Inquisition

By McGrath, Ben | The New Yorker, April 16, 2012 | Go to article overview

Inquisition


McGrath, Ben, The New Yorker


Not to be overshadowed by the start of baseball season, the N.F.L. last week opened a gigantic retail store, off Bryant Park, and unveiled its new uniforms, which were designed by Nike. To an untrained eye, they look much like the old uniforms, which were designed by Reebok, but a video presentation explained that they are five per cent drier, eight per cent lighter, and twenty-two per cent cooler than last fall's threads, or mesh, as the case may be. The jerseys now feature "flywire technology" and "stretch-twill numbering," and the D-rings on the belts are made of aircraft-grade aluminum.

Hundreds of journalists were on hand to witness the football fashion show, which was held on the Steiner Studios lot, in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. "This is historic," Nike's creative director, Todd Van Horne, said, while standing on AstroTurf, amid smoke effects and beams of light. Roger Goodell, the N.F.L. commissioner, was invited onto the turf, and then thirty-two models appeared, each wearing a different team's colors. One of them was the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

"Hey, Mr. Ben! How are you?" A reporter with Fox Sports Latin America, in Mexico, approached Roethlisberger and explained that he had "six fast questions, O.K.?" Roethlisberger nodded. "First of all, your favorite music?"

"Uh, R. & B."

"R. & B., nice! Your favorite actress?"

"I don't know. Halle Berry?"

"Halle Berry, I like! O.K., your favorite food?"

"Steak."

"Steak . . . tacos?" the reporter asked, and pursed his lips. "Your favorite drink?"

"Pepsi."

"And do you prefer boobs or butt in a girl?"

Roethlisberger blanched. Once an infamous cad (or worse), he is now a married man. "Um, both," he said.

"And do you like mariachi?"

"Yes."

"Mr. Big Ben in the house! Thank you so much. Oww!"

A man from Telemundo approached and, regarding Roethlisberger's stubble, said, "What about this? You never shave?"

Roethlisberger looked taken aback. "Just a little scruff," he said. It was becoming evident that these were not the usual locker-room hacks.

"You understand that, besides wearing this great uniform, now you also have to wear makeup," the Telemundo man continued. "I don't know if they told you that. It's going to be a new thingeyelashes, makeup, lipstick."

In that case, Roethlisberger said, "I'm retired."

A woman from CelebTV. …

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