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Football nears the edge

March 15, 2010 - Paul Giannamore

 I'm shocked at myself for being shocked when I see pictures of Ben Roethlisberger and his equally big friends wearing their Benapalooza shirts before hopping aboard the luxury bus for Georgia.

Why does it bother me at all?

Maybe because I want to support athletes who do good things with their fame, such as those who work with inner city youth or reading programs or anti-drug programs or fund-raising for Haiti earthquake victims.

Maybe because it reminds me of the stereotypical athletes the non-athletic carry around in their heads from junior high school onward. You know, muscle-heads bullying their way through anything that they can't party their way through.

Maybe it's because I want to think more of a quarterback than let's see: Sexual assault accusations, butt-in-the-face of reporters (Peyton Manning) or guns at weddings (Tom Brady). 

Maybe it's because when Joe Namath was a drunken goofball, it was just him being a drunken goofball, not a bully.

Maybe it's because when Terry Bradshaw was a goofball, he at least was a goofball with class.

Even Bubby Brister's only real guilt was, well, being Bubby Brister.

$102 million to supply the Benapalooza tour. 

Wouldn't it have been nice if the Rooneys could have used that money as a downpayment on, say, half the value of Heinz Field, thus taking taxpayers off the hook a bit?

I'm getting fed up with "professional" sports. This could be the year when training camp doesn't relieve me of the off-season "I'm sick of the NFL" feeling.

My boss (at work, not The Boss) says when one is sick of a pro sport, one can just choose to stop watching, buying tickets or merchandise. 

Great. My one-man protest against steroids and drugs in Major League Baseball has resulted in absolutely nothing in 20 years except that I don't go to baseball games all that often. Sort of like shooting tanks with paper wads, eh?

Looks like I'll have to double up on paper wads for the fall.


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