So after not one but two Roethlisberger alleged rapes, we begin to her about Bar Room ben, the town hound dawg and bar room blowhard.
A few months after the accident, a reporter and a cameraman for KDKA-TV, the CBS affiliate that broadcasts Steelers games, were driving on I-376 in Pittsburgh when they saw two men on motorcycles and recognized one as Roethlisberger, who was not wearing a helmet. They began shooting footage, which showed Roethlisberger giving them the finger as he sped away, but the video never aired. The station’s news director at the time, John Verrilli, and its current assistant news director, Anne Linaberger, deny that any such tape existed, but several people who saw the video gave SI similar accounts of the tape; sources believe the story was killed out of fear that it would damage KDKA’s relationship with the Steelers. “If we had been the other affiliate [which doesn’t broadcast the games],” says one of the people who saw the tape, “it would have been A-1 news.” (A neighbor who lives near Roethlisberger in a tony section of Gibsonia, Pa., but did not want to be named has also seen the quarterback on his motorcycle. “I’ve never seen him with a helmet,” the neighbor said.)
The sports press, irresponsibly and predictably, still does defer to athletes like the old days, but today its for the lucrative deals the stations have as broadcasters of sports programming with the franchises they cover. Don’t assume that your favorite athlete is a rapist at worst, hound dawg at best like Roethlisberger. Just assume there is more to them then their funny commercials or heroic last minute scores. Steelers fans are really upset about Roethlisberger and who he seems to be after all the truth came out. All of these sudden Roethlisberger truths remind me of Curt Schilling’s childish chest beating as the truth about steroids and MLB unfolded. Schilling argued that stats and awards should be vacated for the sanctity of baseball.
Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling called on Roger Clemens to give up the four Cy Young Awards he’s won since 1997 if he can’t clear his name from allegations that he used steroids to prolong and enhance his career.
“If he doesn’t do that then there aren’t many options as a fan for me other than to believe his career 192 wins and three Cy Youngs he won prior to 1997 were the end,” Schilling wrote Wednesday in his blog, 38pitches.com. “From that point on the numbers were attained through using (performance-enhancing drugs). Just like I stated about Jose (Canseco), if that is the case with Roger, the four Cy Youngs should go to the rightful winners, and the numbers should go away if he cannot refute the accusations.”
Then Schilling found out Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, his Red Sox teammates, were on the 2003 doping list and all of a sudden, Schilling wasn’t so bully about chopping the Manny and Ortiz records and numbers out of the books. Those two powered the team during their runs to the 2004 and 2007 titles. Schilling also proclaimed that everyone had a sixth sense regarding steroid users. Schilling claimed it was clear that you could look at someone and “tell” who was juicing. Well Ortiz had a classic juicer stat line, going from throw away to Big Papi and back to Ortiz again and Ramirez, a better hitter, was caught again in 2009 using a woman’s fertility drug used as a masking agent by steroid users. Schilling clearly loved those championship teams, and said Ortiz was his personal friend so maybe that explains why his tune was a bit different for his old teammates.
Should any of David’s subsequent accomplishments be judged by this?
That’s for you to decide. It seems to be an area of immense debate, but I am not sure how this could/should/will be resolved. Whatever you do you need to do it for anyone now, and if you do do something, make sure there is some detriment for anyone caught going forward. Given that so many people live on their accomplishments or stats, taking one or both away would be a decent way to deter some guys, I think.
Should any of the Sox’ accomplishments in ‘04 or ‘07 be judged differently because of this?
This makes me laugh. I have already seen the bandwagon fans start the *04 and *07 threads and remarks, people with teams who are far deeper into this than most other teams — as if this makes it all OK. Every team going back 10-15 years needs an * if you want to consider giving it to anyone. The hard part is that it’s turning into a situation where we are seeing every single GREAT player in the past 10 years caught, and they’re dragging what we thought were the majority, and are now turning into the minority, down with them.
We aren’t the only ones sold on overriding virtue of man borne of athletic excellence, but teammates and fans alike should be wary. Alyssa Rosenberg thinks we should love them anyway.
It all went to hell, of course. Shaughnessy is right that the 2004 split was dreadful, though he’s wrong that we shouldn’t forgive, and seek reconciliation. But that’s what growing up is. The people you love most hurt you worst. Promising careers get destroyed by injury rumored to be caused by steroid use, or at least overtraining. But athletes are perhaps the best training for a mature kind of love. You start out blind, you learn to see, and you have to figure out how to adore them even after your vision has cleared.
I would disagree that loving athletes is training for any kind of maturity in love. It is training to love as a fool. The only thing you should love about athletes, unless you are personally linked to one of them, are their great moments in the games the play. Not what you want to love in addition to that: not the storybook life, not some storied work ethic that produced the championship season, not the press conferences full of swagger and definitely not the promises made to fans of “returns to glory”. Just the moments. If you try and love anything more about sports, your vision may never be cleared and even if everything is plain as day, you’ll just prefer to see the athletes you love as a person that deserves the affection. And that will just make you a hypocrite or a fool. Just ask Schilling.