Any fears that hockey fans would forget Ryan Miller’s virtuoso Olympics performance can be put to bed right now, judging from the scene at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh. Seth Rorabaugh of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette‘s “Empty Netters” blog reported that nationalism trumped laundry, at least for one night.
“Golden boy” Sidney Crosby, the “kid” who helped keep the team in Pittsburgh and bring the franchise its third Cup, was reprimanded for bringing home a gold medal to Canada with some hearty booing.
Rorabaugh set the scene:
“The ovation for Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller was stunning. It was honestly, playoff loud for Ryan Miller. The visiting goaltender. We understand it. We agree with it. We just didn’t expect it
Many fans actually booed Sidney Crosby when he was acknowledged. Wow. Way to be xenophobic Pittsburgh.”
Now, Rorabaugh attended the game and therefore has a better perspective on the reaction, but the Penguins’ announcing crew implied that the Crosby booing was at least partially light hearted. Either way, it’s pretty rare (and admittedly a bit awesome) for an opposing goalie or any other player to receive such an ovation.
I, for one, think that Miller deserves this kind of treatment across the U.S. (and, conversely, Canadians should applaud their heroes of choice). That being said, people need to treat Canadians nicely too. They’re a swell bunch, if you ask me.
(H/T to SBNation for the Empty Netters link.)