RAPISTBERGER.

The Superficial / October 17, 2010

(WARNING: What’s about to happen here is tantamount to walking into a cathedral and urinating in the holy water. In fact, it might even be worse than that considering if one was forced to choose the most dominant and pervasive religion in America, it’d literally come down to a coin toss between Christianity and the NFL that would leave even the Pope saying, “I’sa a don’ta knowa!” Which would be weird considering all that time he grew up in Germany and used to be a Nazi. Anyway…)

As I’m writing this, the Pittsburgh vs. Cleveland game heralding the return of Ben Roethlisberger after a four game suspension, he was reportedly greeted with a loud ovation, just started the second half – and I haven’t watched a single play. Mostly this has to do with the local CBS affiliate’s practice of airing the Baltimore Ravens despite being a Pennsylvania station. (You picked the wrong building, James Lee. — Too soon?) But as I’ve chronicled on Facebook, I’m having trouble getting it up this season for the Steelers which makes every single Cialis commercial feel like it’s aimed directly at me.

The problem? My quarterback’s a rapist. I’m sorry, “alleged rapist.”

If The Superficial is about anything, it’s about calling out celebrities and running counter-culture to the media machine and hero worship of people, just like you and I, who happen to have a lot more money and/or ridiculously good looks. (See: Blake Lively from the neck down.) It’d be disingenuous of me, or anyone, to sit here and demand Lindsay Lohan rot in a jail cell so she’ll stop snorting mountains of cocaine and running over strollers, only to turn around and give Ben Roethlisberger a pass because he throws a piece of leather with incredible precision. Granted, there’s no definitive account of what happen that night in Georgia, or the first alleged rape, it’s no secret large amounts of cash exchanged hands to keep both voices silent. Some might say this speaks to the truth of these women’s allegations, but I’d counter by saying I don’t think of any of us would know how to react should a life-changing amount of money present itself to us. Would you choose the gauntlet of the press or having all your financial hopes and dreams instantly satisfied? Regardless, something happened. Twice.

Now, here’s where I begin to take issue, especially with women and fathers with daughters: The mental gymnastics.

“Those girls had it coming. Twice.”
“They were just after his money. Twice.”
“SUPER BOWL RINGS, BABY! Twice.”

It was once said Kobe Bryant would be “judged on the court.” You think guys like Ben Roethlisberger don’t know that? You think they don’t realize in the back of their head they simply have to move a ball down a field to satisfy an entire audience horfing down beer and nachos? They can do whatever they want, and you will forgive them. Because of a game.

I understand this entire post is anathema to a sacred institution – if not the very core of our nation – not to mention overly serious for a site laden with penis jokes and whatever the hell this is, but there comes a time when I have to call out the bullshit even if it costs me an entire season of enjoyable Sunday afternoons. I simply cannot root for a man who’d be in jail right now if he wasn’t practically Jesus in that pocket. Not to mention, the Steelers weren’t doing too bad without him, and it was Jeff Reed who cost us the Baltimore game because he forgot to pretend the opposing team consisted entirely of Sheetz paper towel dispensers: His mortal enemy.

Sorry for such a long-winded rant, but for the sake of full disclosure, I should probably point out I bought the new Linkin Park CD. So, really, at the end of the day, what do I know? — That’s actually a legitimate question. Who the hell does that?

See you Monday.

UPDATE: Congratulations, you beat the Browns. In related news, I won a foot race against a paraplegic once. (Was that necessary? Probably.)

Photo: Getty