ESPN Radio Extra Point

Sidney Crosby's greatest challenge will be topping his recent accomplishments

Updated: March 5, 2010, 3:19 PM ET
By Jeremy Schaap |

Sidney CrosbyBruce Bennett/Getty Images

At the age of 22, Sidney Crosby is accustomed to performing under pressure. He's been a hero for a long time -- most of his life. He's been called the next Gretzky, the next Lemieux and things less charitable. There are those who've believed that he has it within him to be the greatest hockey player ever -- and others who've said the hype exceeds the reality.

Whether or not he is eventually judged the greatest ever, or among the greatest ever, Crosby has proved in the last nine months that he isn't just incredibly skilled. He's proved that he's a winner.

A year ago, you could have been a Crosby doubter; not so any more. By winning the Stanley Cup last spring and the Olympic gold medal last week, Crosby has vaulted onto the highest rung of the sporting pedestal. To score in overtime, against the U.S., on Canadian soil, in the Olympic championship game -- it's an epic achievement in the context of sports, even, it could be said, in the life of his nation. Now all that Crosby has to do is find a way to top himself. That could be his greatest challenge.

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Jeremy Schaap

SportsCenter Reporter/Host, Classic Sports Reporters
Jeremy Schaap is an ESPN anchor and national correspondent, based in New York since 1998. He is a New York Times best-selling author ("Cinderella Man: James J. Braddock, Max Baer, and the Greatest Upset in Boxing History") and a contributor to "ABC World News Tonight" and "Nightline."