Big Lead Sports Bar

3/11/2010

STEIGERWALD RIPS BEN



John Steigerwald, aka "The Sports Grouch" (seriously, that what he goes by) has apparently started a new blog, called "Just Watch the Game". If his first post is any indication, this may be one to keep an eye on, because I've never heard a media member speak so candidly about Ben Roethlisberger. Witness:
First of all, none of this surprises me. Ben is a bad citizen. He doesn’t know how to treat people and he definitely doesn’t know how to handle being the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers. In my more than 30 years of working in the Pittsburgh sports media, I have never had any player come close to generating as many unsolicited questions from fans as Roethlisberger has. They want to know why he’s such a jackass. And these aren’t just Steelers fans who got turned down for an autograph. It’s men and women from all walks of life.
OK, that was a pretty brutal start. But wait, there's more...
A couple of years ago I heard from a woman who said that Roethlisberger blew off a Make-A-Wish kid. When KDKA-TVs News Director, John Verrilli, was shown the email, he made it clear that it was a story that his news department would not be pursuing. I eventually got in contact with the parents of the little girl who the jackass snubbed. They said the story was true but they didn’t want to go public with it for their daughter’s sake. The little girl had cystic fibrosis. As I said, Bad citizen who needs a comeuppance.
For a variety of reasons, Roethlisberger seems to have made a lot of enemies in and around Pittsburgh, especially considering he's brought the city two titles. Judging from the emails I receive, it seems like a lot of people have had some sort of brush with the QB, and not a lot of them are positive. And for the record, I don't think Roethlisberger (or any other celebrity) owes every single person an autograph and/or photo every time he leaves his house, so I immediately disregard any of those.

But bringing all this up now is rather convenient, and a bit of kicking a person when he is down. The Pittsburgh media has largely tiptoed around the team over the years, with examples too numerous to get into (although one was just mentioned by Steigerwald above). It will be very interesting to see the dynamic between outlets desperate for eyeballs in the TMZ era (for instance, TV stations snooping around Roethlisberger's Georgia neighborhood) and their respective relationships with the Steelers going forward.

Just Watch the Game [Justwatchthegame.com]

Email: Mondesishouse@gmail.com Twitter: twitter.com/mondesishouse Facebook: Facebook Group

15 comments:

SantoGold said...

The personal negativity coming out about Ben right now does seem to be overboard. No one seemed to mind his apparant cocky frat-boy persona right after SB43.

Still, I like Steigerwald and am looking forward to his bloggings. As a local sports "insider" for all these years, I like the insight he will bring coupled with not bowing to too many sacred cows.

Anthony said...

god almighty...if you rode Bens joke any harder...the cops could get the DNA evidence they need from your "parts unknown"

Anthony said...

crap....I meant jock...stupid typo's when I feel I have a zinger....

Koz said...

I wonder how long it will be before Mark Madden rips Steigerwald in defense of his buddy Ben.

Koz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
the nigerian nightmare said...

I tend to believe this. My cousin is a sports anchor out west and interviewed Ben during one of those celebrity golf tournaments, and said he was by far the biggest asshole he's ever interviewed. Additionally, I have a friend who worked with the Steelers in a position where he had a lot of contact with the media and the players, who also claims Ben was one of the biggest douches he's ever met.

I've never been a huge fan of Ben the person because of stories like this.

BAMAQT said...

Everyday this mess gets crazier and crazier. I wish the Georgia authorities would have a press conference already.

It is splitting Steeler Nation apart.

SantoGold said...

Wonder what Mark Madden would be saying if this was Hines Ward instead of Ben?

Scott said...

I pretty much defend Ben to the death, I mean he won two super bowls and passed for 503 yards in one game, but if this make-a-wish thing is true that is a new low. In my opinion, this is worse than the sexual assault allegations......if true

Chip said...

I'm not going to pile on Ben because I've already said my piece on him and I'll leave it at that.

What I will say is Mondesi is showing a very naive attitude toward how the media operates (especially the Steelers worshiping media here in Pittsburgh).

Reporters and sportscasters know all kinds of things about players. When the Tiger Woods story broke, I read a number of articles where it was said that Tiger's rep as "a player" was joked about in hushed tones by those who are close to the PGA Tour. Nobody was going to say anything because he was the Golden Boy.

Same with Ben. I'm sure Stan Savran, Bob Pompenii, Steigy, Ed Bouchette, etc all have tons of stories on Ben (and many other Steelers). They just don't report them because doing so would likely mean Ben never talks to them again. You can't alienate those you cover for a living. So you protect their secrets.

Now that Ben's ship is rapidly sinking, media members are jumping off. If it gets worse for Ben, I guarantee you'll start hearing more stories like this from other media members. Just not Mark Madden. Because I'm guessing he's going down with the Titanic on this one.

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

I have heard some stories about how big a D-bag Ben has been. From refusing service from a waitress at Chili's who wasn't willing to sleep with him, trying to talk his way out of a $10 cover charge at Cabana Bar and some I won't relay because they were from a friend of a friend of a friend type of deal.

Overall, while those things dont paint the best picture, they don't really matter that much. If he did shove down a girl who refused to give him sex and she injured her head, that is a different story. It would almost certainly validate most of the unsavory stories each of us have heard and wanted to discount entirely.

The dude is a gifted QB and a winner, but his devil may care attitude was going to eventually catch up with him.

I agree with above posts, I am sure Mark Madden will justify all of this. He is a misogynist and has a very dim view of women. Maybe this is why he empathizes with Ben, no matter how highly they think of themselves, they still can't get any woman they want. I doubt any woman has ever willingly fornicated with Mark Madden without some sort of compensation.

Corey said...

remember the shaq vs. ben thing? ...ben ran by all the little chearleaders who waited all day to meet him and shaq came out and shook every single one of the little kids' hands, individually...

Nate said...

Honestly, I don't care whether he's a nice guy or not. Believe it or not, most athletes are complete dicks.

I live in Indiana, and while Peyton Manning might seem so nice while the cameras are on him, trust me, that dude is a class A jerk. How many stories have each of us heard about how Michael Jordan was a jerk when the media wasn't around? I don't root for athletes as human beings, I root for them as athletes.

If the sexual assault thing is true, that's where I draw the line, and I'm done with Roethlisberger. But if it's not and all we have are "he didn't sign my autograph! Waaah! And he was mean to me!" stories...yeah, I don't care at all.

jmarinara said...

Ok, Ben should have made the make-a-wish appearance thing. If he just "blew it off" then, yeah, that's a bad thing to do. Still, I wonder, did he just "blow it off" or did he have something else come up or whatever? Do we know? No, and this titillating new blog of Steigerwald isn't going to tell us either.

If it can be proved that Ben sexually assualted someone, then he should go to prison and be cut from the Steelers. If it can't be proved, then the rest of us should shut up about the non-story that it is.

If he didn't sign your autograph, take a picture with you, say hello to your grandma, et. al., then you should be slapped for A) Believing he owed you that to begin with B) Wasting our time with such a self-centered and ridiculous story and C) Making it such a big part of your life to begin with.

BTW: Sidney Crosby is such a special player because, well, he's a special player. Not everyone can be him. (Watch, someone will accuse something about Sid now)

David said...

That page on his blog seems to have disappeared. However, it lives on in the numerous blogs that copied and pasted it, such as this place. Interesting. Maybe he has that page down for maintenance, but I doubt it.