This week I received my latest edition of Sports Illustrated (May 5, 2010). The magazine’s cover story ‘The Hangover’ is on the Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The subtitle references his bad behavior, bad judgment and how “entitlement run amok is costing the proud Steelers.” As a Steelers fan this Roethlisberger scandal has been hard to take.
Just in case you didn’t get that he was a total sleazebag SI made sure to pick a photo that showed he hadn’t seen a razor in days. Add to that the prerequisite bank robber/rapist hat and the image is complete. He is a blue collar, semi-white trash, drunken thug who lives to defile the young and nubile.
Roethlisberger has done some dumb things in the past such as riding his motorcycle without a helmet, but this current double-whammy of sexual assault charges is just ridiculous. I use the word ridiculous because his actions were completely unnecessary.
I’m not negating the yuck factor of his actions. I can’t imagine having to fend off the drunken attentions of a man who is determined to have his way. It must be a scary situation for anyone, especially if the man is someone famous. I think that he deserved his NFL suspension because he obviously doesn’t grasp the concept of proper versus improper societal choices.
What I don’t understand is why he felt that he had no choice but to hit on and rough up some underage (under 21) college girls in order to get laid. He is a single guy–not physically unattractive–with loads of money. He could have gone through a low or high rent escort service for sex. He could have found some groupies to help him put his dick to rest. He also could’ve set-up some ‘friends with benefits’ situations to help relieve some of that sexual tension. Of course there are always known groupies whose day he would have made by giving them a “hot beef injection” to quote the Weird Science movie. I’m sure that some of his teammates could have guided him in the right coital direction whenever he really needed to get laid forthwith. I know some of these options are illegal and/or deemed immoral, but it’s done all the time, so there’s no point hiding our heads in the sand about it, pretending this type of so-called sexual decadence doesn’t exist.
Maybe Roethlisberger likes his women young because he still sees himself as a young college kid. Technically he’s only 7-8 years older than the woman he assaulted in Atlanta. But given his life experience and work environment he might as well be in another generation. I know that men usually like younger women because they are supposedly more supple, less of a hassle, less demanding and more malleable. They never think about what that says about them – that they are walking stereotypes of a manchild who can only relate to those younger than themselves.
He tried to put out the bad PR flames by holding a no-questions press conference, but it didn’t turn out well. He should have known that showing up to tell the world that you’re sorry while looking like you just got out of the shower would send the wrong message – again. It only confirmed to many that he was a first class lout. Now the SI story implies that he is a brain-damaged one at that, that his concussions have hampered his ability to know right from wrong, that he acts on instinct without understanding the consequences. I’m not sure which image is worse.
Since we’re a forgiving nation I’m sure that once Roethlisberger returns from his 6-game suspension and wins a few games all will be forgiven. It’s the American way. Hopefully while he is sitting out his time from the NFL he is getting some tips on how to pick up women whom he doesn’t need to assault to get their attention. It’s not that hard, pun intended.
Update: 1) In 2010 the NFL’s initial ‘personal misconduct’ suspension of Roethlisberger was reduced from six to four-games and he was ordered by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to undergo professional counseling and behavior evaluation during his suspension and subsequent reinstatement. 2) In 2010 the woman who accused Roethelisberger of sexual assault at a bar in Midgeville, Georgia on June 5, 2010 decided not to pursue criminal charges against him though she never recanted her accusation. The district attorney did not file criminal charges against Roethlisberger. 3) In 2012 Roethelisberger settled a civil lawsuit with Andrea McNulty who claimed that Roethlisberger sexually assaulted her in June 2008 at a Lake Takoe, Nevada celebrity golf tournament. No criminal charges were officially filed in the case. 4) Roethelisberger married Ashley Harlan in 2011; they have two children.
Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday which is always a trying time for me. Trying in the fact that I always have trouble finding the right card for my mother. It’s not that I don’t love my mother or we have had a difficult relationship. We have had our moments of anger and hurt, but nothing that has severely affected my feelings toward her. I love my mother very, very much.
Yet whenever I have to start shopping for a Mother’s Day card it makes me realize that my relationship with my mom is not as ideal as I would like it to be. I’ll see phrases such as ‘You are my best friend’ or “I can tell you anything” or “You have been there for me like no one else” or “You have been a great sounding board.” My mother has been none of these things.
It’s not all her fault since I have always been pretty reticent about sharing my thoughts and hurts with anyone until I met my husband. However my mom has always been a cautious person. As a result whenever I have to make a major decision she has always told me that she knows that I will make the right call without ever telling me what she thinks on the matter. There have been many occasions that her silence has left my sister and I floundering over what to do during our teen years at a time when we really needed to hear her voice. Oftentimes when she does decide to speak up its when she really should have kept her thoughts to herself. This usually happens because she had to “get it off her chest” as she likes to say. I’ve told her that she may feel better getting it off her chest but she never thinks about the impact of what she has said on the other person. Sometimes she gets it, but most of the time she doesn’t.
What is so strange about my mother is that she can be very forthright if not downright ornery when she decides to step up and spout her opinion. No one can ‘tell her differently’ meaning that she can’t be dissuaded even when her opinion is idiotic. Sometimes her arguments and responses are so petulant that I’m amazed that it’s coming from someone who is in their seventies. At the same time she is practically helpless when it comes to making a decision and needs her hand to be held or for someone to make the decision for her. I have often wondered how such two such distinct personality traits; bossiness and helplessness can co-exist in the same person, but my mother is living proof.
Once in a while it makes me sad and irritable that my mother is not like the Hallmark card moms. I try to make excuses for her, to try to explain away the disappointment. Maybe its’ because she was the youngest sibling amongst her brothers and sisters. Maybe it’s because she’s a lot older than the mothers of some of my friends. Maybe it’s because she lived with my aunt for such a long period of time who took care of everything. But there are no excuses, she is who she is and nothing is going to change that.
So as I browse the rows of multi-colored cards expressing feelings of love for mothers everywhere. I know that I will find the right card. It will say that I love my mother. It will say that she has supported me through thick and thin. That she helped me to become the person that I am today. All of which is true. It’s about emotional degrees really when looking for a Mother’s Day card and finding the one that best fits or describes your relationship. I usually stick with the “love you very much” and “hope that you have a wonderful day” pronouncements. I wish that my cards were gushing with mushy sentiments but that simply doesn’t describe our relationship. My mom knows that there is this quiet barrier in our relationship but she has learned to ignore it or maybe by now she has forgotten it ever existed. Luckily for me Hallmark and a nice gift helps me forget as well. Until next year.
This week John Edwards’ former mistress, Rielle Hunter was on Oprah Winfrey. Hunter talked about the political scandal/affair that involved former 2008 democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, his wife Elizabeth and herself. She espoused about the lovechild she had with John, their relationship and its ramifications.
I didn’t actually watch the program since I was at work. Even if I had happened to be home that day I still wouldn’t have watched it. What’s the point? Would I have learned anything that I didn’t already know? We all know the media spin that was put on this story. John is a cad who cheated on his cancer-stricken wife. Hunter is a slut who took advantage and along with John could have almost cost the Democrats the presidential election. Then there’s poor, sick, salt-of-the-earth Elizabeth Edwards (John’s wife) who has been embarrassed by her husband’s wayward penis.
I wish I could say that I felt sorry for Elizabeth when this whole sordid news came about, but I didn’t then and I don’t now. Call me cynical, but I just never bought the ‘Poor Elizabeth’ story. Yes, she has cancer. Yes, she had a child die in a car accident, but that does not mean that she is a saint. Let’s be honest, some of the empathy directed towards her is because she is a fat, frumpy and all-around not a very physically attractive person. Heck, her husband might as well have been a Greek god in the looks department when compared to her.
Elizabeth knew what people thought of her and played this hand of cards to its fullest, whether it was lying to the public, the Edwards’ campaign workers or the democratic party. John was not the only narcissistic person in this relationship, she held her own as well. She wanted to be in the White House just as badly as John did – make no mistake about that. She was completely complicit in trying to keep John’s tryst with Hunter under wraps as long as possible. When the shit hit the fan she was pissed and let everyone know it in a very passive-aggressive manner. If she really cared about her family she would not have written a book or showed up on every talk show talking about her feelings about John’s philandering while never referring to Rielle or her husband’s lovechild by name. Sometimes she referred to John and Rielle’s daughter as “it.” What made the situation worse and downright mean was that during Elizabeth’s interviews John would be sitting next to her quietly, looking absolutely pathetic while his balls were being cut-off on national television. I actually felt sorry for him even though he could have caused the republicans to get back in the White House if Edwards had been the democrat’s presidential nominee when the Hunter-Edwards scandal hit the news world. I’m not saying that John Edwards’ downfall isn’t deserved because this incident shows that he is reckless and his decision-making skills are extremely faulty. Yet, Elizabeth’s behavior is not without fault.
Whenever I expressed my thoughts on Elizabeth Edwards I was told that I had no pity, that I was being harsh towards poor, poor Elizabeth. I must admit that I felt some vindication when Edwards’ former aide, Andrew Young wrote in his book about Elizabeth’s controlling and vindictive behavior. I’m not saying that Young is 100% right since he has his own agenda, but I believe that there is some truth to his allegations. As for Rielle Hunter, she is as clueless as the day is long. I’m not sure if she is in love with John Edwards or suffering from extreme infatuation. Unfortunately for John he allowed his dick to do his talking and he got run over by his wife and mistress. Yet I’m sure that he is surprised by the depth of the tread marks that Elizabeth has left on his back since stereotypically that is the mistress’ job. I guess he didn’t know when to fold them or when to hold them or when to walk away. Oh well.
Note: In January 2010 John and Elizabeth Edwards separated after 32 years of marriage. However, they were never legally divorced. The split could not be finalized until the couple lived apart for 12 months–Elizabeth Edwards’ died of metastatic breast cancer on December 7, 2010 one month shy of the requirement. In January 2011 Elizabeth Edward’s final will and testament revealed that she left nothing to John Edwards. He was not mentioned in her will. The couple’s oldest daughter was named executor and everything was left to the couple’s three children.