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Jagoff John Steigerwald Leads the Big Ben Pile On

March 24, 2010 by Palmer Sucks

Jagoff John Steigerwald Leads the Big Ben Pile On

Jagoff John Steigerwald Leads the Big Ben Pile On

�Sucks Says

Random Rants by PalmerSucks


Kick 'em when they're up, kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em when they're stiff, kick 'em all around�

--from �Dirty Laundry� by Don Henley


Needless to say, these days it�s a good day to be a Stillers hater. Even better if you hate #7, an already sizeable group which appears to be multiplying by the day.

Now I�m not about to speculate whether Roethlisberger�s guilty of the crime he�s been accused of � that�s something that only two people in this world know for sure, and they don�t include anyone posting on the Internet. What I do know, however, is that lately a lot of people have come out of the woodwork with some pretty unflattering accounts of his behavior. As if this somehow matters in the said case.

Right now it�s easy to pile on, and something frankly I expect in bars and on the football gossip sites. But when a guy like sportscaster John Steigerwald (who, by the way, is known for being somewhat less than a fan of said QB) gets in on the fun, I take note. Below are Steigerwald�s comments, taken from a new blog he�s launched.


I guess I should get my two cents in on Ben Roethlisberger:


First of all, none of this surprises me. Ben is a bad citizen. He doesn�t know how to treat people and he definitely doesn�t know how to handle being the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers. In my more than 30 years of working in the Pittsburgh sports media, I have never had any player come close to generating as many unsolicited questions from fans as Roethlisberger has. They want to know why he�s such a jackass. And these aren�t just Steelers fans who got turned down for an autograph. It�s men and women from all walks of life.


Most of the accounts of the incident in Georgial mention that Ben wasn�t drinking much. The implication being that he wasn�t high. Let me be the first to point out that he could very easily have been high on something other than alcohol. If that turns out to be the case, will you be surprised?


If this jackass is charged with sexual assault, the NFL should immediately suspend him for several games next season. If the league doesn�t, the Steelers should. We hear all the time about how the Rooney family does things differently. This is a chance to prove it. It�s one thing to suspend or cut a third receiver or a backup lineman. Suspending a $100 million quarterback would really set the Rooneys apart.

Roethlisberger is a punk who needs to be knocked down a peg or two.


A couple of years ago I heard from a woman who said that Roethlisberger blew off a Make-A-Wish kid. When KDKA-TVs News Director, John Verrilli, was shown the email, he made it clear that it was a story that his news department would not be pursuing. I eventually got in contact with the parents of the little girl who the jackass snubbed. They said the story was true but they didn�t want to go public with it for their daughter�s sake. The little girl had cystic fibrosis.


As I said, Ben is a bad citizen who needs a comeuppance.



Apparently someone else could use a little kick in the dupa ,too. Blog content or not, this has to be the most unprofessional piece of garbage I�ve read from a so-called member of the �mainstream� sports media in Pittsburgh.

Where do I begin?

1.       �Never in� your �more than 30 years� working sports in the �Burgh have you encountered a jerk with such a low reputation with fans? Two words: Terry Bradshaw. I can tell you from personal experience: I had an aunt, who, to her dying day, told the story of how Bradshaw snubbed her point-blank at the airport in New Orleans. Bradshaw had a rep for sullenness when it came to the fans, which continued throughout his tenure with the team. (Speaking of �blow-offs,� Bradshaw skipped the funeral of the Chief himself.) Years later Bradshaw himself admitted what a jerk he�d been � did you ever call him out in public for it?

Here�s a short list of some other Stillers players and coaches I�ve heard accounts re: poor fan treatment: Bill Cowher, Hines Ward, Plaxico Burress and Merrill Hoge. Does that make any of it true? Here�s a news flash: many pro athletes have the same rep, not just in Pittsburgh, but all over the place. It�s the combination of money, fame and ego-stroking � much of it fostered by the very sports media to which Steigerwald belongs.


2.       Most of the accounts of the incident in Georgial (sic) mention that Ben wasn�t drinking much. The implication being that he wasn�t high. Let me be the first to point out that he could very easily have been high on something other than alcohol.� Let you be the last too � are you kidding? The sexual assault allegations aren�t enough, now you have to insinuate drug use too? Now that�s the kind of sensationalism that�ll further the career! I guess if KDKA won�t have you, you can always try the National Enquirer.


3.       As for the alleged Make-a-Wish blowoff, that�s a shame if true � but I don�t see anywhere that you got Roethlisberger�s side of things. Take it from someone with a journalism degree: that�s called �balanced reporting� John. Ever heard of it?


Certainly Roethlisberger has no history of �blowing off� charity and goodwill functions, as evidenced by the video below (which I suggest you take a look at). That in itself should�ve made the story worth investigating from both sides. Maybe Roethlisberger had some reason for this �snub�? Maybe there was some scheduling mishap? I guess we�ll never know.


So which Ben are we talking about here? The jerk who snubs sick kids, or the guy who donates his time and money to the Police K-9 fund, or pays the freight for a youth football team�s trip to

play a game out in California? At least give us the chance to decide.


4.       As for the supposed �cover-up� down at the TV station, where�ve you been? The Pittsburgh sports media have been softballing their Stillers coverage for years. I can assure you Ben isn�t the only Stillers player ever to have his dirt swept under the media rug � it�s been going on for years. Rumors of a certain ex-coach�s and a certain WR�s extramarital exploits have run through the town for years. Ever heard them addressed on TV or in the papers? That�s just how it is in Pittsburgh, where football is king, and the team�s owners are princes. This isn�t New York: negative Stillers coverage in Pittsburgh is about as common as blue rain.

Rants like these, which basically amount to character smears, function to imply that the accused is guilty of whatever he�s been charged: the old �I wouldn�t be surprised if the bastard did it� routine. Ben�s a �bad citizen� based on what Steigerwald�s heard, so by association, he�s likely guilty. In fact he�s a �punk� who needs to be �knocked down a peg or two.� Judge, jury, game, set, verdict.

But my main issue is this: Steigerwald says he�s known about this blow-off for two years. Why has he suddenly decided to come forward with it now? If what Ben did was so awful, shouldn�t he have pounced on it immediately? Perhaps it has something to do with his new blog, or coming book he�s out to promote � or maybe it�s irresistible now to jump on the pile. You know, nice and safe now that everyone else is joining in. Hey, why not come out with this info a year or two ago, or better yet, right after Super Bowl XLIII, if you really wanted to show us some seeds?

Suddenly I�m taken back to English Lit 201:


The herded wolves, bold only to pursue;

The obscene ravens, clamorous o�er the dead;

The vultures, to the conqueror�s banner true,

Who feed where Desolation first has fed


�Obscene ravens� huh � who�d have guessed a Romantic poet could�ve foreseen the AFC North division some two hundred years ago? Good call, Mr. Shelley.


A final note to John: should the �jackass� be charged with sexual assault, he�s got bigger problems than just missing a few football games.




Meanwhile around town, the bad-character tales are spreading like scabies in a nursery school:


�I have a sister in Monroeville who has a friend in Donora whose cousin in Blawnox says Ben wouldn�t autograph her Steeler Snoopy doll.�

�I was down at Jack�s, that jagoff spilled his drink all over me. Said I should be honored.�

�I wait tables at Eat �n� Park and Ben totally stiffed me.�

�Some guy put a bag of dogshit on my porch then lit it on fire and ran away. Had to have been Ben.�

Sonofabitch must be guilty huh? Fortunately we have something in this country called �due process� to help balance out the Court of the Internet.

Again, I am in no way defending what Roethlisberger�s accused of doing, nor do I claim to know what happened or will happen � but I do have one question. Let�s turn this thing around: what if Ben is cleared of all charges? Will the same people now coming out with their own �Big Ben the big jerk� stories be high-fiving the next time Ben tosses a TD pass? Do they even have the right to now � �cause frankly I don�t think they do.

Justice will out � and if Ben is proven guilty, he�ll deserve whatever punishment the law says he does. But if you�re one of the people condemning him in the court of public opinion, before fair trial, then I don�t ever want to see your sorry ass cheering another Ben-generated score again. That means sit down and shut the fuck up � now and forever. Because you�re a disgrace to Stillers fanhood, once and for all.

I don�t know Ben Roethlisberger personally, and who knows, he could be the biggest jerk on the planet. But that doesn�t mean he committed the crime of which he has been accused. Likewise, some of the greatest performers on the field have been said to be the biggest assholes off it. Find me a team and a town, and I�ll find you plenty of stories of rude and boorish behavior.

And yeah, I�m as tired as you are of this guy making the off-seasons as exciting as the regular seasons. At the very least, Ben�s guilty of not acting like the QB of the Pittsburgh Stillers � maybe it�s time to grow up and turn the ballcap around. You took the $100 mil contract, which means you get paid unlike most people � sorry if you have to accept the responsibility of not getting to goof around like the average Joe, either. But again, there�s a pretty big gap between immaturity and criminal behavior.

We�re about to find out how far.


And now for some more piling on, from the site:


Arnold Palmer anecdotes attach to Roethlisberger

Posted by Mike Florio on March 15, 2010 3:07 PM ET

In the wake of the second set of sexual assault allegations made against Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, a wide variety of stories have emerged regarding Big Ben acting like a big doofis (we prefer that spelling) when dealing with other humans.
We've heard several version of "the Arnold Palmer story," an anecdote involving Roethlisberger and the legendary golfer who was named after the curiously delightful mixture of lemonade and iced tea.  The folks at Out of Bounds have
posted a version of it, and this has given us the best possible opening for posting our own.
We preface this by saying we don't know whether it's true.  But we've heard it from someone with connection to multiple NFL players.
As we've heard it, Ben went golfing with Palmer at the Laurel Valley club in Latrobe.  Ben, supposedly, was a general jerk during his round with Palmer. 
So then Ben later wanted to play at Laurel Valley, and he dropped Palmer's name in the hopes of getting in.  (Or is it "on"?)  Palmer eventually made a phone call to help get Ben in/on the course without Palmer there. 
While on the course, Ben supposedly was rude to some kids. 
The kids ended up being Palmer's grandchildren.
The kids called Palmer, who then drove to the club and went berserk on Ben.
Again, we don't know whether it's true.  It might be, it might not be.  But it's not inconsistent with the anecdotes that are being shared consistently on radio and in other media regarding Roethlisberger. 


Incidentally, this site is run by an attorney, so you�d think he�d be familiar with the concept of sourcing.

Allow me to present another side of the story � from Mr. Palmer himself:

Have you ever golfed with any current or former Steelers players or coaches?

�I have played with quite a few of them. I played with Terry Bradshaw and a couple of coaches, including Bill Cowher. I played with Ken Whisenhunt who is out in Arizona now and defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. I played with both of them on the same day. I also played with Ben Roethlisberger. I think they are all pretty good golfers. Ben was outstanding. He did a great job and I enjoyed it very much.�


Now there�s a guy Ben cheesed off big time, for sure. Obviously.

Shame Mr. Florio didn�t bother to check both sides. Guess he went to the Steigerwald School of Sports Reporting.


Dirty little secrets
Dirty little lies
We got our dirty little fingers in everybody�s pie
We love to cut you down to size--
We love dirty laundry

--Don Henley


So there you have it. First we had �The Bus.� Now we have �Thrown Under the Bus.�


The pile-on includes a lot of talk now about dumping Ben, about the absolutely unlimited potential of Dennis Dixon, even about drafting Tim Tebow. Whatever � I guarantee these same people will be whining non-stop over their 5-11 team next season, which is what the Stillers are without Roethlisberger.


Think your geriatric defense can carry the team? Or maybe we can get back to �good old Stillers football� and run, run, run the ball. Yeah that racked up the Lombardis during the �80s and �90s huh? I want to see this town on its moral high horse when the view is from the cellar. That oughta be entertaining.


If I didn�t know better, I�d say the groundwork was being laid to make some future release more palatable to the public. Or who knows, maybe in the end it�ll be the gossip itself that forces team management into some decision. Which would be the biggest shame of all.


In the meantime, short of an actual proven charge, I�ll continue to wear my #7 jersey on my back. And the lips of all the haters on my ass. Thank you very much.


Oh and two more words, Ben: escort services.


Nah, just kidding.


Or am I?



A special �R.I.P.� to Vincent Chianese, otherwise known as the originator of the �Vinnie Pie.� A legend on Stillers forums everywhere, Vince left for the big pizzeria in the sky on March 7th. As someone who�s clogged his own arteries with Vince�s creations, I want to salute the man. For those who don�t know who he was, you can learn more here:

Til next time this is PalmerSucks, and this is what I say.

(The views of PalmerSucks are not necessarily those of � but should be.)

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