockey.”
Crosby, 26, will open his ninth NHL training camp — seventh as Penguins captain — Wednesday. He and 13 teammates spent Monday afternoon delivering season tickets to fans.
Crosby's genuine eagerness to participate in the annual ticket delivery is part of what makes him a “great ambassador for hockey in our city and region,” Penguins CEO David Morehouse said in August.
From providing families of sick children luxury-suite tickets to Penguins games to equipping local youth players with free hockey gear, Crosby has seemingly used any power that comes with his profile — and fortune — for good.
Jonathan Cohen, 21, concurred. Cohen, Darling's grandson, is one of many younger Penguins fans that make habit of seeking players' autographs after practices.
Crosby recognized Cohen immediately upon stepping through the front door of Darling's home Monday. After a nearly 30-minute visit, while getting into his Range Rover, Crosby jokingly remembered not seeing Cohen “that much lately.”
College has turned Jonathan Cohen into a semi-regular among the crowd awaiting Penguins players outside Consol Energy Center, according to Jimmy Cohen.
Darling, 77, is a regular at Penguins home games. This will mark his 45th season with tickets, and his seats are in close proximity to where Evgeni Malkin's parents sit for home games.
Darling's house is lined with Penguins memorabilia, including a Penguins Room in the basement. Before Crosby's arrival, there was debate among the family about whether the Penguins' brightest star would be keen on venturing down those basement steps.
As Jonathan Cohen noted, celebrities do not make a habit of checking out basements, but “Sid is by far the biggest gentleman of any player I've met.”
Darling's children and grandchildren tried to play cool as Crosby smiled — showing no indications of lingering dental problems stemming from a broken jaw last March — while posing for pictures before the invitation to the basement was extended.
Crosby accepted, and returned upstairs after a visit of several minutes with wide eyes that hinted he was impressed.
Darling, just over a serious illness, was overjoyed, said Erica Cohen, his 28-year-old granddaughter.
“The way he impacts a lot of people — like today with my grandfather — to me, he is a celebrity,” she said of Crosby.
“But he's a celebrity who will actually come into your house.”
Note: The Penguins have invited 54 players to camp. The first practices are slated for Thursday at Consol Energy Center.
Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Analysis: Kesler remains on Penguins’ radar as Shero looks bring back ‘Big 3’ formula
- Penguins GM Shero’s deadline deals: Addition by subtraction
- Penguins minor league report: Defenseman Dumoulin optimistic for home stretch
- Penguins notebook: Maatta leaves lasting impression with Selanne
- Penguins notebook: Fleury feeling sharp entering tough stretch
- Penguins notebook: Kennedy struggling to find net in San Jose
- Trade to Penguins caps frenetic period for winger Stempniak
- Analysis: Kesler remains on Penguins radar as Shero looks bring back ‘Big 3’ formula