Wednesday, May 05, 2010

It's No Real Pleasure in Life

This week's Sports Illustrated goes full-on Roethlisdämmerung. Now look, I've got no sympathy for Big Ben, who's clearly enough cornered himself into a small locked bathroom of his own making. But there's one claim in the article that it's important to defend him from:
"[The story reaches] deep into Milledgeville, the capital of Georgia during the Civil War--it was ransacked during Sherman's march--and ancestral home of the Southern writer Flannery O'Connor. One of her story collections is titled A Good Man Is Hard to Find, which might have served as the theme for Roethlisberger's night on the town."
Now come on. No one is condoning his moral actions, and we all know the man has to "grow up," but there is absolutely no forensic evidence that Big Ben and his entourage shot an entire family to death following their backwoods motorcar accident.

Actually, about the only thing that will make Ben look relatively good is measuring him against Flannery O'Connor–grade misbehavior. Your bad actors in A Good Man Is Hard to Find are up to a kind of no good that even Ben's got too much character to engage in. (Okay, maybe with the exception of posing as a Bible salesman to seduce a farm girl and steal her prosthetic leg.) In any case, the moral for sportswriters is: read the inside of the book you're name-dropping. And I guess the moral for Ben is: Drive slowly. The life you save could be your own.

Speaking of which, on a lighter note, the same article relates allegations that KDKA suppressed video footage of a helmetless, motorcycle-riding Roethlisberger flipping their cameramen the bird on I-376. In late 2006, months after his accident. It sounds almost too cartoonishly horrifying to be true, but, there you go.


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