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Is Crosby’s popularity at risk?

I know that we’re all tired about hearing about Sidney Crosby, his equipment and his ‘snub’ of Letterman last week. Even for the non-haters, I’m sure it’s getting to be a bit much.

Just one more, but it’s topical.

Dave Molinari answers a reader’s question on whether Crosby’s Olympic goal will hurt his overall popularity in the United States.

There’s no real precedent for something like this -- no player who was active in the NHL at the time (yes, that includes Peter Forsberg in 1994) has scored an Olympic goal like the one Crosby got in overtime of the gold-medal game -- so there’s no way of being certain how his treatment by fans in U.S. cities will change, if it does at all.

The guess here is that the U.S. fans who disliked him before the Olympics will continue to do so, and that those who liked (or, at least, respected) him going into the Games aren’t going to have their opinion seriously altered by his championship-clinching goal.

One would like to believe that rational people -- and more than a few fans have proven, with their words and deeds since the Olympics, that their membership in that group has lapsed -- understand that Crosby was representing his country and wanted to do everything possible to help his team win the tournament, just as every guy who pulled on a U.S. sweater did.

Just judging by the comments over the past week on PHT, it’s obvious that Crosby has a number of hockey fans that don’t like him, and I doubt that he won many over during the Olympics. At the same time, I really don’t see how the fact that he scored against the USA in the Olympics will hurt his popularity in the U.S.; fans who want to hate him, will.

What the U.S. needs is an American superstar who is one of the best players in the NHL scoring a bunch of points each season. Hmmmm.....