March 30, 2009
"He's a diver, a whiner, with a wimpy one-timer/A cheater, a bleeder, a loser not a leader/He talks a lot of smack because he'll thinks he'll kick your butt/He'll just hit you with his stick and then he'll punch you in the nuts."
That's from the Maryland-based band Pummeler and their newest hockey opus, the delicately titled "Crosby Sucks." Their label Dancing Bull Productions sent over a link to that radio-friendly ditty yesterday on the band's MySpace page, where it will stream for free before transitioning to iTunes and Amazon downloads. (From the label: "Note that some of the Pummeler MySpace material is NSFW, although Crosby Sucks is kid-friendly, primarily because we wanted Crosby to be allowed to hear it.")
It would appear our attempt to heal the hockey nation with last weekend's unfiltered defense of Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby by his fans has fallen short, as this song recycles dozens of the well-worn knocks on Crosby's game and his character. (And some are bizarrely off-base: How can someone uniformly panned for his tediously safe interviews "talk a lot of smack"?)
Where does this antagonism come from? Pummler had previously written and performed a profane anthem in praise of Alexander Ovechkin, and are devout Washington Capitals fans. But DC Sports Bog's Dan Steinberg went the extra mile and interviewed the three-man band to find the roots for their scathing musical "tribute":
Lord Jupiter: It was an idea I had after the recent bleating by Don Cherry about Ovechkin. We thought about doing an anti-Cherry song, but figured "Crosby Sucks" made more sense, especially since Cherry's barely worth a line these days, nevermind an entire song. So thank Don Cherry for this one. If Deion Sanders were born in Canada and became a lumberjack wannabe, he'd be Don Cherry. That guy's got no room to talk about flamboyance. Has he looked in the mirror??
Philosoraptor: The song is an attack on NHL marketing. Sidney Crosby is the blush-faced, conservative poster "Kid" for that marketing. There are a lot of adult fans out there who resent the new dumbed-down, kid-proofed Bettman NHL. They resent the idea of marketers trying to put a safe, North American "face" on the sport to try and neuter it for soccer moms, instead of letting the game develop its own natural character through the men who play it. They resent the presentation of Crosby as some sort of Matrix-Neo of hockey, when the guys who are actually pulling off legendary, storybook type of plays happen to actually be two inconveniently ugly and scary Russians. This song points at that 900-pound gorilla in the room, and demands that he stop flinging dung at the truth.
OBM: At first, most people won't get the deeper meaning of the song, but really it's all right there in the title. Crosby Sucks.
Marketing insight from "Philosoraptor" aside, the "Crosby Sucks" anthem already has one notable detractor: Paul Kukla, editor of the popular Kukla's Korner blog and a columnist for NHL.com. Under a headline "No Place In Hockey For This," Paul writes: "Call me old-fashioned, call me a prude, but I just don't understand what those lyrics have to do with hockey."
Hey, to each his own, right? Pummler's song is, at best, feast and famine; although we tip our hats to the Frampton-esque "wah-wahs" at the end. Still, it's no "Zetterberg Song." Snipe, snipe.