*This is based on my own observations and may not reflect what a professional brewer will tell you about cold crashing.
My understanding is that it is only cold crashing if it happens before bottling. This is important for two reasons: 1. you lower the temperature significantly lower than you would by simply putting it in the refrigerator and 2. you end up with less trub at the bottom of your bottles. By cold crashing to a lower temperature (around 32 degrees Fahrenheit) you remove significantly more stuff that is floating in your beer (excess yeast, proteins, etc.). This is important because it results in less sediment at the bottom of a carbonated bottle. When there is more sediment at the bottom of a bottle it inevitably gets stirred up by the bubbles resulting in a cloudier beer which also has a more "green" flavor to it.
I drink not simply because I enjoy it, but because it tempers my disdain for modernity and the general human condition