Crosby surprises Nova Scotia super-fan’s family with a visit

Watch as Sidney Crosby parades the Stanley Cup through his hometown Cole Harbour.

ENFIELD, N.S. — Darryl Pottie planted a plywood sign outside his Enfield, N.S., home early last month with a plea: "Sid please sign my jersey." Two-time Stanley Cup winner Sidney Crosby was visiting his nearby hometown, Cole Harbour, and Pottie hoped Crosby might drive by and spot the sign.

Pottie took the sign down a week later, so was surprised when his wife sent him an e-mail at work last Friday with a photo of Crosby with his 21-year-old daughter — in their living room. Pottie spoke to Canadian Press reporter Adina Bresge about the visit, and the media frenzy that followed:

CP: I take it you’re a Sidney Crosby fan.

Pottie: I’m a huge Sidney Crosby fan. I’ve been following Sidney Crosby since his junior career, since he first got drafted.

CP: When did you decide to put up a sign?

Pottie: People had told me he travels the neighbourhood. I figured that if he was going by, there was an off-chance that he might pop in and sign my jersey, because you hear all the time what a great guy he is … It was my last piece of plywood that I had left over from a rink my kids used to go skating on every winter.

CP: How did it come to Crosby’s attention?

Pottie: He told my wife that he had seen it and he wanted to stop, but he was so busy. He got a good chuckle out of it. Apparently, he was just getting back in town and he wanted to come sign my jersey.

CP: How did your wife, Patricia, react when she opened the door to find Crosby on the other side?

Pottie: She peeked out the sidelight of the door and her jaw dropped … It was a scorcher of a day that day, and she had jumped in the pool a little bit earlier. She was cleaning the house (in a bikini) and she had flour and baking powder on her. Thankfully, my youngest daughter, Madisyn, was here too and she came to Patricia’s rescue. Her and Sid had a good chit chat. Madisyn had told him she had played hockey, so he was asking her some questions about that.

CP: What was your reaction when you found out?

Pottie: I get an e-mail (from my wife). She says, ‘Look who popped in.’ I opened it up and I see a picture of my daughter — right away that hits me — and then I look to see who’s beside her. I’m thinking, ‘Where did Madisyn get a picture of Sidney Crosby?’ I’m looking harder at the picture, and I’m going, ‘Wait a minute. That’s my living room. He’s in my house! This picture was taken in my house!’

CP: Were you disappointed you didn’t get to meet him?

Pottie: At first, sure, I was a little bit disappointed. But when I came home, and I looked at the jerseys that he signed — he signed a couple of team jerseys that I have, he signed a couple of pictures for my daughter, and most importantly, he signed my on-ice game jersey that he had worn on the ice. I’m thinking, ‘Man, how can a fella ever be disappointed?’

CP: Maybe next time he comes around you can put up a sign with hours you’d be available so you can meet him.

Pottie: [Laughs] I feel in my heart that it’ll happen. He’s a good guy. And I’m telling you, he’s made my month, year, you name it.

CP: What are you going to do with the jerseys?

Pottie: I’m going to build big window boxes for all of them, and I’m going to find space to hang them on my wall. I’m going to have to cut out the piece of the floor that he was standing in, and put a carpet over there, so I can put that piece of floor on the wall. And then I’ll have to hire security guards to guard it all, I think.

CP: It sounds like this was quite the surprise.

Pottie: We found out someone from the media wanted to talk to us and we’re thinking, ‘Should we? Shouldn’t we? What would Sid think? Would Sid be OK with this?’ I was talking to (a friend), and he said, ‘Listen, this is a great story. Sid does this stuff all the time. He’s a really great guy, and I’m sure it’s going to be fine.’

CP: Trust me, as a member of the media, when Crosby sneezes, we’re usually there to cover it.

Pottie: [Laughs] But this wasn’t a photo-op. He came here by himself. Drove in my driveway, got out, came in. He was dressed very casually with his t-shirt and ball hat on backwards. Here he is: The greatest hockey player in the world today, and he does this for a fan. Speaks volumes about the kind of person he is.

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