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About Those Sidney Crosby Pacifiers



The last time the Penguins came to town, I highlighted some of the anti-Crosby pranking carried on in the stands. That, though, was before Crosby and Ovechkin had their run-in and mild verbal scuffle, which caused Caps fans to take things to a whole 'nother level. Crosby has zoomed way past LeBron James as Washington's No. 1 sporting villain. (Interesting how similar the themes are, though; remember the "Crybaby" t-shirts and the posters of LeBron holding a baby bottle?)

I think this is a good thing, by and large. Sports need villains, and I'd rather fans pour out their creative energies into making t-shirts and signs than in getting drunk and breaking car windows. As expertly chronicled by Puck Daddy yesterday, there were massive pacifiers and smaller pacifiers, no-diving signs and no-diving t-shirts, great Photoshops and less-than-great Photoshops, plus at least one babydoll in Crosby attire.


Photo by Brian Murphy, Homer McFanboy.

The highlight, though, had to be the two young women passing out 500 pacifiers to Caps fans. Lindsay Czarniak got one (read more on that from Homer McFanboy). Lisa Hillary got one. Al Koken ended up restraining himself. Ted Leonsis laughed, but said he couldn't take one. So, what was the story?

Well, as you might have guessed, Margaret McGuire is a diehard Caps fan and journalism student at Anchorage-Alaska, who, before her trip home to Arlington for Spring Break, recently stumbled upon an Alaskan baby/toddler store that was going out of business and was selling bibs and bottles and pacifiers in bulk. How long did it take her to connect an Alaskan sale on baby stuff with Sidney Crosby?

"A split second, really," she said. "As soon as I saw the pacifiers, I wanted to get as many as I could. It pretty much was instantaneous for me."

She got 100. Then she talked to her friend and fellow Caps fan Molly Feldman, who loved the concept. She promised to help. Margaret went back to the store. They cut her a deal and said they'd find more. She wound up with 500 pacifiers, stuffed into a garbage bag, filling her entire suitcase during the trip home. You don't want to know the cost.

"It's kind of embarrassing," Margaret told me. "Let's just say it wasn't cheap. It's not something I would suggest someone go out and do unless they're willing to shell out a significant amount of money."

So why do this? Why would a college student in Alaska spend hundreds of dollars and fill a suitcase with pacifiers for a cross-continental flight toward heated hockey rivalry?

"Everyone knows the fan base's consensus on Sidney Crosby," Margaret said.

"We all know how much of a whiner Crosby can be," Molly added. "I just had a feeling a lot of fans would enjoy it. I definitely wanted to be on board and help her out any way she wanted, because I thought it was brilliant, honestly."

"I think what really solidified it in my mind was the last game," Margaret continued. "He just always seems to be talking to the refs, even when nothing's going on."

"He just needs to lighten up," Molly recommended. "You could pretty much ask anybody and they'd all pretty much say the same thing."



So, on with Operation Pacifier. Some of the pacifiers said "Daddy's Little Girl." Others read "I Love Mommy." Some had stripes or polka dots, hearts or stars. All were marked up with Crosby's name and number, and tied with a string for easy in-game accessorizing. There was some minimal pre-game promotion, via Facebook, a blog or two and a trip to Caps practice.

And the results? Well, without much effort, Margaret and Molly got rid of 499 Crosby pacifiers. (The 500th, of course, is bound for my desk.) Pens fans wanted them. Caps fans lined up, sometimes offering to pay money. Pens writers riffed off the theme, telling Caps fans to "suck on that" after Crosby won the game. The pacifiers were clearly visible on the TV broadcast, and Margaret and Molly made the big screen. Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury even referenced the pacifiers in his post-game interviews.

"I just loved the feeling I got handing them out, and people were so excited about getting them," Margaret told me. "I got to meet a lot of new fans tonight. I loved it. I thought it was great."

"It was amazing," Molly added. "I mean, we were mobbed, by everyone. Everyone wanted one."

Here's something else everyone should want: Caps-Pens in the playoffs. This isn't about bad sportsmanship; this is about electricity. This is about SportsCenter being forced to use a "Caps Penguins" item on the right-hand scroll this morning, in addition to "A-Rod Surgery" and "Yankees Reaction" and "Reaction to Yankees Reaction." This is about Margaret and Molly having been fans their whole lives, but never having been motivated to bring 500 props to a game before this season. This is about Crosby saying the Verizon Center is becoming one of the toughest places for him to play, and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review calling him "Washington's Sports Villain-in-Chief." You can't be a villain unless people care.

Problem is, of course, that the dude won the game. So I asked Margaret and Molly whether they were worried about providing him with some extra motivation.

"I'm very superstitious when it comes to hockey, so I'm sure it was there in the back of my mind--he's gonna have a good game and they're gonna win, which both happened," Molly added. "But it was for the fans, so I wasn't really worried about what he was gonna think or how he was gonna react to to it."

"I'm not worried about motivating him," Margaret said. Caps fans haven't really had much to be excited with over the past couple years, and this is more just to motivate fans....If it motivates him, then I guess it's our fault. But it's fun to do."

Indeed. Here's to some sort of sequel in the playoffs. Margaret said she might have a few ideas floating around.

(Oh, and apparently I haven't improved any in the maturity department over the past two weeks. From a Pens fan this morning: "With all due respect, I think your blogs about Sid are very childish, immature and show very little writing talent....I just think you're encouraging childish Caps fans to make derogatory shirts, etc is not very classy. Don't you think??"

Needless to say, no, I don't think.)


By Dan Steinberg  |  March 9, 2009; 10:36 AM ET
Categories:  Caps , Wizards  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: See Ovechkin Sing the Easterns Jingle
Next: Adam Dunn Makes People Laugh

Comments

"With all due respect, I think your blogs about Sid are very childish, immature and show very little writing talent....I just think your encouraging childish Caps fans to make derogatory shirts, etc is not very classy. Don't you think??

Ah, excellent letter Pens fan. Criticizing Dan's writing, with "your" substituted for "you're", along with multiple sentence fragments. For the icing on the cake, said fan uses two question marks, which leads us to ask, Dan has the maturity issues?

Posted by: Josh8 | March 9, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Allow me this opportunity to say, Lindsay Czarniak is quite possibly the hottest female in the Washington D.C. area. Keep up the good work!

Posted by: rtramonte5500 | March 9, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I knew we had some diehards, but...THESE PEOPLES IS CRAZY

Posted by: ThisGuy | March 9, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Hh, the good old Pittsburgh fans, at it again, once again spewing back the mindless propaganda they've heard and taken as gospel. Apparently, critical thinking skills aren't taught in Pittsburgh.

Stienz isn't encouraging anyone. Real Caps fan don't need encouragement to hate Pittsburgh, regardless of who is playing there. That the biggest whiner in all of hockey (as voted on by his peers!) is there just makes it so much more fun.

Posted by: RedBirdie | March 9, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

PLEASE Tell me that Lindsey Czarniak had a scarf photoshopped onto her neck on a 73 degree day!

Posted by: dupa3 | March 9, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I hope the Capital fans keep doing this stuff. First of all I think it is funny. Secondly, and more importantly to me as a Pens fans, it gets Mr.Crosby going. I suggest you talk to the Flyer fans about their treatment of Sidney Crosby and the outcome of his play. Really the only time I have seen Crosby have average games against the Flyers is when they don't take runs at him or the fans leave him alone. Please keep doing what you are doing. Its great!

Posted by: demo33 | March 9, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

as he came off the ice after the game, pens dman hall gill picked up a neckles of pacifiers and tossed them to a caps fan and his 10-12 year old daughter sitting near the pens tunnel. there was some good natured back and forth with the girl continuing to give the pens the big thumbs down. seems like the players had a good time with it, except for cindy i'm sure who probably thought it lacked respect. gill was also the guys who responded to cindy's whining about ovies goal celebrations by saying "if you dont like em, stop him from scoring". i like gill, he's got the right attitude.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 9, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

demo33,
any player who needs the fans getting on him to be motivated needs a new line of work. i believe he was extra motivited mostly because he saw the team take off with him out of the lineup.

besides, he had a nice shootout goal, beyond that i wouldnt say he was dominante yesterday. he goal was a layup and a nicer play by guerin on a caps d screw up.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 9, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

LOL, The Caps are that team that hates everyone but no one really cares about them. They're just another anti-sid team. Everyone hates the Pens, grab your pacifiers and get in line.

I wish Sid would have worn a pacifier in his mouth as he buried the game winner in the shoot out.

Next...

Posted by: PensOwnYou | March 9, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Hey Dan, nice piece of writing,maybe you should think about getting a real job in a real city where the teams win championships! You cant write anything about hockey because you know nothing about it, so you have to get your material from the stupid caps fans. just another year the caps will be out in the first round because they did nothing at trade deadline. I hope they get the pens in the first round!

Posted by: ASHLAS1 | March 9, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

HAHAHAHA!

Dan, it seems you have hit a sore spot once again! These clowns obviously don't understand what your blog is about. For what it is worth, I always find you blogs entertaining.

PS - I love how all of the Pens fans act like the Pens dominated the Caps. The game was a tie, the win was from a Bettman special. The Caps taking 7 out of 8 possible points in the series this year shows you who dominated who.

Seeing how this is grade school math, I understand why Pittsburgh fans are confused.

Posted by: capsnumber1 | March 9, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Obsess - to haunt or excessively preoccupy the mind

Posted by: SDpens | March 9, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

В Восточных Двигателях, Ваша работа - ваш кредит

Posted by: cooleyfans | March 10, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

"PS - I love how all of the Pens fans act like the Pens dominated the Caps. The game was a tie, the win was from a Bettman special. The Caps taking 7 out of 8 possible points in the series this year shows you who dominated who."

So essentially you're asking Pens fans to respect a 3-1 edge by the Caps?

Disclaimer......only the pre-Rock-the-Redders will understand that.

Posted by: SamsDog | March 10, 2009 6:23 AM | Report abuse

Yep, Caps fans are just like 56% of NHL players who think, that Sid The Kid cries too much :)

P.S. Better to read entertaining fun on these blogs than trash talk about Ovie on Pitts blogs.

Posted by: Hazz | March 10, 2009 6:52 AM | Report abuse

7 out of 8 points in the regular season. Big deal. With your poor goaltending and suspect defense, anyone who plays you in the playoffs will make sure your team chokes again. One playoff series victory since about 1996 and you guys think you're all that and a bag of chips (like Chris Cooley). Ovechkin probably should have had some of those pacifiers after he slammed his stick on the wall when Fleury stoned him for the win, don't ya think? Or maybe when he was lazily skating back to his own zone WATCHING Sid score the first goal of the game. Oh well, that's typical Ovechkin, only skate to the red line and stand there cherry-picking. The only time the dude skates hard is when he's about to take a run at someone's head with his flying elbows.

Posted by: mwiles19 | March 10, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Ovechkin can score in more positions than the Kama Sutra, and I love him. I also got one of the pacifiers on Sunday, and thoroughly enjoyed wearing it at the game and on the ride home with two friends who are Pens fans. Great idea, ladies...thanks!!!

Like the sign said -- Stick a cork in that whine Crosby!

Posted by: bubblegirl1 | March 10, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Very interesting how much time pens fans spend on Caps boards, I guess the pens blogs are just as boring as crosby.

Posted by: ds_kelly | March 10, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

It's interesting how Pens' fans have this impression that they had something to do with the Pitts' wins. It's cute.

@ds_kelly: They've got time right now because they didn't want to be around while someone changed Lil' Crosby's diaper. What a stinker.

P.S. Pitts' fans: Do they all teach you to hit people in the nads when they're preoccupied with another player? Or is that just something Crosby picked up from Mr. Cherry? Hmm. Makes you think twice about supporting Crosby because then that means you guys like a fruit who dresses up in fruity colored suits. You guys are too funny.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 10, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Give Josh8 a pacifier. He (she?) obviously lost his. Hope his mommy has a spare diaper, since he's obviously soiled his.

It's Pittsburgh the only city where they wear diapers both on their butts and and their heads, because the same stuff comes out both ends?

Posted by: bucknelldad | March 10, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

For the folks still bringing up numbers, who about Crosby's head to head record against Ovechkin or the Pens record against the Caps in the Playoffs. Not too good for the Caps. I think what has happend in the past is not relavent. I can see them in a good high scoring playoff series going to seven games. Since they are in a different division and only play four times, the rivalry will never be as big as the ones the Pens have with the Flyers or Rangers.

Posted by: bullyboy | March 10, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

"Very interesting how much time pens fans spend on Caps boards, I guess the pens blogs are just as boring as crosby."

This is a "Caps board"? That's funny, I thought it was a national newspaper. My bad.

Posted by: SamsDog | March 10, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Caps fans are going to need the pacifiers because tripping on X is the only thing that will ease their pain after yet another ignominious early exit from the playoffs

Posted by: schmeck | March 10, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

No, please tell me it was cold enough in the Verizon Center for Lindsay Czarniak to need a scarf on a 73 degree day.
Crank up the AC and let's go CAPS!

Posted by: didnik | March 11, 2009 12:58 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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