BREAKING: Roethlisberger's still an idiot

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BREAKING: Roethlisberger's still an idiot

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

Remember when WGS posted a blog that enumerated why Aaron Rodgers is better than Ben Roethlisberger?

Things we were not trying to accomplish:

1. Sincerely establish that Aaron Rodgers is a better person.

Confusing, right? You'd think that that's EXACTLY what we were trying to do. So why weren't we? Because we don't need to, ya' knuckleheads. All Rodgers has to do is not use babies to bludgeon puppies and he's better than Ben.

2. Claim that crashing a motorcycle was the worst thing Roethlisberger's ever done.

Why would we do that? Motorcycles -- even when somebody Photoshops a sad kitten face onto them -- do not have feelings and so we don't give a crap when they're abused. But women do have feelings and psyches, so we do care when they're sexually assaulted by big, stupid quarterbacks.

The blog was supposed to remind those media outlets slip-sliding in their own Super Bowl drool that Big Ben's Changed Man status is a joke.

The need for people to exonerate Ben Roethlisberger the Man, just because he's carried the Steelers to SB XLV, is crazy. Aaron Rodgers won't get extra points tacked onto each touchdown on Sunday because he's not an idiot and Roethlisberger's TD's won't count for just three because he is an idiot. Personality doesn't factor into the game.

And it's a good thing, too.

"Ben Roethlisberger -- BOOZING at Texas piano bar"

Are we at Wicked Good Sports judging Benny Boy for getting hammered and singing Billy Joel? Nope. At least one of us went to a state school, so there's probably video or photos of "Don't Stop Believing" being drunkenly crooned by us somewhere.

I'm arguing against writing the story that isn't there. Who wanted Roethlisberger to change? Who needed him to change? Who saw what a nice little fairy tale his story of redemption would make and outlined it the day his 4-game suspension ended?

Doesn't matter. If Ben didn't want to change then it doesn't matter. And even if he did? Well, let him do it elsewhere than in my Sports Illustrated.

Here are a few excerpts from stories written between December 30, 2010 and February 7, 2011.

"On the Steelers: Roethlisberger is a changed man"
As more evidence arrived that there is a new and improved Ben Roethlisberger off the field, the Steelers welcome one big change their quarterback has not made.He is the same Big Ben on the field as in the past with a bonus tossed in this season, the lowest interception percentage of his career.

The ONN SportsDome got it right.

Onion SportsDome

"Observers say Big Bens changed man on, off field this season"
Since his return from NFL-ordered exile, Roethlisberger has behaved as if hes living up to his April statement of regret. He has come across as respectful, collaborative, humble, even communitarian. And there have been no new reports of problematic behavior.

Oopsie.

"Chasten the Dream"
"He's just done everything we've asked," says Steelers president Art Rooney II. "He did some soul-searching, and I think he got back to the roots of how he was brought up. There will be doubters for a long time. He's certainly converted a lot of people back."

Those close to Roethlisberger (who declined SI's interview request) see a contrite man learning from mistakes played out on a public stage.

He was asked how the experience of the last year had shaped him. "That's a reflective question, and now's not the time for me to reflect," Roethlisberger said. "Now's the time for me to focus on a really, really big game."

OR, focus on a really, really big quantity of booze.

So who's wrong? The writers, not Roethlisberger.

WATCH: Celtics vs. Knicks

WATCH: Celtics vs. Knicks

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Celtics-Knicks preview: Thomas scoring at record pace in fourth quarter

Celtics-Knicks preview: Thomas scoring at record pace in fourth quarter

WALTHAM, Mass. –  As the fourth quarter rolls around, you will occasionally catch Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas looking down at his wrist, a gesture to remind anyone watching what time it is – Thomas time.

There are those who elevate their play in the fourth quarter of games, and then there’s Thomas who continues to smoothly navigate his way in unchartered fourth quarter scoring territory.

The Celtics begin the second half of the season Wednesday night against the New York Knicks, and there sits Thomas atop all players in the NBA when it comes to fourth-quarter scoring.

But that’s not all.

He’s not only dropping more points than any other NBA player in the most important quarter of them all, but he’s doing so at an unprecedented level of 10.1 fourth-quarter points per game.

Since NBA.com/stats began tracking fourth quarter scoring with the 1997-1998 season, no player has averaged more than 9.5 fourth-quarter points (LeBron James, 2006) in a season.

What makes Thomas’ fourth quarter heroics so impressive is that everyone in the building – fans, coaches, opponents – knows that’s when he’s looking to be most impactful for the Celtics and yet he still can’t be stopped.

Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford acknowledged how tough it is to limit Thomas despite knowing he’s looking to take over games in the fourth.

“It’s hard because the blitz game is impossible because they don’t roll,” said Clifford whose Hornets were beaten 108-98 by Boston on Monday. “If you watch the teams that try to blitz them, you’re going to give up basically lay-ups. We had things in to get the ball out of his hands but the way they played and the stuff that they usually go to late, they didn’t get to. He (Thomas) made some terrific plays; he’s a terrific offensive player.”

Despite what he does in the fourth and his overall scoring average of 28.2 points which is ranked among the league’s leaders, there are still lots of doubters as to how good Thomas.

Regardless of how you view his play, he has consistently played at a level this season that places him among the game’s best players.

And at the rate he’s scoring in the fourth quarter, he’s establishing himself as one of the great closers in the game.

Consider the list of players in the past decade who led the league in points scored in the fourth quarter.

  • 2016: James Harden (7.7)
  • 2015: Russell Westbrook (7.1)
  • 2014: Kevin Durant (7.9)
  • 2013: Kevin Durant (8.4)
  • 2012: Kevin Durant (7.3)
  • 2011: Amare Stoudemire (7.1)
  • 2010: LeBron James (8.0)
  • 2009: LeBron James (7.7)
  • 2008: LeBron James (9.1)
  • 2007: Dwyane Wade (8.2)

You have All-stars, All-NBA First Teamers, league MVPs as well as a few future Hall of Famers.

As good as those players were in their respective seasons, when the game mattered most – the fourth quarter – Thomas numbers (for now at least) stand head and shoulders above them all.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens gives Thomas a lot of credit for being such a consistent scorer, particularly in the fourth quarter.

But as good as Thomas is, he’s not out there getting all these baskets on his own, either.

“It says a lot about the fact that he’s got a lot of skilled guys around him that are hard to leave,” Stevens said. “When you’re playing Kelly (Olynyk) and Jonas (Jerebko) together with him, there’s a lot of space on the floor to operate. When those guys are at the four (power forward) and five (center), when you’re playing guys like Al Horford who can space the floor or Avery (Bradley) or Jae (Crowder), you know, those types of guys … at the end of the day I think that it’s a combination of a lot of things.”

And for opponents, a lot of problems.

“He’s been playing well,” Hornets guard Kemba Walker said of Thomas. “He’s been playing better than anyone in our league. He’s playing with great confidence and making the plays for his team to win games. He’s been great.”