With friends like these.

The New York Times basically took Sports Illustrated‘s Ben Roethlisberger expose, reworded it, interviewed new “friends” and entitled it “Ben Roethlisberger’s Journey to Notoriety.”

You guys know that I have never been shy about my dislike of Ben. I’ve always been a critic. I’m just a blogger. I’ve never met Ben. He most likely does not know that I exist. I feel comfortable expressing my opinion of him and trying to do it in an entertaining way.

Yet, when Sports Illustrated approached me for an interview about Ben for their expose, I turned them down. I already told you this, but my gut said not to do it. It seemed like piling on, you know? And I didn’t want to pile on in such a negative, national kind of way.

So color me flabbergasted that between Sports Illustrated and now the New York Times, that so many of Ben’s old friends and aquaintances seemed to jump at the chance to talk negatively on the record about Ben.

I get it. He’s a jerk. Was a jerk. Remains a jerk. He has big personality problems. He might be sexually aggressive. But is it necessary for the people that knew him to continue illustrating all the ways he was, is, and remains a jerk?

What do they gain from this? What do they HAVE to gain?

I mean, I’m a blogger who had a lot to gain if I spoke to Sports Illustrated. Readership, sponsors, page hits, etc. I’ve never met the guy and I still said no. Yet here are all of these so-called friends and acquaintances¬† of Ben’s, who knew him, who know him, who had/have intimate knowledge of his personal life, and with nothing to gain, they had no qualms about dishing to the New York Times about him after the Sports Illustrated piece already hit months ago.

It just seems so pathetic.

[shrug]

There is a world of difference between a random reader who has never met me, speaking negatively about me to the press, versus, I don’t know, a friend from college doing it all, “OMG. I thought I knew her but she turned into such an egotistical bitch.”

One of those, you can brush off as coming with the territory. The other, is just plain unnecessary.

I checked twitter to see how others were reacting to this article, and I couldn’t find anyone that expressed a sentiment similar to mine.

What do you guys think? Kick him while he’s down and burn him in the media, or leave him where he lays, at rock bottom, still trying to pick himself up?

I vote the latter.

(h/t @observacious)





60 Comments


  1. Ben
    August 2, 2010 6:38 am

    I have to agree with you, let him remain where he is and lets see what he can do. Will he transform his image and become a better person? Will all this off the field drama result in on the field problems for him and the Steelers? Did he finally learn his lesson? These are just some of the questions I have.

    I had a chance to meet him in person a few years back at a hockey game. I had a chance to sit in a corporate box that just happened to be next to the Box where Ben and some other players were sitting watching the game. He and I talked for a few minutes and in the end he got me a beer. Does this make him some sort of hero? No, but it goes to show that even if he is/was a jerk he has the chance to be the guy that Pittsburgh want to see. We all know the image the owners of the team try to maintain of the team and the players that wear the uniform. We hold these players to a very high standard and I think that is a good thing. People, young and old, look up to these players. My hope is now that Ben as come to this point in his life he decides to turn it around.



  2. calipanthergrl
    August 2, 2010 1:33 pm

    A shame … I normally really like Pete Thamel’s work. My only thought after reading the NYT’s piece, however, was where is Tad’s on East Carson??



  3. Lauren
    August 2, 2010 2:12 pm

    I think the reason you still see articles like this is that everyone that is not in Pittsburgh or a Steelers fan is enjoying seeing the vaunted team fall from grace, through its quarterback. The Steelers (or, more appropriately, their fans) have always looked down at teams like Dallas and Baltimore because they have thugs on their teams. The Steelers were “better” than that. Now, they’re not. The NYT readership is primarily New York, Jersey, and to a lesser extent, the D.C. area. Those teams’ fans are loving it. It sells copies. End of story.



  4. Pa-pop
    August 2, 2010 2:47 pm

    #15 Allison: The “woman who spoke on condition of anonymity” is most likely LPGA golfer Natalie Gulbis. She and Ben dated for a brief while early in his Steeler career.



  5. H
    August 2, 2010 3:11 pm

    @ Pa-pop
    I doubt it was Natalie. She went golfing with Ben before the U.S. Women’s Open last month and even talked to the media about doing so before one of her practice rounds.



  6. NW PA Joe
    August 2, 2010 6:56 pm

    I am a little disappointed. There was an article in the PG (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10213/1076855-66.stm) about Skippy Skeeve crying about not getting a long-term contract and you haven’t posted a rant about it.



  7. Trish
    August 2, 2010 8:24 pm

    @Pa-pop–it was probably Missy Peregrym, who’s currently on the ABC series “Rookie Blue” and who’s been the only woman pictured with and mentioned with Ben about them dating (he waffled BIG TIME about Natalie Gulbis) since his pro career began. Much was made of the fact that she’s the daughter of a minister and Ben’s minions were freaking out that he’d marry her.



  8. ka-ching
    August 2, 2010 11:14 pm

    Wow- everybody still wants to know about the girlfriends? All hell is breaking loose on other sites since it was mentioned in the paper that Ben has a new girlfriend. is that a good thing or just another public relations ploy?



  9. Deby
    August 3, 2010 9:16 am

    I too agree that you did the right thing. And – I may have already said this, back when the SI article broke – but it makes me wonder just HOW MANY of these so-called “friends” of Roethlisberger’s were his guests, enjoyed his hospitality (by which, of course, I mean ENJOYED SPENDING HIS MONEY) but now? Pathetic.

    I don’t think he gets a free ride. I’ve said many, MANY times – about people like Plex and Porter – that they need to remember that they play for THE STEELERS, as in the Rooneys & the Mean Joe Greene/Coke commercial Steelers.

    As someone who has royally effed up her own life in some ways, and who has been given some second chances – and not – I’d love to see Roethlisberger pull it together. Early on, I thought that he was a credit to the team, and not just because of his athletic prowess. So…yeah, I’ll be rooting for him come football season, but more than that, I’m crossing my fingers that he GETS IT this time. The great majority of us are not public figures, and we wouldn’t want to be judged on one or two incidents alone. Again…I’m not saying that he’s undeserving of the criticism. I just hope that he, and all of those who feel qualified to judge everyone else, can find a perspective – IF he gets it together.



  10. SportyGal85
    August 4, 2010 9:04 am

    Hey Trish! I don’t think it was Missy; the timeline is off. I think it was the chick he took to the Ali event in 2006. I think she went to the President’s Correspondents’ dinner in ’06 with him too. I’m willing to bet money it was her b/c they were together until right after the 1st SB.

    Also, I’m not buying the new girlfriend thing. I’m sure he’s dated since GA happened, but you can bet his PR people put him up to mentioning this steady girlfriend who conveniently doesn’t live in Pittsburgh whom you will never see or hear about again once I come back and start winning games and you all forgive me and start buying un-customized #7 Steeler jerseys again. Still, putting the girlfriend thing out there was smart on their part though.