What Sidney Crosby did to this Minnesota Wild player was unspeakably cruel

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What Sidney Crosby did to this Minnesota Wild player was unspeakably cruel

Post by admin » Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:04 am

I don’t watch much hockey, so I’m not sure what occurrences are common in the sport, and what can be deemed spectacular by contrast. I know of Sidney Crosby, because he is one of those athletes who is so great that he is well known even beyond the borders of his sport. I know that he recently returned from injury because the tweet accompanying the video below welcomed him back. And while I don’t know that much about hockey, I do have a good sense of when a player is humiliated.

And what Crosby does to his opponent in this video is cruel in the most beautiful way possible:

My most familiar comparison to what Crosby does is a wall pass in indoor soccer. In regular soccer, a “wall pass” usually refers to a pass that goes around a defender to a teammate, who then returns the pass into open space with the defender scrambling to keep up. A player can replicate that effect on a boarded field by playing the ball off the wall at the right angle.

It’s not surprising that hockey players employ similar tactics, though I assume they don’t try it often because of how fast the game moves. But it never would have occurred to me that someone could play that pass off the back of the net. From behind their back. With a would-be defender right on their left shoulder. It seems like a rude, audacious, and wonderful move to even attempt, let alone complete.

I’m assuming that the player didn’t know that such a move was possible either, because he seemed bamboozled. Like he was running to a destination before suddenly realizing that he doesn’t know why he’s running, where he’s going, or where he is.

The player, who I feel more comfortable calling The Victim, was taken by surprise so quickly that he kept skating forward after Crosby had left him behind. When he realizes that he’s been turned into The Fool, he turns around and defends without conviction, staying with Crosby for the sole sake of doing his assignment. He was scared. Crosby traumatized him, and we saw the effects of that emotional pain play out in the goal.

I felt that I had to look up this man who had been so scarred. I pitied him. It turns out that his name is Ryan Donato, and he’s a center. He is a 23-year-old from Scituate, Massachusetts. The son of Ted Donato, who played almost 800 career games in the NHL.

I can imagine that Ryan grew up dreaming of emulating, and maybe even surpassing, the achievements of his father. That as a child he practiced and toyed with the idea of becoming a great player in the NHL. And when he was drafted in 2014, he must have felt proud of himself for making that dream come true.

Ryan has played several years in the league, so he’s not some naive child, but I know about dreams and the way they work. When we dream about the future, we tend to be hopeful. Our brains sometimes have a hard time inventing misfortunes that will stand in our way. We believe in our ability to overcome and reach greatness.

As I was learning about Ryan Donato, I wondered if in his dreams, he ever thought that he would play against Crosby. And as his thoughts danced about the great battle that would ensue between the two, if he ever noticed a stray sinister notion lurking in the back of his mind, an idea so dreadful that the child could not let it blossom, a tiny suggestion like a memento mori that told the young Ryan that the battle between him and Crosby would end so badly that the highlight would be disseminated eternally throughout the digital realm. I wondered if Ryan ever considered that he would be so victimized by an NHL great, that his embarrassment would be the perfect stimulus for people like myself — people who don’t watch the NHL, who never intended to document the sport — to be driven to write about it, and immortalize his legacy.

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