From ESPN to the NFL Network, the national sports media outlets literally fell over themselves in their efforts to rip Ben Roethlisberger last week. Whether it was noted Steelers’ hater Tedy Bruschi or some talking head on sports radio, they couldn’t wait to take Big Ben to task for his comments about his receivers.
It’s true that Roethlisberger probably should have kept his feelings on James Washington and Antonio Brown ‘in-house’ but that hasn’t been his style before. But to the media it came across as something to discuss simply because they wanted it to be controversial. The vast majority of the media doesn’t care for him and it’s part of the reason he does so few national interviews.
But this evening I could find very little written about the comments from James Washington himself. Kudos to Jacob Klinger of PennLive.com for his publishing Washington’s words.
“I really needed that because he gave me a lot of advice,” Washington said. “And for him to come in and sit down and talk to me it kind of helped me get over this hump and get back on track,” said Washington.
Wait. Are those positive comments? Aren’t those the type of things leaders do?
Washington continued, “Just to be yourself and no one’s giving up on me and he still trusts me 100 percent. And, you know, just to trust myself and do what I’ve been doing this whole time.”
Clearly Washington must be talking about someone else right? There’s no way this is the Ben Roethlisberger that was a headline on ESPN, NFLN and FOX Sports websites last week after his radio show comments. What Washington has stated sounds way too positive. Has to be the wrong guy.
Or maybe it is the right guy. Maybe it’s yet another clear reminder that sports networks have become no better than their news or entertainment counterparts. ESPN’s ‘Golic and Wingo’ spent the first 20 minutes of a show last week talking about Big Ben’s “controversial comments.” Talk about trying to make something out of nothing…
So as I searched the internet this evening in an effort to see if these outlets could or would redeem themselves I found nothing. Nothing other than Mr. Klinger’s piece that is and while it may not be national, it was appreciated. Ben Roethlisberger deserves to have both sides of the story told, not just the one that that’s negative.