Most would honestly prefer that ESPN and other outlets that broadcast sports didn’t even attempt to provide a semblance of balance to their coverage of players or teams or individuals who have something resembling a chess past. Just be the bullhorn for the league you’re in bed with, because we know you are anyway. Any attempt to address sensitive issues is always so reckless that it makes matters worse.
Because it gives us uncomfortable moments, if not worthy of vomit, like last night’s dry four-hour wave of a tribute to Ben Roethlisberger, where Brian Griese refers to his past of having “made mistakes”. That’s all they’ve said about Roethlisberger being a piece of shit. Instead, we were treated with slobbering montages and crowd shots of signs for Roethlisberger, held by people who probably should be caged by society for the good of us all.
Roethlisberger did not “make mistakes”. We can’t rely on NFL partners to provide effective balance, so it’s up to us. Roethlisberger was twice accused of rape, and got the lightest suspension possible. He lost the same amount of games that Tom Brady did to get some air out of some soccer balls. There are a lot of mmineral stories out there on Roethlisberger who is a swamp-grown worm.
And even if you get over it and can’t, this is the fool who broke his face riding without a helmet, and then I was captured do it again after his accident. It’s the same Roethlisberger who has held the Steelers hostage for at least three seasons with his shit game and his inability to throw the ball farther than you can piss and his Favre-esque autodrama about whether or not he’s going to retire.
It is simply what people hate about sports and the NFL in particular. His alleged crimes, gross and hideous, were ignored because he could play at an All-Pro level for a pivotal franchise whose owners are revered for being old. And broadcasters would rather we forget all of that as they fill the league with billions, or make the slightest hint of terrible deeds to still barely grasp the label of being a news organization or journalistic entity.
I hope that tomorrow Roethlisberger will go at sunset on his motorcycle without a helmet, in a gorge full of hungry badgers. That’s what he deserves. And there are far more fans who think so than there are openly crying in an Iron City right now. This is balance.