Periscope Depth

you brought me fame and fortune and everything that goes with it

Frankly, I’m torn.

On the one hand, if the Steelers lose this Sunday, it makes the whole “redemption of Roethlisberger” storyline that American sports journalists have been sculpting for the last six months – molding it between their legs like Demi Moore’s pottery in Ghost, Roger Goodell’s hands covering theirs – look ridiculous. And there’s nothing I like better than heaping more shame on a rapist*.

On the other hand, if the Packers win the Super Bowl a mere three years after Brett Favre retired, then un-retired, then re-retired, then un-retired again, bouncing from one team of losers to another in the hopes of getting one more ring, then I will spend the next three weeks laughing. It will cure my seasonal affective disorder. Whenever I roll out of bed and am confronted with another overcast sky and eight inches of soggy snow, I will think of Sunday. I’ll think of Favre frowning, denting and undenting a can of Miller High Life, staring at a point fifteen inches beyond the television that depicts Aaron Rodgers throwing yet another Super Bowl touchdown pass. Deanna approaches behind him, a bottle of Vicodin in hand, pausing with her fingers inches from her husband’s shoulders: should I say something? should I leave him be? In the end, she leaves the Vic on the coffee table.

So as much as I want the Steelers to lose, I also really want the Packers to win. This is some kind of pickle, sports fans. I don’t know how I’m gonna handle it.

* Yes, yes, I know: alleged rapist. If this woman had really been sexually assaulted by a brutish moron who’s already been connected with a prior sexual assault, she wouldn’t have backed off after merely having told her story to several police officers, police detectives, paramedics, nurses, doctors, friends, therapists, attorneys, attorneys’ assistants, journalists and news bloggers, all of whom asked her the same questions over and over about a forced violation of intimacy, urging her in calmly objective tones to relive a night that’s already hard enough to remember due to the paralyzing effects of shame and alcohol, asking her to define the nature of her consent or refusal in clinical terms that can fit in the boxes on a form, and then going off to make some phone calls while a hundred thousand anonymous illiterates speculate about her motives, her looks and her moral purity on the comment boards of sports blogs, which, in a fit of sick irony, will be the only digital artifacts that future archaeologists can uncover from our era, like graffiti on the Colosseum wall. To decide that privacy trumps justice in the face of all that could very well mean she was lying. I mean, give the guy a break! He was in a motorcycle accident!

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