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SI story on Big Ben

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Evil ... Thy name is Orville Redenbacher!!, May 5, 2010.

  1. Herbert Anchovy

    Herbert Anchovy Active Member

    A heavily-tattooed guy having a few regrets in the lede. Hard to imagine.
  2. cyclingwriter

    cyclingwriter Active Member

    Your avatar makes it look like Big Ben is saying this.
  3. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    I think Barry Petchesky makes a pretty interesting journalistic point about this story on Deadspin:


    Where was this story six months ago? Or a year ago?

    The story is, essentially, Roethlisberger is a dick. But he's been a dick for a long time.

    Although SportsJournalists.com Steeler Nation would have had an absolute coronary had this story run six months ago or a year ago, wouldn't it have been valid? It would have taken far more courage to do, but it would have shown us a more accurate portrait of who Roethlisberger is/was.

    Even if the story was "Roethlisberger is immature and has a complicated relationship with teammates and fans" and not "he's a dickhead" it likely would have been slammed here by people saying "Who cares? He's a great quarterback. Why write this story?"

    So often these days, it seems like magazine sports stories are written with the participation and cooperation of the subject, written in a flattering way or done to offer "my side of the story" or not at all. That's not exactly how Gay Talese or Hunter S. Thompson or David Halberstam or Richard Ben Creamer went about their jobs.

    Just a little food for thought.
  4. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Well, people -- not just star athletes -- are dicks all the time. Until people start filing police reports, it really isn't news.

    I was amused to see this in the SI story:
    Who gives a fuck what his agent says? It's an insult to the intelligence of the reader.
  5. Small Town Guy

    Small Town Guy Well-Known Member

    I remember thinking the same thing after Deford's takedown of Puckett, which came after the wife said he terrorized her and after he'd been charged with assaulting a woman in a restaurant. Kirby, of course, was the most beloved athlete perhaps in Minnesota history, but the stories that came out in the story dated back long before the wife's accusations, so obviously he'd been like that for awhile. By the time SI wrote about it, it seemed like overkill, even if it revealed some new details.
  6. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    agreed. big ben being a dick irrelevant until behavior in public makes it relevant. it's not that complicated.
  7. Twoback

    Twoback Active Member

    I have a hard time imagining Roethlisberger ever asking anyone in Pittsburgh, "Do you know who I am?"
    Jerk or not, he's bright enough to know that everybody in Pittsburgh knows who he is.
  8. Herbert Anchovy

    Herbert Anchovy Active Member

    Warren Sapp was a notorious public douchebag and that was made known early in his pro career.
  9. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    It's actually a lot more complicated. What's "news" and what's not isn't a definition as simple as you and Starman make it. The "unless a police report is filed, it's not news" hardly covers what we're talking about here -- a feature that offers some depth and context. Otherwise, what the hell are we doing other than participating in a gigantic circle jerk for agents, PR people and corporations?

    Starman, I find your stance somewhat remarkable considering how much you rail on the Lions management for drafting someone like Charles Rodgers, a known weed hound all throughout college. What police reports were filed or drug tests failed in his case? Prior to his fall, none if I remember correctly. Wouldn't Lions fans have been better served knowing how stupid their franchise was when they drafted him, as opposed to five years later when he was out the the league? Were they better served by stories about what an amazing talent he was at Michigan State?

    We are not stenographers. The attitude that "it's not news that he's an asshole" is meant to make our jobs easier. Our job is to provide insight and context into who these people are. Sometimes that's hard. Sometimes it means losing access. SI didn't need the Steelers for anything. They could have written this story and it would have been relevant six months ago.

    It doesn't mean you have to stalk Tiger Woods' whores, but at the very least, don't buy into the myth so easily.
  10. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Well sure SI could have sent someone to spend "a night on the town with Big Ben" a year or so ago and reported that he acted boorishly, but again, until police reports start getting filed, is it news?

    Hell, considering the fratboy misogynist atmosphere deified and promoted by sports-talk radio and much of TV (especially Fox Sports), it probably would have boosted his popularity.

    All the fanboys would have said, "yeahhhh!!! he's badass because he don't take no shit from the bitches!!"
  11. cyclingwriter

    cyclingwriter Active Member

    There is media that spends all their time following around sports figures to look for gotcha moments. They are called paparazzi. They add no more context than the stenographers who only write "gee whiz" stories.
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