Cognition & Reality

Monday, 24 January 2011

Roethlisberger Revisited

Filed under: Uncategorized — drtone @ 2:18 pm

At the beginning of the NFL season, I posted regarding Commissioner Roger Goodell’s reduction of the suspension he had handed out to Ben Roethlisberger, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback, for having raped a woman in Georgia. I joined the chorus complaining that Roethlisberger, his wealth and fame  standing between him and the prison sentence that any other man would serve for the same crime, should receive a year’s suspension from play, if not outright banishment from the league. There seems to be little question that he did rape the woman, and that he has raped other women. The man fairly glows narcissistic contempt for the world at large, and it seems likely that, his present reformed demeanor notwithstanding, he will rape again. The NFL, in its constant effort to generate new and higher forms of hypocrisy, has typically overlooked the facts, and has let him play because of his rare talents. I should add that in the game the Steelers won last week they faced  the Baltimore Ravens, led by Ray Lewis, among the greatest linebackers ever, and a murderer.

As of yesterday’s games, the Steelers will face the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl, and Roethlisberger’s excellent play is certainly a major factor in his team’s success. Although he’s not considered to be quite as good as the Packers’ QB, Aaron Rodgers, Roethlisberger gives his team, which is built around running, what it needs: his ability to maneuver, despite his exceptional size, and his toughness, an object of great respect in football circles. Not long after his suspension ended, Roethlisberger fucked up one of his ankles, and has played ever since wearing a specially constructed boot. There is nothing–nothing!–football people (and other “athletic supporters”) like better than a guy who plays in obvious pain; if he is also extraordinarily talented, that’s merely icing on the cake. Therefore, and on account of his team’s having matriculated all the way to final game, Roethlisberger has gone from being something of a pariah when he returned from his suspension, to becoming once again one of the game’s most admired players. To me, he remains a rapist who should be locked up instead of being celebrated and paid truckloads of money.

I don’t pretend to be an expert and I’m not a gambling man, but if I did gamble, I’d put my money on the Steelers to win the Super Bowl, not least because of Roethlisberger’s ability to make the big play. Almost every season, I ask myself why I continue to watch this weird game, seemingly designed to produce horrible injuries and to promote bad behavior, both on and off the field. In spite of my disgust for the game’s extravagant hypocrisy, and in spite of my disdain for the awe-inspiring stupidity and waste of the Super Bowl, I remain a fan.

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