Halifax, N.S., native and Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has a lot of time on his hands, as long as the NHL lockout continues. So, on Tuesday night, the hockey player filled some of that time by checking out fellow Canadian Justin Bieber's concert at Pittsburgh's Consol Energy Center -- inciting some criticism from sports bloggers in the process.
Sidney's presence at the 18-year-old pop prince's show was just a rumour on Twitter until this photo emerged on the Tumblr "Crosby Eh." The photo depicts "Sid the Kid" posing with three young female Bieber fans decked out in Bieber gear, including a trucker hat with the now infamous adjective "SWAGGY."
Enter the hockey journalists and bloggers who had a problem with Sidney's presence at the concert.
"Over the past handful of years, Justin Bieber has come swooping in to steal the crown from Nickelback as 'export we're most embarrassed of.' ... While you're welcome to like whatever music you like, possibly the World's Greatest Hockey Player, a representative of the NHL, should not be allowed to attend Bieber concerts. I mean, for the good of the game and our collective pride, at least," wrote Canadian blogger Justin Bourne on TheScore.com, in a post titled "Let's all have a laugh at Sidney Crosby attending a Justin Bieber concert."
"Maybe he likes it? Maybe he chaperoned his 16-year-old sister? Maybe Mario Lemieux finally kicked him out of the house and now Crosby just sleeps in the Pens' dressing room?" wrote Deadspin's Barry Petchesky.
And Jeff Greenwell from Business Insider didn't limit his zingers to just Crosby.
"While the musical stylings of an obvious lesbian teen pop sensation aren't for everyone, and the incessant screaming and hysterics of thousands upon thousands of prepubescent girls would be mind numbingly annoying, who are we to judge someone's musical preferences?" Greenwall wrote. "Now, had Crosby been seen at a Nickelback concert, that would be worth a lifetime of ridicule and shaming."
Without NHL games to cover, journalists have been paying more attention to the personal lives of the players for stories. This fact, combined with Crosby's reputation as one of the league's "softest" players and Bieber's insane popularity among teenage girls made for a perfect storm of ridicule.
But, as it turns out, the real joke might be on them. His attendance at the concert was confirmed by Seth Rorabaugh, a hockey journalist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who had an honourable reason for being at the concert. Rorabaugh tweeted, "Crosby confirmed he went to the Bieber concert last night. Basically he said he has a suite at CEC for charity and a lot free time."
Crosby probably had a fine time at the show, and maybe he even sung along to "Baby" or "Beauty And A Beat." But as Deadspin pointed out, the Penguins would have played a game in Detroit on Monday and at home last night if it weren't for the lockout -- and that's probably what the 25-year-old hockey star would have preferred to do, too.