Patriots

BREAKING: Roethlisberger's still an idiot

378961.jpg

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.

Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"

pastrnak_102117.jpg

Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"

BOSTON – At the end of the day, it was simply a game where the Bruins allowed themselves to get outworked in the third period and overtime. 

The B’s held a three-goal lead in the second period and still enjoyed a two-goal lead in the third period, but eventually dropped a frustrating, futile 5-4 overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden on Saturday night. It was clear to most speaking after the game that the Bruins eased up on the gas pedal once they’d scored their fourth goal of the game in the second period, and simply watched as the Sabres stomped all over them in the game’s second half. 

“I think we might have been a little bit too scared to play [in the third period], you know? We tried to just flip the pucks away, and didn’t make any plays trying to get it in the zone. Instead we should have just kept going like we did in the first two periods,” said David Pastrnak, who scored a pair of goals early in the loss to allow the Bruins to build up the three-goal lead. “Obviously we’re disappointed. We got one point. I think we didn’t play our game in the third period. We kind of stopped playing and they were all over us, and you know, it’s on us. We were the ones that gave them their point, but the first two periods were good. It’s just another learning session.”

To Pastrnak’s point, the Bruins were outshot by a 15-6 margin in the final 20 minutes of regulation and 21-6 overall in the third period and overtime prior to Ryan O’Reilly’s game-winner during 3-on-3 play. It was at this point the Bruins certainly missed stalwart stay-at-home defensemen Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller in the D-zone, and fell short of qualified penalty killers while trying to burn off a Brandon Carlo interference call at the end of the third period. 

All of that caught up to them once the Bruins loosened their grip on the Sabres, but certainly the feeling is that the loss should’ve been avoidable even if some of the circumstances made it difficult for the Black and Gold. It also should have been avoidable against a Sabres hockey club that was dreadful last season, and is again one of the doormats in the Atlantic Division in the early going thus far. 

“Those are the games you can’t lose. We obviously didn’t do the job there in the third and close it out, but we’re going to have to regroup and work on our game and be better for the next one,” said Brad Marchand. “We didn’t play the game we needed to play. We relaxed a bit and we started losing a few battles in the wrong areas, and you know, they just played better than we did.”

It’s mystifying that any team would need a crash-and-born loss like Saturday night in order to learn any lessons moving forward, and it certainly might have been a different story for the Bruins if they weren’t missing a few big defensive pieces. But that’s not how it went down for the Black and Gold as they sagged under rising pressure from the Sabres, and simply stopped working when the chips were on the table late in Saturday night’s game.