Bristol, CT—ESPN The Magazine editors are coming out swinging, defending the recent magazine cover that accompanied their controversial article about former Cy Young award winner Roger Clemens, reimagining his legal troubles and career under the farfetched notion that he was a nice guy.
The article, written by Bob Ryan, suspends all disbelief as it examines how differently allegations of adultery with a woman under 18, use of performance-enhancing drugs and lying to Congress would have been viewed and reported on by the national media if Clemens weren’t such a pompous, arrogant jackass.
“We know it’s a stretch,” said a statement issued by ESPN The Magazine editor-in-chief Chad Millman, “to think that Clemens could be a nice man. We’re asking a lot, the article is asking a lot from our readers to somehow, some way view this egotistical jerk as a nice man. I admit, it took me a while myself. When the idea first got pitched, we thought Bob (Ryan) was making a joke. In what far out world, in what alternate universe would Roger Clemens be pleasant and likeable? We aren’t a science fiction magazine. We knew we’d take some heat for this.”
Indeed, the magazine has ignited a firestorm unlike any it’s ever seen. Country music stars, former umpires, federal prosecutors and ex-teammates have taken to talk shows and social media expressing their outrage over any idea that Clemens was a nice dude.
“I had to have the headline read to me twice,” former Red Sox star and teammate Wade Boggs said to Nancy Grace. Boggs said he hasn’t read the article since the mere headline made him sick to his stomach, but was furious at what he called “tabloid journalism” shown by ESPN The Magazine.
Clemens has not released any statement through his formidable attorney. But this newest spotlight shined on the former hurler can only detract from him and his law dream team preparing for a retrial on federal charges of lying to Congress. Educated legal guesses put the timeframe of a retrial some time next summer, after pigs have taken flight.