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I'm an agnostic.  Let me say that right up front.  I don't believe in God, and even if I did, I would hope that he or she had more important things to do than watch a football game.

But if the Pittsburgh Steelers win this Super Bowl, that will be the final piece of evidence I need to conclude that there is no just and loving God in the heavens.

I know, there are lots of Steelers fans out there.  Forgive me.  I know as well that football teams are big -- 53 men on a roster.  This game isn't about just one person.  Except that it is.  Super Bowls almost always wind up being about the quarterbacks and once again the Steelers are led by Ben Roethlisberger.  Roethlisberger, for those of you who don't know, missed the first four games of the season due to a league suspension for personal misconduct.  It seems Big Ben, as he is sometimes known (I assume much to the chagrin of British citizens everywhere), doesn't really understand that when a woman says "no," this isn't some code meaning she actually wants to be sexually assaulted.

Twice Roethlisberger has been implicated in sexual assaults, once in 2008 and once in 2010.  In neither case were charges actually fined, but the 2010 accusations were compelling enough to make the NFL bench one of its star players even without legal action -- a telling indictment.  Already there is talk in the media of how this game gives Big Ben a chance to redeem himself, and that's enough to make me want to throw up.  In what way does a Steeler win offer redemption to the women Roethlisberger has brutalized?  If a season that began with Roethlisberger sitting out games because of his repulsive behavior and ends with him holding the Lombardi Trophy, it will simply reinforce the notion that, in America, if you're rich enough and famous enough and good enough at those things our culture values, like throwing a football, it doesn't matter what other crap you do in your spare time.

Playing Luke Skywalker to Roethlisberger's Darth Vader is Green Bay Packers star QB, Aaron Rogers.  Rogers, I'm sure, is no saint.  But he is, from all appearances, a decent guy, one who doesn't hurt people in his spare time.  It would be nice to see him win the game, if for no other reason than because it would mean that Roethlisberger had lost.

I doubt that will happen, though.  The Steelers are a very good team, particularly on defense.  And though I happen to think that as a player Roethlisberger is vastly overrated, the Steelers probably have enough offensive firepower to ride their defense to a win.  Which will really be too bad, because while I am an agnostic, it's nice to wonder now and then if there might be a divine being, merciful and just, watching over us.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 6th, 2011 07:17 pm (UTC)
Interesting post, David. Certainly something to think about.
Feb. 6th, 2011 08:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Beatriz.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 6th, 2011 10:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks. Backatchya.
Feb. 6th, 2011 10:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you for posting this. I've been fuming about this for weeks.

Feb. 6th, 2011 10:24 pm (UTC)
My pleasure, Kerinda. Others are talking about it -- heard something on NPR yesterday. But I'd like to see in on FoxSports and ESPN, too.
Feb. 6th, 2011 11:38 pm (UTC)
I heard Fox Sports saying over and over that he was suspended for four games in the beginning of the season, but they never pointed out WHY and it was more of a slavering praise that he was able to bring his team to the SB in spite of that inconvenience.

Feb. 7th, 2011 03:56 am (UTC)
Right. What a leader! What character and grit he has! Bleh.
Feb. 7th, 2011 12:04 am (UTC)
I don't care about the Superbowl (it's just a game that has to be played before baseball season starts) but I still hope the rapist loses.
Feb. 7th, 2011 03:56 am (UTC)
Pitchers and catchers report next week, right?
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 7th, 2011 03:57 am (UTC)
Well, she left the door open....
Feb. 7th, 2011 07:03 am (UTC)
Glad to see that God reads your blog, David. :) Now if you could secure a blurb from him/her.
Feb. 7th, 2011 04:58 pm (UTC)
A blurb from God! Now that would help sales! I like that idea, Mark. I should probably have my agent call hers....
Feb. 7th, 2011 08:57 pm (UTC)
Looks like you got your wish. I had to giggle at the first two paragraphs...i.e. Ok David, go after right-wing demi-gods...that won't lose you any readers...but picking a side in a football game? Why, I think that's Tor's Head of PR on the phone for you right now...

And then the serious. I've been a Raider fan since birth so no other team is as despised as the Steelers...yes, we do hold our grudges!

And still, you have to have a grudging respect for their owners and a few other things the team has done over the decades.

However, this is really a stain on the honor of the Rooney Family.

Still, in my non-agnostic, anarchistic head...a Super Bowl between the Steelers and Eagles would have made my year...just to show what is really important in football, sports in general, and America.

As long as ya win... Because it ain't about forgiveness. We only forgive people who win. :)
Feb. 7th, 2011 11:18 pm (UTC)
Yeah, thought of the risk of taking on Steeler fans. Thing is, I actually like several players on the team -- Hines Ward, Troy Polamalu. I think Mike Tomlin is a terrific coach. And yes, I've always had enormous respect for the Rooney family and what they've done for pro football. But my contempt for "Big Ben" trumps all.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )


Australia, Ghost Gum
David B. Coe

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