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Another report came out earlier this week that Sidney Crosby had suffered a setback in his attempt to recover from concussion symptoms and would not be ready to start the NHL season in October as a result.
By my count, this was the 7,500th such report since he suffered his first concussion in the Winter Classic (maybe) or against the Tampa Bay Lightning a few days later (definitely). Note that this figure does not include the number of equally definitive reports that he was just about ready to come back to the team in time for the last several games of the season, playoffs, second round should they make it, and now training camp.
This latest "he's not gonna make it in time" report, filed by CTV Atlantic, was, from what anyone can tell, based on absolutely nothing besides hearsay, just as the previous ones were. It was seemingly the result of his possibly having canceled ice time at a Halifax-area rink, as though that were some sort of indication of anything at this point.
People are going to believe what they want to believe though. If they want to believe he's fine, these reports are hogwash. If they want to believe he's suffered that setback, then these reports are gospel. No amount of refuting from anyone — not Ray Shero, not the otherwise-unimpeachable Dan Bylsma, not Crosby's own agent — will sway opinions one way or another.
Doubters think that these people are not being entirely forthcoming at best or painting a rosy picture of a guy who's going through some serious health issues for their own benefit at worst. As though the organization or those close to Crosby would be happy to come out and play Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf to reassure Pens fans everywhere that the Mighty Crosby has indeed not been felled by a piddling concussion.
There were even demands from some corners that Crosby himself come out and swear on a stack of bibles that he's fine, preferably while tap dancing and doing long division, to definitively prove he's 100 percent ready for this next NHL season. And he finally complied, as though that would ensure that he's just raring to get going, score the million points we all know he's capable of and still be the league's galvanizing superstar.
But the quote was as milquetoast as anything he's ever said since coming into the league, and, in the end, proved nothing. Just like everything else that anyone ever said about his condition one way or the other.
That he felt the need to comply at all, though, is just grisly.
Let's be clear here: This isn't some kind of a state secret. It's not Area 87. It's a person's health.
Suppose Crosby had come out and said he's ready to start the season, even if he is still experiencing symptoms, as the Penguins said he was this time last week. Even if he wasn't feeling dizzy or light-sensitive that day or that week, it would prove nothing.
How many "setbacks" have we heard about already? They're called that because things were going well and Crosby was training accordingly, then his symptoms returned. There's not any ironclad guarantee he can make, so he's not doing it. It really is that simple.
The reason we don't have and won't get a definitive answer today — other than that he will at some point in the nebulous future have a "full recovery" — is that none can be given. It's not a broken wrist or a pulled groin, it's a concussion, which we all know at this point is vastly different from person to person and even one incident to the next.
Marc Savard had three concussions before the Matt Cooke elbow and missed a total of just 16 games as a result. Then he had to have another one last season before people really started saying his career was probably over.
You know when we should all start celebrating Crosby's return, or lamenting his inability to play?
When the season starts.
It's still August. Training camp doesn't open for another few weeks. Though the Pens would be wise to hold him out of all preseason games, most people will only believe he's ready until he takes his first real hit against a real-live professional hockey player.
And even then, I kinda feel like we should be nervous.
But what if this whole Crosby thing WERE a conspiracy perpetrated by the Penguins, the NHL and Reebok?
Let's start pulling strings to see if anything comes apart.
@NonAmericanHero: He followed Ozzie Smith into the Mystery Spot
@hamsandcastle: Cell phone video of a blurry #87 training in the Laurel Highlands confiscated by government employees
@bufordhectorman: crosby awoke from concussion to find Swiss bank account # embedded subcutaneously. now hitching across europe to solve mystery
@Disastromatic: Dead, being propped up by two friends
@Paperboy416: Crosby holds back the electric car, Crosby made Steve Gutenberg a star.
@bcfrese: Crosby is piloting a plane that's leaving chemtrails across the sky
@wyshynski: Crosby hid inside a refrigerator when an atomic bomb went off at Area 51 back in the late 1950s.
And your winner:
@WayneTwittaker: Actually Kenyan
Pearls of Biz-dom
We all know that there isn't a better Twitter account out there than that of Paul Bissonnette. So why not find his best bit of advice on love, life and lappers from the last week?
BizNasty on fatherhood: "Does anybody else's dad tuck their shirt into their underwear? Or just my dad?"
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