A debate broke out over whether or not celebrities in Pennsylvania should have to wait in line with mere mortals when renewing their license at the DMV, and nearly everyone sided with the poor, aggrieved party.
See, in Pittsburgh, hockey player Sidney Crosby is a big enough deal to warrant special treatment at the DMV. Pennsylvania has a policy stating supervisors may grant prominent people the right to cut in line, like Crosby did, to ensure a scene doesn't develop. The thinking goes, allowing these people to cut will help maintain order so literal pandemonium doesn't break out, because a trip to the DMV is bad enough for everyone without pandemonium involved.
For those of you who don't know, Crosby is the 26-year-old captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins. He's also the best in the world at what he does. They call him, "Sid the Kid," because his greatness has been foretold basically since birth.
But certain people think Crosby does not deserve to skip the line, and they told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as much after the captain got to zip in and out of the Duncan Manor DMV offices on Friday. "He should have to sit and wait with everyone else," said Susan Campbell, who spent hours helping her daughter renew her license before college. "He probably should have waited," said Sherry Davis, another angry mother.
The tutt-tutting in the Post-Gazette set off a wave of people coming to Crosby's aid. Deadspin's Andy Hutchins had a full-throated defense of Crosby's right to cut the line:
This is policy that exists not because Crosby is special, but because the general public ain't shit, and can't be reasonably expected to let celebrities be normal people, as Campbell's own daughter ("If I knew he was going to be there, I'd be down there in five minutes") proves.
The Sporting News' Sean Gentille had a similar theory. It's not Crosby that's the problem, it's how everyone behaves around him:
Everyone at the DMV wants to get in, get out and get on with their life. It's bad enough without a swarm of people knocking over chairs to meet a hockey player. The "he should wait like everyone else" excuse doesn't work, because he literally cannot wait like everyone else.
Crosby can't help that he's famous, but the DMV can make his life -- and yours, be extension -- a whole lot easier by letting him bypass the hours long wait. "Anyway, Sidney Crosby is the worst, and the Allegheny County DMV is an enabler," joked Yahoo!'s Harrison Mooney, playing off the hubbub the story created. There was even an ESPN write-up, and ESPN rarely ever covers hockey.
That Crosby's trip to the DMV warranted an 800 word write-up in the first place is silly enough, but the strong reactions and discussion sparked by the Post-Gazette's article are beyond ridiculous. Of course Crosby should skip the line at the DMV. But, also, of course there are going to be people who disapprove because they just spent five hours doing the same thing.
Normally Crosby's every move and tick is watched with an intense fervor within the hockey world, but rarely does the scrutiny cross over into the mainstream like this. Such is the power of the DMV.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.