Fourth and Long

Published 6:17 pm Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A couple of things are on my mind this week.

As a Miami Dolphins fan, I have to admit that I lost most of my interest in the NFL months ago. My wife, however, is a diehard Pittsburg Steelers fan, so needless to say the playoffs and week since the Steelers AFC Championship victory has created football frenzy in my household.

I certainly will make no complaints in that regard, but I can’t help but call her and a lot of the women like her out on what can only be described as blatant hypocrisy.

When the news came out regarding Kobe Bryant and the later known false accusations of rape, women everywhere were up in arms. Women organized boycotts and picket lines. Women called and wrote sponsors. Women implored their husbands, boyfriends, sons and fathers to stop supporting Kobe and any team that supported him.

As mentioned above, it later came out that Kobe Bryant had in fact raped no one. He was guilty of cheating on his wife, but nothing else. Still my wife and others never forgave Bryant for his indiscretions. That is certainly within their right.

What I find shocking, however, is the free pass that seems to have been handed out to Ben Roethlisberger. While Big Ben has never been formally charged with a crime, on two separate occasions he has been accused of rape. His guilt in unknown, but there are a few things we do know.

The facts as I know it maintain that at minimum; the Steelers quarterback got a woman he met in a bar to the women’s bathroom and had intercourse with her while his bodyguard stood at the door and denied access to the bathroom to other women.

These accusations are unrefuted. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t that make him a huge jerk. As far as I can tell the worst-case scenario is he perhaps committed a crime and the best case scenario is that he is a schmuck.

Despite this, I know and run into women everywhere that not only cheer on the Steelers, but still think Big Ben hung the moon himself. I just don’t get it. I won’t root for the man and I have to say that if we have reached the day when I am doing more for women’s rights than women are, then it is a sad day for females everywhere.

Speaking of the Super Bowl, with this year’s game featuring the two best defenses in the NFL everyone seems to be predicting a low scoring defensive game. I can’t help but think that if the over and under on total points is at 40, I would predict over.

Don’t be surprised if both teams find the endzone several times throughout the game. Two weeks is just too much time to give NFL offensive coordinators for film study and not expect them to find ways to identify and game plan around their opponent’s weakness.

I can’t end this week’s column without mentioning my beloved Tar Heels. Roy’s boys have caught on fire as of late and I hate to say I told you so to everyone that doubted them after they struggled early, but it won’t stop me from doing so.

I told you they would get better and guess what… they did. I have good news for my fellow Carolina Blue blooded fans. In the words of Spike Lee, they will be Mo Better. This team is chock full of potential and they are just getting started. It’s a good time to be a Tar Heel.

David Friedman is a long-time contributor to the Roanoke-Chowan News Herald. A Bertie High School graduate, he and his wife currently reside in Wilmington. David can be reached via e-mail at