D-Day has arrived for Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers. When the team set down on godforsaken Texas soil to a raucous greeting from Steeler Nation, Super Bowl week had officially begun. And the signature event of any Super Bowl week is the circus known as Media Day. Sometime later this afternoon, every Steeler will have a microphone thrust in front of him by garbage picking paparazzi and tight-jeaned bimbos from TV Azteca.
Naturally, the person everybody will want to speak with is Big Ben. And you know some idiot will attempt to garner a name for themselves and their bottom-feeding website at his expense. Every Super Bowl needs a storyline and since the Green Bay Packers treating their injured players like trash is rather boring, the big story will undoubtedly be Ben Roethlisberger.
If (actually, more like when since it’s inevitable) some tool ambushes Ben at Media Day, I’m going to try my best to ignore it. These kind of ignorant self-important people aren’t worth my time nor Ben’s nor Steeler Nation’s. For an example of the kind of vile close-minded nonsense you’re likely to read, you need look no further than this article by Buzz Bissinger.
Buzz is the author “Friday Night Lights” (the movie, not the awesome television series). He’s one of those cranky old coots who smugly acts superior to others by virtue of his career accomplishments as if writing a bestselling novel gives one license to be a dick. He’s your typical elitist snob who was born on third base but thinks he hit a triple. All you need to know about his world view is he’s right, you’re wrong, and facts, proof, and educated opinion hold no sway.
But it was the television shot of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on the sidelines that interested me the most. It was all in the eyes, unmoving, not even a single blink, aimed at a faraway distance only he could see.
And from that shot, Buzz concluded Ben was guilty of sexual assault. See, a former prosecutor once told him sexual predators have a cold unwavering stare so from a 10 second sideline shot, he was able to gaze deep within Ben’s soul and divine the truth. Man, that grandstanding DA down in Georgia must be an imbecile. How could he not prove with facts and evidence what Buzz was able to see with his Penance Stare?
His concluding statement was even more fascinating. Buzz is known for an infamous appearance on HBO’s Bob Costas show where he went on a long mean-spirited and ill-informed rant on blogs and bloggers. The crux of his argument was bloggers often make extreme statements and reach ill-informed conclusions because they don’t follow any standards of journalistic ethics. Kinda like concluding Ben is guilty of sexual assault because his eyes told you so?
But maybe time has come to let bygones be bygones. Maybe Big Ben is a different Big Ben. So good luck in Super Bowl XLV.
May the Packers break your legs on the first series of downs.
Oh yeah, that’s not extreme and irresponsible at all, Buzz. Nice to know his private school upbringing and Ivy League education has put him so far above us lowly bloggers. Ill-informed conclusion? Check. Outrageous statements for effect? Check. Then again, the guy spent a lot of time in Philly which is guaranteed to kill most of your brain cells.
Unfortunately, Buzz is not alone on the “Get Ben,” bandwagon. SI’s Peter King in his weekly column revealed the “shocking” scoop that Roger Goodell said none of Ben’s teammates spoke highly of him when he was deciding on a suspension. I put shocking in quotes because this is what King said Goodell had told him:
[I talked to] I bet two dozen [Steelers] players, and not one, not a single player, went to his defense. I wasn’t personal in a sense, but all kinds of stories like, ‘He wouldn’t sign my jersey.’ “
Pretty damning, huh? NONE OF BEN’S TEAMMATES LIKE HIM! HE’S A TURRIBLE TURRIBLE PERSON! BOO!
Except the Ginger Dictator said nothing of the sort. He said he talked to two dozen players and King just assumed he meant Steeler players. And we all know what happens when we assume, don’t we? It makes an ass of you and Peter King.
When Ben’s cherished teammates were predictably outraged by this misrepresentation, Ginger immediately clarified, forcing King to retract his slanderous remarks. It also came out this interview was done OVER A MONTH AGO. Why is King rolling these comments out now when they would’ve been newsworthy, oh, say, when he originally did the interview?
Two guesses. It’s simply yet another example of the media’s never-ending quest to assassinate the Steelers in general and Big Ben in particular. He didn’t sign your jersey? What are you, six? If I were a superstar quarterback and some nobody from the Bengals came around asking me to sign crap for him, I’d tell him to beat it too. Granted, Ben was far from the model teammate (which I’ve pointed out on numerous occasions) but as James Farrior said, “I definitely didn’t think he should be suspended for four games.” No logical thinking adult, except perhaps Buzz Bissinger and obtuse individuals of his ilk, thought Ben should be suspended for one minute of action. The fact that he accepted such an unfair and unjustified punishment speaks volumes about his willingness to sacrifice in order to protect the shield.
If you peruse the four letter, P-G, Trib, SI, or simply search for Ben Roethlisberger news later today, don’t be surprised if you read about somebody going after our beloved quarterback. The media is on this story like a dog on a bone and they’ll continue frothing at the mouth until the ball is kicked off on Sunday. Pittsburghers are people of strong moral fiber and impeccable character. We care about our city and each other. We don’t stab, shoot, and rob each other like they do in Philly or Baltimore. More to the point, we understand the value of forgiveness. Hold your heads high, Steeler Nation, for we, like Ben, will get through this only to be rewarded in five short days.
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