Big Lead Sports Bar

5/04/2010

UPDATED: ROETHLISBERGER SUBJECT OF SI COVER STORY



The Ben Roethlisberger Character Assassination Tour has its next stop scheduled, and that comes on Wednesday, when he will cover Sports Illustrated.

The accompanying SI monstrosity/article, with a five-person byline, is "sure to go down as the definitive portrait of Big Ben," says Deadspin, as it features many stories that we've heard variations of time and time again.

The author of the Deadspin post (Barry Petchesky) makes an excellent observation about this upcoming story that I would've gladly mentioned myself if he hadn't said it so eloquently:
It's the nature of the business that the media will protect athletes, supposedly because there's something petty about reporting on their character off-the-field. Then why, after a big scandal, is it open season to dig up every little bit of dirt from their past? Wouldn't this SI story have been just as interesting, and a much better scoop, if it had run, say, a year ago? Aside from the Milledgeville incident, there's nothing that couldn't have been reported before.
I agree 1000%. It's as if media members were waiting for the perfect moment to collectively spill their guts with every negative Roethlisberger story they've ever witnessed or heard about, and if it hasn't reached the saturation point before this article, it sounds like it certainly will after we read the article. 

I think it's pretty clear that most football fans now have a general idea of how Roethlisberger conducts himself away from the field. In fact, I've heard so many of these stories that I can only hope he gets the help he needs to change his ways, because he clearly has some serious issues to work through. Listening to another 100 versions of how he mistreated someone in the South Side isn't going to change my mind at this point. In fact, I'd say minds are pretty much made up for most people on this topic, and when that is the case, that's when interest in this saga will finally start to subside.


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37 comments:

Get Fresh Designs said...

oh wah, some jock is an a-hole. who would have thought that ever.

/sarcasm

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

Mad props to whoever buys this one, frames it, and hangs it next to their other Steelers Sports Illustrateds.

Ray said...

Don't you know what this is all about? Getting Tiger Woods off the hook. The writers can't stand having to write negatively of Woods. Along comes Ben to give them someone else to focus on. It must have been driving them insane having to write about all those bad things Tiger has done.

AJ said...

Seems to me they enjoy piling on Tiger Woods as well. The dude went to a Nickelback concert and the press made it seem like he was there to bite the heads off of bats.

I just think everybody enjoys making fun of an a$$hole.

There have been plenty of stories in the past about Ben's treatment of the media and now the gloves are off. I'm not even sure we've seen the tip of the iceberg yet.

Nate said...

They go after Ben because Ben is a jerk to the media. I'd do the same thing if I were in their place. It's like that guy at work that just tries to one-up everything you do: you can't wait until he messes up so you can throw it right back at him.

That said, as long as no crime is committed, I don't care what he does off the field. I cheer the guy on as a football player, not as a role model. Anyone that makes their role model an athlete without knowing anything about what they're like off the field has some big priority issues in my eyes.

Chip said...

Nice to see Mondesi is back to protecting his hero. That only took about 2 weeks.

Anyway, the entire premise that "stories we heard 100x" is totally false. I have many friends who live in other cities and they had NO IDEA that Ben was such a dick. The national media has never cared about him beyond when they had to because the Steelers were in the Super Bowl. I think it's great that the rest of the country will finally be exposed to what a disgrace this man is and what a disgrace the Steelers franchise has become.

BURGH08 said...

They still publish Sports Illustrated?

nuthinhere said...

How is he protecting his "hero"??

Someone Somewhere said...

This just in: a LOT of athletes are dicks. Now, of course taking advantage of women is vile, pathetic and absolutely inexcusable...but I really could care less if the dude is a total douchebag at the local watering hole. Last time I checked his job wasn't to be best friends with people.

RAWsvc34 said...

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1169185/index.htm

expectingrain said...

Ben is a piece of garbage and needs to be traded ASAP. Did you notice that not a single writer anywhere in Pittsburgh had something nice to say about him? Every story had an anecdote of him being a jerk. The Steelers are a class organization and don't need to win with people like him. I've watched the Steelers my entire life but I won't watch a game he plays in.

okel dokel said...

@expecting rain - I guess you will not be watching Steeler games for quite a few years.

Guess what douche - you are not a fan then. Ben is one person on the team.

I cheer for the team not the individuals.

Chip said...

Can we please stop with the "you're not a real fan" garbage? Just because you stole a Myron Cope quote for a screen name doesn't make you the official judge of who is and who isn't "a real fan."

I'm sure there are a many women, men with daughters, good honest people, etc who will be very uncomfortable with cheering for Ben to succeed knowing what a horrible douchebag he is. That doesn't make them any less of a fan than you are. It just means they have a lot more character.

Ray said...

I understand expectingrain's anger and frustration. Indeed, I share it.

We fans too often put our sports teams and their players on far too high a pedestal. They are, after all, only human. Then, when they do run afoul of the law or, as in Ben's case, common decency, we feel we have been kicked hard in the gut.

That being said, to say the Roethlisberger situation is bad enough to basically boycott the team may be going too far in the opposite direction. When you have over 50 people comprising the roster, not everyone is going to be an angel. And, they are not all going to get along with each other like one big happy family.

The real tale of the tape will be how well whoever plays QB plays at the start of the upcoming season. If he has the Steelers off to a strong start and especially has the offense playing well, they will present a real dilemma for Tomlin and the front office. Do you dare risk destroying a good thing by putting Roethlisberger back in or do they stick with the hot hand.

Regardless of the situation, I suspect that the Steelers will be keeping their ear to the ground listening for any inkling of interest in Ben from another team. If one of the others does step up and seize the QB job with both hands, it will only make it easier to part with Ben if the offer is acceptable. Even if that does not happen, I would not be surprised if the Steelers let Ben go at the end of his contract unless, of course, he accomplishes a complete 180 on his image and as a teammate.

Corey said...

why does the cover make it look like he plays for the Raiders?

Corey said...

why does the cover make it look like he plays for the Raiders?

okel dokel said...

Chip, kiss my ass - you are the most sanctimonious commenter on here.

Perhaps I went a little overboard, but I am not arbiter of who can and cannot be a fan.

However, I do not consider you and expectingrain true fans by my definition. My opinion only.

I have said in the past I do not foresee Ben staying through the length of his contract. However, given the current labor situation and the amount of money he is owed I am doubtful a fiscally conservative franchise like the Steelers is going to overreact.

Frankly, if the Steelers get off to a good start without him my decision would be to let him sit. He no longer deserves to be automatically rewarded his job.

Jon said...

@ Chip

I agree that we need to stop the "true fan" Crap.

That being said, this cracked me up:

"It just means they have a lot more character."

Hah! This coming from the guy who is reveling in the demise of Ben and the Steelers. Kicking a man - and the team for that matter - while he's down doesn't show your good character. Your holier-than-thou stance comes off as disingenuous and smug. I wouldn't call those traits of good character.

Can we please stop bringing up people who have daughters. Having a daughter does not make you or anyone else any more of an authority on the matter.

Get Fresh Designs said...

I'd rather have Ben in there as QB when he's allowed to play again. Ben is a proven winner. bottom line. Batch is not. Leftwich is not. Dixon SHOULD be starting those games if he is to be the backup of the future. Give him the experience.

I'm so shocked that Ben used his fame to go out and get laid, I'm just shocked and can't believe he would go out and have sex with someones daughter like that. Every woman is someones daughter, so that means every model/cheerleader/stripper/random woman you ogle is someones daughter. your wife or girlfriend you get freaky with is someones daughter. that's a dumb analogy to use.

more than likely she regretted that she had sex with Ben in a bathroom, who wouldn't.

and there is no reason for Ben not to be a jerk to the media/fans. As soon as he does something wrong or the team loses a game it's his fault and will be burnt by the media/fans. it's very unlikely that a city is great to their QB for the length of their career.

everyone gets on Bettis like he won a ton of Super Bowls during his career, nope Bettis wanted to fumble it away. Ben saved his reputation.

Corey said...

"and there is no reason for Ben not to be a jerk to the media/fans"

that's just brilliant...

Nate said...

To quote Matt Bandi from Pittsburgh Lumber Co (via Twitter):

"So Roethlisberger is rude, arrogant, unconcerned with 20 year olds drinking booze, and enjoys sleeping with lots of young, intoxicated women? Nobody else has friends that fit that description?"

Jan said...

Since when does one guy make a franchise...Ben may be the quarterback but he is no Joe Namath or Brett Farve to this team. There are alot of stand up guys that bring pride to this Steeler organization that everyone is over looking:

Aaron Smith
Charlie Batch
Larry Foote (when he was here)
Troy Polamalu
Ryan Clark
Dan Sepulveda
James Farrior

I realize Ben is the most well known but Steeler nation knows these other guys. We won't be tarnished forever. I am not going to let A hole get me down.

Robert Ullman said...

I have a daughter, and if it'd been my kid in that restroom, I've already hired some guys to make sure a six-game suspension is the least of Ben's problems.

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

He's an arrogant, entitled jack@$$. I don't think anybody on here is going to argue with that.

I don't think that wanting the team to dump the moron for his trangressions or wanting the team to maintain status quo as a SB contender by keeping him makes or breaks fandom.

Some things aren't so black and white. To me, it matters how the players on the team I support beahve off of the field. I don't expect him to stand around and sign autographs for hours, but I do expect some level of propriety. Skipping out on bills and things of that nature show a lack of respect and maturity. Like I said, I don't think he needs to be a saint, but at least have some understanding of how lucky he is to be in his position.

Robert Ullman said...

BWBW is the voice of reason. Look, all kidding aside, I don't really care whether you cheer for the guy or not. I'm as big a Steelers fan there is, and I personally just can't justify backing this schlub. My friends tell me "Just wait til he starts throwing TDs again"...and I don't think that'll matter. For me, personally, this is bigger than rooting for a sports team. Yes, there were no charges, blah blah blah...There are seldom any charges against pro athletes. It certainly doesn't mean he's innocent.

As to the original post...well, maybe the media are piling on now. And tough shit. Roethlisberger brought it on himself. I don't feel the least bit sorry for him.

RickM said...

"To me, it matters how the players on the team I support beahve off of the field. I don't expect him to stand around and sign autographs for hours, but I do expect some level of propriety."

That's a pretty interesting statement Burress. I guess my question would be what about all the time and money Ben gives to charities? Does that not show some level of propriety? Does that not show maturity? Does donating $1000 to a police department negate skipping out on a $100 bar tab? Just asking. Not everything is black and white.

"Yes, there were no charges, blah blah blah...There are seldom any charges against pro athletes. It certainly doesn't mean he's innocent"

Sorry Mr Ullman, it is not just blah blah blah... The second worst thing a man can be accused is rape. Ben will now be labeled a rapist because a girl made that accusation and wasn't compelled to follow-up on it. If that DA believed he raped her, he could have arrested Ben even if he didn't think he could get a conviction. He could have made the arrest based purely on the lies of the accusser and her friend.

Just because the media has decided that someone is guilty doesn't mean that they are not innocent.

RickM said...

That SI article is nothing but a slanted, disgusting hit piece. It's so obvious the writers had decided on the narrative they wanted before doing the article and they found stories to fit that narrative. Most of the article is heresay and third part allegations. I mean "Craig"? C'mon. And the facts that are there are not new. I wonder if the writers even bothered to interview people from the police or fire departments Ben donates to? Or the charities he gives his time and money to? I doubt because it would not fit the narrative.

As for the KDKA tape, if it did in fact exist, it would have got out somehow. In this day and age, everything gets out there. I think the whole KDKA tape thing is bullshit. I Pittsburgh Urban Legend.

Erin said...

Speaking of which...

KDKA and the Roethlisberger mystery tape

In a new Sports Illustrated cover story, the magazine suggests KDKA-TV sat on video of Ben Roethlisberger riding a motorcycle without a helmet a few months after his motorcycle accident for fear of damaging its relationship with the Steelers. (KDKA has a marketing partnership with the Steelers and often features segments with Steelers players during KDKA newscasts during the NFL season).

KDKA general manager Chris Pike also said he was unaware of the tape and did not see the tape.

"Both the news director at the time, John Verrilli and assistant news director Anne Lineaberger, both people of impeccable integrity and people I trust, say they're not aware of the existence of a tape and they never saw the tape," Pike said.

I suppose it's possible the tape exists and someone lower down the station pecking order put the kibosh on airing the tape. But if you look at the rest of KDKA's coverage of the Roethlisberger scandal, it has not felt to me like Channel 2 pulled punches in an effort to curry favor with the Steelers organization. They sent reporters to Georgia on several occasions and the story was all over KDKA newscasts.

"It's sort of ironic that national websites like ESPN or Sports Illustrated were quoting KDKA reports on the story as it was breaking ... and then they would raise this," Pike said. "We've covered this story and Santonio going back to when he was drafted, Jeff Reed's incidents. I'm absoutely comfortable we cover it as it's newsworthy."

http://community.post-gazette.com/blogs/tunedin/archive/2010/05/05/kdka-and-the-roethlisberger-mystery-tape.aspx

Jeff_King_Fan said...

the bottom line is that everyone will be rooting for him if he wins. if pittsburgh gets back to the super bowl this year, & ben is the qb, all of you will do a 180. he wins, and people will come out and say, "look how he's cleaned up his act. he is truly sorry, i'll forgive him." dont kid yourselves. to be fair, i may be guilty of it too. i have been a staunch ben defender for his play on the field, and i know i will continue to be so. we are all living in the moment. all he has to do is win and everyone will put him right back on this pedastal.

BURGH08 said...

Jeff King has it dead on in my opinion. They said the same thing about Santonio when he made the catch in XLIII. Nobody was bringing up his suspension from Tomlin against the Giants, and those that were used the 'look how he cleaned himself up' stuff.

I'm a Ben fan of his play on the field, and think he is a jackass off of it. For me, I can separate the two. Just like I did when Barry Bonds played here, and just like I did when Tom Barrasso.

I don't feel sorry for him either for the SI article or the piling on either, but let's face it: Sports Illustrated NEEDS stories like this to stay relevant in this media age.

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

Let me get this straight; if you donate money to charity, that gives you the right to stiff the service industry? I'd like to see that stand up in court.....

Do NFL players have mandates in their contract that they donate so much time/money to charities? I don't know this answer, thus I am asking.

Ray said...

I heard recently that Tiger Woods allegedly only entered into his charitable activities--his foundation and such--at the insistence of his advisers and not out of his own "good will" or sincerity. Whether this is just an allegation by someone to "pile on" a prominent person who has fallen on bad times or not, I cannot say. I only provide this as a caution to consider that Ben's charitable activities may need to be taken with a grain of salt as well. We may never know just how "charitable" people like Ben and Tiger really are.

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

Well, it's difficult to determine whether Ben was giving or receiving in GA.

Look, it would be difficult to deny that the SI article is little more than a kick square in Ben's beanbag. After I finished it, I had to look back at it to make sure I didn't skip over an excerpt detailing Ben giving his kindergarten classmates wedgies or stealing their bikes.

I just wonder how far into the background of the next fallen superstar SI will go?

Nick said...

Quoting Jan's post:
"Since when does one guy make a franchise...Ben may be the quarterback but he is no Joe Namath or Brett Farve to this team. There are alot of stand up guys that bring pride to this Steeler organization that everyone is over looking:

Aaron Smith
Charlie Batch
Larry Foote (when he was here)
Troy Polamalu
Ryan Clark
Dan Sepulveda
James Farrior

I realize Ben is the most well known but Steeler nation knows these other guys. We won't be tarnished forever. I am not going to let A hole get me down."



-----------------------

Jan, I notice you include Charlie Batch as one of your "stand up guys" but you diss Ben. Doesn't Batch's past rape accusation bother you? Or didn't you know?

The fact is that unless you know any of these guys personally (and most of us don't) then we can't judge their character. We can only judge them by how they perform on the field. Anyone who wants to judge a player's character by how they are portrayed by the media (especially an old, crusty bitter media like Pittsburgh's) is an idiot.

I like watching Roethlisberger play. I haven't seen a more exciting football player ever. I hope we get to see many more years of him winning in a Steelers uniform.

Nick said...

Quoting Robert Ullman:
I have a daughter, and if it'd been my kid in that restroom, I've already hired some guys to make sure a six-game suspension is the least of Ben's problems.

--------------------

You mean like a lawyer? The Georgia girl already did that. Going to be pretty difficult to proceed with a civil case though given the facts. Or maybe the lawyer was meant to protect her because of the underage drinking and potentially false police report?

I have two daughters too. I think they're smart enough not to get stupid drunk and throw themselves at guys while sporting DTF nametags.

Nick said...

"We may never know just how "charitable" people like Ben and Tiger really are."

---------------

That's because the recent story from Fox Sports about Ben's years of charity work with Make-a-Wish and Ronald McDonald House was pretty much ignored by all the media outlets who are determined to keep the "Ben is evil" bandwagon rolling.

I guess the SI story about the tatooed bus driver, the phantom motorcycle video and the owner of a bar that has been cited many times for being unsafe and unhealthy is far more interesting.

Ray said...

"That's because the recent story from Fox Sports about Ben's years of charity work with Make-a-Wish and Ronald McDonald House was pretty much ignored by all the media outlets who are determined to keep the "Ben is evil" bandwagon rolling.

I guess the SI story about the tatooed bus driver, the phantom motorcycle video and the owner of a bar that has been cited many times for being unsafe and unhealthy is far more interesting."

If, IF, this is, indeed, true, then it would tend to support my contention that the news media is using Ben as an excuse to turn away from reporting on Tiger's bad behavior. By going after Ben like this, they can thump their chests and say they are being "good journalists" without having to contend with their internal conundrum of being critical of someone like Tiger, an African-American succeeding at the rich white man's game.