ESPN in Bed With NFL
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Do you hear that sound? It's the sound of silence. More to the point, it's sound of ESPN -- you know, the Worldwide Leader in Sports -- and their astonishing lack of coverage of the Ben Roethlisberger situation.
Sure, on Big Ben's ESPN player card, there's a Topix link to an article discussing the story in question, but that's about all you see. When you consider the source, coupled with the growing veracity of the Roethlisberger story, the description changes from "astonishing" to "appalling." Keep in mind, this is the same company that essentially dictates talking points, opinions, as well as the tone these topics are discussed with. If you doubt that, reflect back to the summer of Terrell Owens. Or last summer, otherwise known as the summer of Brett Favre.
ESPN spearheaded the never-ending, well, blabber that surrounded these two. Remember T.O. doing sit-ups in his driveway? How many times did you see that on SportsCenter? As for Favre, God only knows how much minutiae we were exposed to during his transition from Green Bay Packer to retiree to New York Jet. I'm willing to bet it was borderline toxic amounts.
With that in mind, ESPN's lack of Roethlisberger coverage stinks of an "ignore it and it will go away" attitude, while coming across as very self-serving. From the looks of it, ESPN is trying to protect their relationship with the NFL, as well as Roethlisomething's (way to go, Cowhah) reputation. In case you forgot, he is the reigning Super Bowl-winning quarterback. If they gave the appearance of jumping the gun on reporting the story, it could upset Roger Goodell and company. Considering the way ESPN has hitched their wagon to the NFL and Monday Night Football, as well as their utter silence thus far, these conclusions are no longer jumping points.
Mind you, this isn't about whether Roethlisberger is guilty or not. That's another story for another day. It's about ESPN and their responsibility as a self-proclaimed leader of the sports industry, and their blind-eye concerning a very legitimate sports story, something the AP, CBS Sports, Fox Sports and the WaPo, et al, did not to do.
Newsflash, ESPN: If you want to be the leader in sports, you can't ignore stories just because you don't like their mood. I'm sorry if the Roethlisberger situation is considered "bad news." It doesn't release you from your responsibility as an unbiased (yeah, right) news source.
Oh, and can we please save the excuses? Saying you don't report on civil suits without criminal charges is a ton of horse manure. Don't believe me? Ask Tony Zendejas.
On a personal note, there's one thing covering this story has provided me -- the ability to spell "Roethlisberger" without error. Before today, I wasn't exactly sure if his last name had an "e" in it or not. Now there's absolutely no question in mind. Thanks, Ben.
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