By Mary Paoletti
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.
"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.
"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.